For almost 25 years now, the Power Rangers have been entertaining audiences across the globe, bringing a wholly different group of superheroes to audiences following the team’s initial debut in the early 1990s. Earlier this year, the 24th season of the franchise premiered, while the newest big screen Power Rangers team will be making their debut later this month, when the film hits movie theaters on March 24.
With the new movie, a whole bunch of fresh faces are kickstarting their careers as some of the most recognizable characters in pop culture history. Among them is the Pink Ranger, in this case played by Naomi Scott. We’ve decided to take a deep dive on this underappreciated member of the Power Rangers team. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Pink Ranger.
15. 14 actors have stepped into the mantle of the Pink Ranger
A whopping 14 actors have stepped in to become the Pink Ranger since the show’s conception; Amy Jo Johnson, Catherine Sutherland, Naomi Scott, Patricia Ja Lee, Valerie Vernon, Melody Perkins, Erin Cahill, Alycia Purrott, Angie Diaz, Rhoda Montemayor, Erika Fong, Christina Masterson, Camille Hyde and Chrystiane Lopes. While each of them have brought their own unique style and flair to the role, some are more memorable than others, going on to sustain great careers in show business.
Naomi Scott is the latest name to join the Pink Ranger family, taking on the role in the upcoming film and hoping to get the stamp of approval from fans after making her debut. Scott says she thinks the Pink Ranger has a “maturity” to bring to the squad. She certainly doesn’t just want to be around to look pretty or make the men look better. But will Scott see as much success as original Pink Ranger, Amy Jo Johnson?
14. Original Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson has seen big post-Rangers success
Though she has all of the negative connotations attached to her during her time as the Pink Ranger, such as being the typical ‘girly girl’ and falling heavily into the stereotypes that come with being a young, pretty female in America, Amy Jo Johnson turned things around and really made the role her own through three years of television and two feature-length movies. As the longest-serving female member of the team, it’s no surprise that Johnson has seen some of the biggest success since her time on the show.
This year she’ll release her first self-produced feature film, The Space Between, and she also recently surprised the new cast of Power Rangers at a press junket, interviewing them about the upcoming film. She’s not just an actress however, having released three albums to-date and working on an original piece titled ‘Cracker Jacks’ to serve as the theme song for her upcoming film release.
13. Pink Ranger is the only ranger to have never been male
Though we came close with the very first Purple Ranger, Robert ‘RJ’ James in Power Rangers Jungle Fury, and with various variants of the pink suit shown to viewers across seasons, the Pink Ranger is still the only member of the Rangers team to have never been portrayed by a male. Without jumping too heavily into gender stereotypes and colors that are ‘typically female’, the reasoning behind this choice is pretty obvious, but with the smashing down of walls that continues to go on in the modern day, surely it won’t be too long before we see a man in pink! It’d be great to see the show at some point prove that a color is simply a color, and whether you’re a man or a woman, you can kick some ass as a core member of the team no matter what color you’re wearing.
12. Pink Ranger has only ever led the team twice
Despite being such a prominent character, the Pink Ranger has only ever led the team twice; once in Power Rangers Time Force which served as the ninth season of the television series, and again just recently in the comic series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink.
In the TV series, the Red Ranger (quite unfairly) remained the protagonist throughout, despite the show’s bravery of allowing the Pink Ranger to lead the team in live action for the first, and so far only time. Unfortunately, an extra 10 episodes and possible movie were canceled because of the Screen Actors Guild strike, which may be to blame for the Pink Ranger never getting her chance to shine as leader again.
That is of course only in the live action world, as Pink Ranger recently enjoyed her own comic book mini-series, with Kimberly Ann Hart making her return and leading a team against threats both new and old. She even had to enlist the help of usual enemy Goldar when taking on a new villain. It’s game-changing stuff!
11. Pink is the most commonly missed color from the Rangers team
There may have been a slew of different actors stepping into the role of Pink Ranger, but that doesn’t stop the female hero from being the most commonly missed color from the core Rangers team. Again, it all likely comes down to gender politics, with an audience primarily made up of young males struggling to see a piece of themselves in Pink Ranger. Absent from Power Rangers Wild Force, Power Rangers RPM and Power Rangers Jungle Fury, she’s found herself replaced by White Ranger, Black Ranger and others on various occasions – a real shame, as she often provides a brilliant balance and allows the team to shine through her various iterations. Now that she’s recently had her own comic book series and will be one of the main Rangers in the upcoming movie, however, it looks like Pink Ranger is going to be at the forefront of the Power Rangers action for the foreseeable future.
10. Second Pink Ranger Kat Hillard was originally an evil spy for Rita Repulsa
Kat Hillard hasn’t always been a crime-fighting hero, and was actually introduced to the Power Rangers series as a corrupted evil spy for alien threat, Rita Repulsa. With her mind completely taken over, she would even at times transform into a cat known as ‘P.C.’; a form which she’d use to lure the Rangers into various dangerous situations that would either allow her to gain information for Repulsa, or help launch an attack against the powerful group. Eventually stealing Kimberly’s Power Coin, she would later go down a path that allowed her better side to shine, feeling sympathy for the original Pink Ranger, allowing the ‘real’ Kat to break free from Repulsa’s spell.
Fighting for the side of good, she did everything within her power to repair the damage that she had helped cause, working with the Rangers against Repulsa and Zedd. Though she was later captured, she worked her charms to gain information about Kimberly’s Power Coin from Rito Revolto, breaking free of her cell and taking the coin to the Command Center and Kimberly.
9. She recently kidnapped Batman
Whether or not you think combining the world of the Power Rangers with the Justice League was a good thing, it certainly allowed some interesting scenes to take place in the comic book series, Justice League Power Rangers. Teaming up for the very first time, the Rangers team were flung into the DC Universe, where Batman captured Zack (the Black Ranger), mistaking him for a masked vigilante. Eventually making her way to the same universe along with the rest of the team, Pink Ranger decided to take matters into her own hands, calling upon her Pteradactyl Battle Zord before picking up the entire Batmobile with Batman inside. As Flash informed his fellow Leaguers that the Dark Knight had been taken, it suddenly became apparent that the Caped Crusader had been kidnapped by none other than Pink Ranger. Fortunately for everybody involved, the crossed wires were soon untangled, allowing the crime-fighters to work with one another, rather than against each other.
8. She was the first Power Ranger to ever be killed on duty
Fan-favorite character Kendrix Morgan of the Galaxy Rangers became the first ever Power Ranger to be killed on duty, with a tragic story bringing her time on the show to an end. Sacrificing herself for the greater good, Kendrix was part of an emotional storyline that saw her aboard the Terra Venture for a number of episodes. When the space station was threatened, she seized the opportunity to save it and those on board, as well as the powers of Pink Space Ranger, Cassie Chan.
Fortunately, we still got to see Kendrix later on in the series, as she appeared as a spirit and passed on her morpher (and her powers) to Karone, after the latter was thrown off a cliff by Trakeena. It was a somber way to pass on the baton, but a unique one that had everybody gripped to the TV.
Later, Kendrix was brought back to life, but the reasons and means behind it were never explained. It took away a little from the story that had already been told, but it felt good to see her become the Pink Galaxy Ranger again.
7. There’s been an evil Pink Ranger, known as Psycho Pink
Psycho Pink is not somebody you’d want to get on the wrong side of! Based on the brain wave patterns of Cassie Chan, she found herself able to predict Cassie’s every move, taking her down on more than one occasion as she was aware of the tactics and weapons Cassie would deploy. Almost killing the friendly Pink Ranger, Psycho Pink may have at first seemed to be just another disposable villain, but she actually had some pretty compelling storylines.
For example, viewers almost felt sorry for Psycho Pink when she was betrayed by Psycho Yellow. The pair had made a secret alliance, but Psycho Yellow betrayed her former ally, allowing Psycho Pink to be defeated by the Pink and Yellow Space Rangers. Though she may have been taken out physically, her spirit lived on and joined the Psycho Rangers in attacking the Space Rangers whenever possible.
She made a comeback in Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy and found vengeance for her earlier defeat, becoming the only Psycho Ranger to survive long enough to launch a proper attack against the crime-fighting crew. Unfortunately for her, the combined efforts of the Galaxy Megazord and the Astro Megazord proved to be too much, and she was taken out once and for all.
6. Her first morph was the Pterodactyl
With Amy Jo Johnson’s version of the Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart came the introduction of the hero’s very first morph. Receiving the Pterodactyl Power Coin and the Pterodactyl Dinozord (which she said had a nice stereo, despite never being seen listening to music on it), her machine would form the chestplate of the Rangers’ Megazord. Able to fire twin lasers when used individually which looked like lightning, she was the only member of the team gifted with flight ability on her Dinozord. Strangely, Kimberly chose to hide her Dinozord in a volcano when she wasn’t using it, but that didn’t stop the destruction of the flying machine before too long. Fortunately for the team, the remains were able to be constructed into a new piece – the Pterodactyl Firebird Thunderzord – which also had some incredible powers. On its own it could create a tornado made entirely of energy to take down monsters and enemies, and when grouped with the rest of the team, the Firebird would wrap around the Red Dragon Thunderzord’s waist, helping form the Thunder Megazord. Arguably the best-looking and most efficient of the original Dinozords (and definitely more useful than these horrendous Battle Zords)!
5. Kimberly Hart and Kat Hillard were complete personality opposites, despite both being Pink Ranger
Rather than sticking to the same formula which they knew was a hit with viewers, the writers behind Power Rangers decided to take a few risks when new character Kat Hillard became the second Pink Ranger. In fact, she and Kimberly Hart seemed to be complete opposites when it came to their personalities. Kimberly starts the series a typical valley girl who remains loyal to her closest friends, while Kat seemed to be a lot more enlightened as to her surroundings and the evil in the world from the get-go, probably because of all the chaos she went through as Rita Repulsa’s evil spy. It would even be Kat who taught Kimberly one final lesson – that fear shouldn’t stand in the way of what you want to achieve – as she took back to the high diving board following a frightful bang to the head in her past. Executing a perfect swan dive, she showed that with enough courage, anything was possible.
4. Original Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson asked to be written off the series
Having starred in over 100 episodes, Amy Jo Johnson asked that her character Kimberly Hart be written off the series midway through its third season, as she wanted to pursue other career opportunities and feared being typecast. Granting her that wish, writers got to work on a 10-episode story arc focused on the character which would lead up to her exit and serve to introduce an all-new Pink Ranger, Kat Hillard.
One of the most recognizable roles Johnson picked up quickly after her time with the Rangers was as part of the cast on Felicity, a TV series in which she played the character Julie Emrick. She stayed with that show for three seasons before making a special guest appearance in Season 4, proving that there’s an afterlife for talented actors who want to take the bull by the horns and get to work.
3. Her own comic book series takes place between Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo
Released just last year, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink mini-series bridged the gap between the show of the same name and that which came after; Power Rangers Zeo. Written by Brendan Fletcher and Kelly Thompson, with editing from Dafna Pleban and gorgeous artwork from Daniele di Nicuolo and colorist Sarah Stern, the Boom! Studios release saw Kimberly Ann Hart bring her own team together for the first time ever. Though it’s a short series, it’s a hugely worthwhile read that features some major twists and turns that even the most loyal of fans wouldn’t have seen coming.
Though it consisted of just six issues, it set the precedence for any future writers who hope to make the Pink Ranger their main focus. She’s more than just ‘the girl on the team’; she’s a fantastic character with a lot of potential. Let’s hope there’s a big comic book future ahead for her.
2. Her first romance was with Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver
Original Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart had a crush on Green Ranger Tommy Oliver for quite some time before the pair made it official. The two always danced around one another, never wanting to give an inch for fear of rejection but never denying they had a special sort of relationship. Fans got behind the pairing and enjoyed the banter the two would share, but when actress Amy Jo Johnson left the series and her character was written out, there was heartbreak to come. Writing a ‘Dear John’ letter to Tommy from her new home of Florida, Kimberly broke things off. Tommy didn’t stay single for long however, quickly finding himself in a new relationship with the Pink Ranger replacement, Kat Hillard. The guy really had something for the color pink.
This relationship WOULD be one that lasted, with the Zeo episode ‘A Season to Remember’ showing an elderly Kat, married to Tommy with the pair enjoying life as grandparents to two grandchildren. While the canon of the events has been debated, it’s a nice way to think their stories as Rangers came to a close.
1. Kat Hillard trained a chimp in sign language and a dog to join the Junior Police Force
If there’s one thing Kat Hillard loved, it was animals. Tasked with taking care of a chimp named Kelly, the Ranger would go on to train Kelly in sign language, a skill she was also trying to pick up. With the help of Aisha Campbell, the Yellow Ranger (played by Karan Ashley), the monkey was soon an expert, but was converted to the side of evil when Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd transformed it into the Sinister Simian monster. Of course, the Rangers refused to harm the monkey and instead focused on turning it back to normal.
Another example of Kat’s kindness with animals would come with the arrival of the dog, Smokey. Training it to work with the fire department as part of a civics project, the super-mutt had a specially-trained sense of smell for fire and danger, saving a pizza establishment from burning down and earning the honor of being a Sergeant in the new Angel Grove Search and Rescue Unit. Odd for sure, but heartwarming TV, all thanks to the Pink Ranger!