Everyone has their favorite Power Ranger, right? Whether it’s the Red team leader, the mysterious sixth Ranger, the ultra feminine Pink Ranger, or one of the many other colors that can make up a Ranger team, everyone has their preference. One Ranger that is a fan favorite in almost every team up, however, is the Yellow Ranger.
Since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered over two decades ago, there have been nearly as many varieties of Power Rangers as there have been seasons of the show. In that time, those different teams have featured 19 Yellow Rangers. Nearly always one of the lower ranking Rangers on the team, the guys and gals in yellow are always hardworking and determined fighters.
If the Yellow Rangers have always been your favorite, you might just pick up a few things new here. If not, consider this your crash course in all things related to the Yellow Ranger before Power Rangers lands in theaters. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Yellow Ranger.
15. Yellow Is One Of The Top 3 Ranger Colors
In every season of Power Rangers, each Ranger is designated by a specific color. The series began with red, blue, yellow, black, and pink, but expanded to include many more hues over the years. With 23 seasons of Power Rangers airing over the last 24 years, not every season features the same color designations. Yellow does manage to be one of the most common, though.
Yellow comes in third place for Ranger assignments over the years. Nearly every version of the show has a Yellow Ranger in the lineup. The only team to not feature a Yellow Ranger was Power Rangers Dino Charge, which instead featured Red, Black, Blue, Green, Pink, Gold, Graphite, and Purple, really changing up the colors found in the usual teams.
The two colors to appear in the most Power Rangers teams? That would be Red (typically the team leader) and Blue.
14. Most Of The Yellow Sentai Are Male
Though 15 of the 19 Yellow Power Rangers have been female, the same can’t be said for the Super Sentai version, which the American franchise was based on.
The Japanese children’s series ran for almost a decade before it was used as the inspiration for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As a result, there are already more Yellow Sentai than there are Yellow Rangers to begin with; 45 to be exact. When the series began, the Yellow Sentai was a male character — hence the lack of a skirt on the uniform in the footage used from the original series to provide fight scenes for Power Rangers )– and continued to be male for several years.
The eighth Super Sentai series, called Choudenshi Bioman (or Super Electronic Bioman), was the first series to feature two female characters, and since then, the shows have made the Yellow color designation a unisex one, featuring both male and female characters in the role. Over the course of the series, 24 of the Yellow Rangers have been male and 21 have been female.
13. Thuy Trang Was A Martial Artist Before She Was Cast
Thuy Trang played Trini, the first Yellow Ranger of the Power Rangers series, for one and a half seasons of the show. Like many of the show’s cast members, she wasn’t solely selected for the role based on her acting ability. Instead, casting directors looked for up and coming actors with very specific skillsets — martial arts and gymnastics.
According to multiple interviews with original cast members David Yost and Austin St. John over the years, casting directors looked for skills first, acting ability second. David Yost and Amy Jo Johnson were cast because the two were gymnasts, incorporating their skills into their fight sequences. Austin St. John, Walter Jones, Thuy Trang, and Jason David Frank were all cast due to their experience with martial arts.
In fact, Thuy Trang studied Shaolin kung fu as a child. Her family, who came to the United States as refugees from Vietnam, followed her father to the country years after he made the move. It was her father who requested that she study the art form. When he died of cancer, she continued to honor his wishes. Her character would go on to study “Praying Mantis Kung Fu” on the series as well.
12. The Mystic Force Yellow Ranger Is A Voice Wizard
Chip Thorn, played by Nic Sampson, was the Yellow Ranger during a season that went all in on magic. Unlike other iterations where magic and science were combined, Mystic Force focused on a group of teenagers who basically doubled as sorcerers. Nic Sampson hasn’t just played a Yellow Ranger, though, as he’s lent his voice to several Power Rangers characters over the years.
In Operation Overdrive, the season that followed Mystic Force, he voiced the Sentinel Knight. He also voiced Whiricane in Jungle Fury, Skatana in Megaforce, and Slammer in Dino Charge. But he’s far from the only one to take on multiple roles for the franchise.
Another Yellow Ranger actually got her start as a background actor on the series. Tracy Lynn Cruz, who played Ashley in Power Rangers Turbo and In Space, appeared as an extra in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger.” Dave Mallow, who provided the voice for Rita’s henchman Baboo in the early days of the show, also did voice work for multiple characters in Wild Force, Time Force, Lightspeed Rescue, Lost Galaxy, and some of the other monsters in the Mighty Morphin era. Paul Schrier, who has played Bulk throughout several seasons of the series, has also provided his voice for several monsters.
11. Yellow Rangers Are Associated With Cat and Bear Zords
With the many different versions of Power Rangers that exist, there are plenty of Ranger teams that don’t call on the energy from animal spirits or use dinosaurs to symbolize their power. When the Power Rangers are associated with animals, though, there’s a definite trend where the Yellow Ranger is concerned: they like their cats and bears.
The original Yellow Ranger, Trini, called upon the sabretooth tiger as her zord. When Aisha took up the mantle, she had the same zord, but she could also call on the spirit of the bear in ninja mode. After those initial zords came a string of big bots that were just vehicles, not tied to any particular animal. When animals came back into play for the Yellow Ranger in Wild Force, though, the second and third zords following the Yellow Eagle were the Black Bear and the Polar Bear zords. Power Rangers Ninja Storm saw a Lionzord, Jungle Fury had the Cheetah, RPM had a Bear Crawler, and Megaforce had a Tiger.
Overall, out of 30 Yellow Ranger Zords, only 14 are associated with animals, mythical or otherwise. But of those 14, more than half (8, to be precise) are some form of cats or bears. What do these animals have in common? Strength and power.
10. Trini Helps Save The Day After Giving Up Her Power Coin
In the television series, Trini gave up her power coin to a new recruit in the middle of season two along with Jason and Zack as they left Angel Grove to participate in a teen-run peace conference with the United Nations. While archive footage was used of the character in the few appearances on the show that followed, Trini got to save the day one more time in a new comic book series.
Boom! Studios publishes a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series that has all the fun of the original show, but is much less campy. In keeping with that idea, the publisher has also produced a few spin-off miniseries for characters. They recently published Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink, which recounts an adventure of Kimberly’s in between the Mighty Morphin and Zeo seasons, after she, too, has already left the Rangers.
In it, Kimberly takes on Goldar while visiting her mother in France. When Goldar’s own monster turns on him, Kimberly finds herself forging a temporary alliance with the winged monkey, bringing a couple of her new friends, as well as former Rangers Trini and Zack, along for backup. The group borrows some of Zordon’s energy to be able to morph, giving them one last adventure.
9. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Was Karan Ashley’s First Acting Job
The second Yellow Ranger for the series, Karan Ashley played Aisha. She was introduced in season two as a student at a nearby high school who was competing in a local martial arts competition, along with characters who would become the next Red and Black Rangers. Despite becoming a fast fan-favorite, Karan Ashley wasn’t actually familiar with the show before auditioning.
As she’s revealed in various interviews over the past few years, Ashley had never seen an episode of the series before she was cast. Her role as Aisha was her first professional acting role, and she would go on to appear in several staples of nineties television after her time as a Ranger: Hangin With Mr. Cooper, Kenan and Kel, and The Steve Harvey Show. Working 12 hour days, seven days a week would get to her over time, though, and she opted to leave her Morpher behind. She was originally told that she would get a story arc akin to Amy Jo Johnson’s when she left the show, but as the Rangers were turned into children during her last arc, and the adult actors were given time off, the producers decided to conclude her story with the younger version of her character instead.
8. Yellow Rangers Karan Ashley and Nakia Burrise Appeared In A Series Together in 2016
When Karan Ashley’s character Aisha was written out of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it was Nakia Burrise who stepped into the shoes of the Yellow Ranger. She played Tanya, a girl who had been living in a small village somewhere on the African continent after her parents disappeared on an archeological search. Aisha decided to stay in the village while Tanya took her place as a Ranger. While Burrise and Ashley never appeared together on the show, they did appear in a series together in 2016.
Burrise co-created the web series Class Dismissed, which began streaming episodes in 2015. The show follows a trio of friends who knew each other in grade school and reunite as adults while working at that same school. Ashley appeared in three episodes of the show in 2016 as the arch nemesis of Burrise’s character. They even both wore yellow for the occasion. That won’t be their only project together, either.
The actresses are two members of the massive cast of The Order, which reunites a lot of the Power Rangers alumni in a story about a group of vigilantes who find that some of their own have turned against them. The movie received some of its financing through an Indiegogo campaign, though it doesn’t have an official release date yet. Also appearing in it are David Yost, Austin St. John, Walter Jones, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, and more.
7. Taylor Earhardt Was The First Yellow Ranger To Lead A Team
If there’s one thing even the most casual Power Rangers fans know, it’s that the Red Ranger is always the team leader. After all, there hasn’t been a series without a Red Ranger in the entire run. There have, however, been a few special circumstances like White Ranger Tommy taking up the leadership position in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Pink Ranger Jen commanding the Time Force team. Only once in the history of the show has a Yellow Ranger had the honor, however.
In Power Rangers Wild Force, Taylor Earhardt (Alyson Kiperman) became a Ranger before a Red Ranger was chosen. A pilot in the Air Force, Taylor had plenty of experience using a high-powered vehicle to fight, and she ended up in command of the Yellow Eagle Wildzord, one of the only bird-related zords a Yellow Ranger has ever had. With her military training, she was quick to take on the leadership role, but she had to give it up when the Red Ranger was finally chosen, something that took a lot of adjusting on her part, though she remained second in command.
6. Dino Thunder’s Yellow Ranger Interacted With The Most Other Rangers
It’s become a time-honored tradition in the Power Rangers franchise: the team-up. Nearly every season has featured the current Power Rangers pairing with members of previous teams. Kira Ford (Emma Lahana), as a member of the Dino Thunder team, ranks as the Power Ranger that’s interacted with the most other Power Rangers during various team-ups over the years.
In addition to her own team and a team-up with the Ninja Storm Rangers, Kira also went to the future to help out the SPD team for an episode. She also appeared in Operation Overdrive with former Power Rangers Adam Park, Bridge Carson, Xander Bly, and Tori Hanson in “Once A Ranger” to help the current heroes, who had lost their powers, out of a jam. She was also one of the many Power Rangers to appear in “The Legendary Battle,” which united all of the Power Rangers against a common enemy.
Kira also has the distinction of being the only Yellow Ranger to travel for a team-up without the rest of her team. Typically, any Yellow Rangers traveling to help out other Rangers do so with their own squad. She’s also the only Power Ranger to have had the chance to work with two of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in different team-ups — Adam Park and Tommy Oliver.
5. Thuy Trang Left The Series Over A Contract Dispute
In the middle of the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, three cast members decided to band together to attempt to get a pay raise. The core cast of six had been working 12 hour days and seven day weeks during the filming of the show, which was non-union, and therefore not protected by union regulations. The actors would typically film five days a week and then spend their weekends doing voiceover work for the Super Sentai footage being used.
Thuy Trang, Austin St. John, and Walter Jones attempted to negotiate for better pay and better working conditions. The negotiations didn’t go well, and they weren’t even able to film the final episodes for their characters. Producers utilized old footage of the trio dubbed with new lines by other actors — or in some cases, production team members on the show — in order to close out their storylines. The trio of Trini, Jason, and Zack were replaced by Aisha, Rocky, and Adam, respectively, though fans certainly weren’t thrilled about it.
4. Ciara Hanna Was Originally The Power Rangers Samurai Yellow Ranger
An actress, model, and singer, Ciara Hanna got started in the entertainment industry at a very young age. She actually auditioned for the role of the Yellow Samurai Ranger and won the part, but turned it down. Brittany Anne Pirtle went on to be cast in the role instead. Hanna went on to appear in several television guest spots on other shows, and when Power Rangers Megaforce came around, she nabbed the role of the Yellow Megaforce Ranger.
The Yellow Ranger has a long history of recasting, of course. Erin Simms was originally cast as the Yellow Ranger for Lost Galaxy, but Cerina Vincent ended up taking over the part. Rose McIver (of iZombie fame) was also a recast for Power Rangers RPM, and most recently, Nico Greetham was a recast for Power Rangers Ninja Steel. It sounds like the Yellow Ranger has always been a difficult part to cast, a trend that dates back all the way to the original…
3. Audri Dubois Played Trini In The Pilot
The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lineup could have been very different if the cast had stayed in place. As it turns out, Thuy Trang wasn’t the original Trini. Actress Audri Dubois was originally cast in the role, with the intention of the character being Mexican-American to reflect the southern California demographic. As the story goes, Dubois asked for more money before signing on to the full series, and producers decided to go with a less expensive actress for the low budget show. Thuy Trang got the part, and the allegations of racism in casting an Asian actress as the Yellow Ranger began, and it remains one of the most common misconceptions about the show to this day. The pilot episode aired as part of the FOX Kids lineup as a “lost episode,” and Dubois has appeared at various Power Rangers conventions to sign headshots of herself in the Yellow Ranger costume for diehard fans.
The Yellow Ranger wasn’t the only character that was recast. Walter Jones was originally brought on to play the Blue Ranger, and David Yost signed on to play the Red Ranger. When producers brought Austin St. John aboard, casting was reshuffled. St. John became the Red Ranger and Jones was moved to the Black Ranger position, putting Yost in the position of Blue Ranger.
2. No Asian Actor Has Played A Yellow Ranger Since Thuy Trang
Since the first season of the show and the accidental racist color coding of the characters, another Asian actor has yet to be cast in the role of the Yellow Ranger. Asian-American actors have played nearly every other Ranger variety since. While some have surmised that it’s simply to avoid more discussions of racism, it’s also possibly been done out of respect for Trang, who died in 2001.
Trang was the passenger in a car that lost control on the interstate, and she was killed in the accident that followed. Actress Angela Rockwood and one of her bridesmaids were also in the car as they were on their way to making preparations for Rockwood’s wedding. Rockwood ended up paralyzed, and has since gone on to become a producer and make her own documentary. The Power Rangers franchise honored Trang by dedicating an episode of Power Rangers Time Force to her.
1. Becky G Is The New Trini, the big screen’s first LGBTQ superhero
With the 2017 movie reboot, musician Becky G will star as Yellow Ranger Trini. Though most of her experience in the entertainment industry is via her music career, she’s already made her acting debut in Spanish language projects and even appeared in two episodes of the popular FOX drama Empire. Becky Gomez, as her acting credits name her, didn’t have fight training before nabbing the role of Trini, but she went for it wholeheartedly, sharing video of her training sessions on social media before filming began. It’s a casting match-up made in heaven for the performer, since yellow happens to be her favorite color.
The latest take on the character won’t be without its own artistic flourishes, of course. It was recently confirmed by the actress herself that the latest version of Trini will be the first LGBTQ superhero in cinematic history. While the decision to make any changes to the source material will surely have its share of detractors, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing how this new spin on the character will play out on the big screen.
Do you know of any other fun facts that fans should know about the Yellow Ranger? Let us know in the comments.
You can catch the Yellow Ranger, and the rest of the team, in action when Power Rangers debuts in theaters on March 24.