Power Rangers is the ultimate color-coded superhero team up kid show franchise. Since the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series premiered in 1993, the show has continued in 24 seasons with more than 20 distinct teams of Rangers based on various "rule of cool" themes - dinosaurs (more than once), trucks, time travel, space ships, ninjas, samurai, law enforcement, and so on. Each team had one thing in common: they always marked each Ranger with a color, making them easy to identify.
Most prominent of all is the Red Ranger. Usually the team’s leader, the Red Ranger is front and center when the team heads into action, starting with the very first Red Ranger, Jason Lee Scott. But there is much more to the Red Ranger than just the lead role and the cool color. Before Saban’s brand new Power Rangers arrives in theaters, here’s a refresher on the original and his successors with 17 Things You Never Knew About the Red Ranger!
17 THE ORIGINAL RED RANGER Was The Youngest member of the cast
Austin St. John was born in Roswell New Mexico on September 17th, 1975. He began practicing martial arts when he was five years old and now holds a second-degree black belt in Tae-Kwon Do and a first-degree black belt in Judo. He was 17 years old when he first took on the role of Jason Lee Scott in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the Red Ranger, making him the youngest member of the main cast.
St. John is among the various Power Rangers actors and real life martial artists who have contributed to their ownmartial arts instructional videos. At the 2007 fan convention Power Morphicon, he revealed that Austin St. John was in fact a stage name and that his real name is Jason Geiger. Even if it is by total coincidence, it does make Geiger one of the only Power Rangers actors to share a first name with the character they portray.
16 DAVID YOST WAS ORIGINALLY CAST AS THE RED RANGER
David Yost was another cast member of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When he first auditioned for the show he tried out for the part of Jason Lee Scott and he actually got the role. However before the show was released he reportedly handed off the role voluntarily to Austin St. John, feeling that he was not up to the part of the team’s leader as much St. John.
Instead Yost was recast in the part of Billy Cranston, the undisputed brains of the Mighty Morphin team and the Blue Ranger. Yost played the part of the Blue Ranger throughout the entire run of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and was the only member of the cast to appear in every episode of the show. One has to wonder how the show and the actors may have turned out if some of the original casting decisions had gone through. Both St. John and Yost have become so associated with the colors and personas of their characters.
15 JASON WAS THE FIRST OF THE ANGEL GROVE TEENAGERS TO AGREE TO BECOME A RANGER
In the first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the quintet of Angel Grove teenagers, Jason, Trini, Billy, Zack and Kimberly, were all introduced to Zordon and Alpha in a really exaggerated dramatic fashion. An earthquake appeared to strike Angel Grove and all five teenagers were transported to the Command Center of Zordon and offered the opportunity to defend the Earth against the evils of Rita Repulsa.
The overwhelmed teenagers quickly refused. Only Jason had a moment of curiosity stemming from his already established martial arts skills and his natural leadership. The teenagers left Zordon and Alpha, only to be ambushed for the very first time by Rita’s Putties.
The minions easily overpowered the unprepared teenagers. Then Jason was the one to remember the morphers gifted to them by Zordon and the teenagers donned their suits for the first time. When they reconvened after the battle, Jason was the first to formally accept Zordon’s offer.
14 JASON LEE SCOTT HAS APPEARED IN OVER 100 POWER RANGERS EPISODES
Scott had quite a tenure as a recurring and leader figure in the Power Rangers franchise. Since his appearance in the very first episode ‘Day of the Dumpster’, he has appeared in 88 episodes of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Towards the end of the Mighty Morphin show, his appearances consisted of reused stock footage.
Jason’s role as the Mighty Morphin Red Ranger was passed on to Rocky DeSantos, played by Steve Cardenas, in the first half of the second season. The arc in the three part episode ‘The Ninja Encounter’ saw Jason leave the team to attend a peace conference in Geneva which allowed Rocky to take over.
Jason return in Power Rangers Zeo for 17 episodes. That outing saw him assume the role of the Gold Ranger. The mantle of this special ranger had previously belonged to an alien named Trey of Triforia and his three personalities of Courage, Wisdom and Heart. The three of them chose Jason to become the next Gold Ranger.
Jason’s character also went on to appear in single episodes of the Wild Force and Super Mega Force shows later in his career.
13 THE CHARACTER’S NAME IS BASED ON JASON SCOTT LEE
Jason Lee Scott’s name is a simple rearrangement of the real life actor and martial artist Jason Scott Lee. Lee is well known from many action films including the 1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.
Lee was born in L.A. but grew up in Hawaii. He began his acting career in 1987 with Born in East L.A. He also had a part in Back to the Future Part 2 as one of Griff’s techno savvy gang members in the version of 2015 that Marty McFly travelled to. He’s made a career out of appearances in several darling geeky movies including Soldier, alongside Kurt Russel, Dracula II and III and Balls of Fury. Recently he played Hades Dai in the Netflix exclusive Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.
It is unknown if there was any personal relationship between Austin St. John or the show’s producers that facilitated this reference or if it was just convenient.
12 JASON WAS VOTED THE GREATEST RED RANGER EVER BY FANS, TWICE.
As the athletic, capable, confident leader of the Power Rangers team, Jason has definitely become a fan favorite almost as much as Tommy and his various rangers. This has largely set a precedent for most of the Red Rangers that followed him also being the leaders of their respective teams. It’s also meant that the Red Rangers ted to get the lion’s share of any merchandizing that goes along with each show.
But Jason himself has endured as a popular character in the franchise. While Power Rangers was hosted by ABC Family, the network held a contest in 2004 to see which Red Ranger was the greatest of all time according to fans. Despite Jason not appearing in any of the Power Rangers shows that ran in the so called ‘Disney Era’, Jason won the top honor. In 2007 the fans honored Jason again with the title of Greatest Red Ranger ever when Toon Disney held another contest.
11 HE TEMPORARILY BECAME THE GOLD RANGER
In Power Rangers Zero, Trey of Triforia appeared as a mysterious ally to the Rangers in the form of the Gold Ranger. He helped them defeat Wolfbane and Tarantabot but he vanished before the Rangers could learn anything about him on both occasions.
Eventually the Gold Ranger was hunted by the bounty hunter Varox and King Mordo. Their pursuit weakened Trey and he was forced to reach out to Zordon and the Rangers for help. He revealed that he was the Lord of the planet Triforia and that he was made up of three distinct personas that represented Courage, Wisdom, and Heart. After being attacked, he could no longer retain the Gold Ranger mantle and the Power Rangers debated which among them could take it themselves.
Tommy was able to retrieve Jason and the three Treys took to him immediately. They swirled around him until the Gold Ranger Armor materialized on his body. But the split nature of Trey’s personas would plague Jason and the Rangers throughout the show until the Treys remerged into their prior self.
10 JASON DEFEATED THE ORIGINAL EVIL GREEN RANGER SINGLEHANDEDLY.
Early in the Mighty Morphin Rangers' careers they were beset by an eerily similar foe. Someone was interfering with their teleportation system and had even broken into the Command Center. They were perplexed because only they should have been able to access the Command Center with their power coins. Before they could investigate further, they were forced to spring into action against Goldar, but the Green Ranger was ready and waiting to infiltrate their Megazord.
Rita and the Green Ranger were able to defeat the Rangers and trap the Zords in the earth. While recuperating at the Command Center, Alpha discovered that the Green Ranger was in fact Tommy Oliver, a former and worthy opponent of Jason’s in a karate tournament. The Rangers confronted Tommy head on when he appeared in his own Dragonzord to attack Angel Grove. Jason forced Tommy into a duel on foot and ultimately destroyed the Sword of Darkness, breaking Rita’s evil spell. Jason in the only character in the history of the Power Rangers to defeat Tommy Oliver singlehandedly.
9 HE WAS TURNED EVIL IN TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was the second of the two original Power Rangers movies, meant to serve as an introduction of the new Turbo Rangers and their show in 1997. Jason and Kimberly of the original Rangers return to Angel Grove to help with a charity event for a children’s shelter. While taking a break in the form of scuba diving, of all things, the two are captured by a new villain diva on the scene called Divatox.
Divatox takes them to the forgotten island of Muiranthius where she plans to serve them as a sacrificial offering to a demon called Maligore. The Turbo Rangers, including Jason and Kim’s old friend Tommy as the Red Turbo Ranger, arrived to try and stop the sacrifice. But they couldn’t prevent them from being lowered into the lava and turning evil.
It was a hammy evil showing for the ages, complete with casual bad-dude aloofness and cruelty, glowing red eyes and deep echoing voices. The wizard Lerigot was able to break the evil hold on Jason and Kimso that they could help the Turbo Rangers defeat Divatox and Maligore.
8 HE RETURNED FOR THE FOREVER RED 10TH ANNIVERSARY TEAMUP
Power Rangers Wild Force had a special nostalgic team up for episode 34 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the American Power Rangers TV shows. In the episode titled ‘Forever Red’, Tommy calls upon all the Red Rangers of Earth to report to the NASADA headquarters to defend against the Machine Empire Remnant.
Jason was the last former Red Ranger to arrive, but only to make a grand entrance on his motor cycle. Even among all the other younger and arguably more advanced rangers, Jason stood out with his agility and fighting skills. He taunted the Remnant’s leader, General Venjix, and fought him two against one alongside Cole Evans the Red Wild Force Lion Ranger. When Venjix managed to subdue Cole, Jason beat Venjix back taking a moment to refer to Cole as a ‘rookie’. The Team of Red Rangers, who came to known as the Veteran Red Rangers, were all honored to fight by Jason’s side.
7 OFF SCREEN, AUSTIN ST. JOHN AND JASON DAVID FRANK DIDN’T GET ALONG
Learning about backstage drama for nostalgic kid-focused shows or movies is always sobering. No show is immune, including Power Rangers. Jason and Tommy may have been introduced on the show as adversaries but Jason was quick to offer Tommy a place among the Rangers when Rita’s spell was broken. The two have gone on to be strong friends and allies throughout the many Power Rangers shows.
Unfortunately the actors’ off screen relationship hasn’t been as rosy. They’ve apparently not gotten along since their very first days of filming together on the set of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The story goes that Austin St. John was a bit of a braggart about his martial arts prowess while on set and that Jason David Frank called him out. This animosity or rivalry has endured for several years capturing public attention every so often with public comments or separate convention appearances.
6 THE TYRANNOSAURUS WAS THE MOST POWERFUL DINOZORD
Never mind the fine point that the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord was one of only two Dinozords to be based off an actual dinosaur. Jason’s Dinozord was the most powerful out of all the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Dinozords. Since it stood upright in its own configuration, it was much more formidable in battle on its own compared to the other Zords. Unlike the real prehistoric Tyrannosaurus every part of its colossal body could help in combat. It was capable of lashing its tail out opponents, biting them with its huge metal jaws and even kicking out at opponents while propped up on its tail.
The Tyrannosaurus Dinozord was also capable of roaring so powerfully that it could generate seismic blasts capable of destroying monsters. Jason’s Zord went toe to toe with Tommy’s Dragonzord when the latter first appeared under Rita Repulsa’s evil spell. It also defeated the Giant singlehandedly. Whenever the Rangers entered their Megazord, the Tyrannosaurus would become the head and torso, symbolizing the core and leadership of Jason in the team.
5 RED HAS BEEN A COLOR OF A RANGER IN EVERY TV SEASON
Power Rangers may be responsible for making red the favorite color of many Gen X and Millennial geeks. Whatever the reason may be, there are only two Ranger colors that have been included in every single Power Ranger show’s line up. Those two are Red and Blue. Traditionally, the Red Ranger has been the leader of the team, either right from the start of the show or through some character establishing moments. Although even in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tommy became the leader of the Rangers as the White Ranger. Only rarely has the Red Ranger not been the leader, such as in Time Force, where Erin Scott led the team as the Pink Ranger.
The next most common Ranger color after Red and Blue is Yellow. In fact, Yellow had been a Ranger color in every single Power Rangers show as well, up until Power Rangers Dino Charge in 2015. Their main color line up consisted of Red, Black, Blue, Green and Pink.
4 POWER RANGERS IN SPACE INTRODUCED THE RED RANGER EXCLUSIVE BATTLIZER
Battlizer armors have become a staple of Power Rangers shows. They are often introduced in event episodes that feature team ups of multiples Ranger teams from different shows against a special enemy. The Battlizer armors and the variously named successors have all been exclusively used by the Red Rangers on each team, although the other rangers have gotten their own special armor enhancements and upgrades.
The first Power Rangers show to feature Battlizers was Power Rangers in Space. Andros, the Red Space Ranger, was being held hostage by Vacsacker along with the citizens of Secret City. Andros couldn’t break free on his own but when his friends activated the Battlizer device, Andros donned the Battlizer armor and rescued the hostages.
Battlizers are actually an original element from the Western Power Rangers. They were not carried over from recycled footage of the Japanese Super Sentai shows, although the later Super Sentai shows re-adapted the Battlizer armors into their own programs.
3 JASON DAVID FRANK HAS PORTRAYED 2 DIFFERENT RED RANGERS
Tommy Oliver was such a popular character that he continued to play Rangers in the main line up for several different shows after the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When Jason David Frank first came on the show, he was introduced as a rival to the main rangers in the form of the Green Ranger. When Rita’s evil spell on him was broken he became the White Ranger and the White Ninja Ranger.
In the fourth season of the show, Tommy and a host of new and old rangers took of the Mantle of the Zeo Rangers to defend the Earth from King Mordo. For the first time Tommy got to inhabit a Red Ranger in the form of the Zeo Ranger V Red.
Tommy’s continued presence and strong leadership qualities made him the ideal candidate to be the head of another Power Rangers team. When Divatox arrived posing a new threat to Earth and the Power Rangers, Tommy lead the Turbo Rangers team as the Red Turbo Power Ranger, piloting the Red Lightning Turbo Zord.
2 Two FEMALE RANGERS HAVE BECOME RED RANGERS AT SOME POINT
For most of the history of the franchise, Power Rangers has stuck to the conventional western gender color coding by having the male rangers on the team get Red or Blue or Green or any of the extra colors unique to each show, and having the female rangers usually get just Yellow and Pink. One could even argue that Power Rangers was instrumental in continuing this trope into the new millennium. But there are a few female Rangers who have gotten the chance to play Red Rangers.
‘Charlie’ was the first female red Ranger ever introduced in Power Rangers S.P.D. She was the leader of the A-Squad Rangers, a supremely arrogant unit that ended up being turned evil and working with the show’s main villain Emperor Gruumm.
The second female Red Ranger was Lauren Shiba. In Power Rangers Super Samurai the team started out with Jayden Shiba as the leader. The two Shiba siblings were separated at birth so that Lauren’s identity as the true 18th head of the Shiba clan could be kept a secret. Eventually she returned and was offered the role of the Red Ranger by her brother.
1 19 DIFFERENT RED RANGERS APPEARED IN THE LEGENDARY BATTLE
For the 20th and final episode of Power Rangers Super Mega Force, the franchise had something truly special in mind. With Emperor Mavro and the last remnants of the Armada threatening to destroy the Earth, the Megaforce Rangers are joined by Rangers from every previous generation to form an army of Rangers known as the Legendary Rangers.
More than 100 Rangers total appeared on screen in the battle including 19 Red Rangers. In some form or another, the Red Ranger from almost every single Rangers team appeared, along with their entire respective teams in most cases. Actors Danny Slavin, Sean Cw Johnson and Jason Faunt even got face time as their roles of the Red Galaxy Ranger, Red Light Speed Ranger and Red Time Force Ranger respectively. Tommy Oliver Appeared as the Green Ranger in the battle, acting as the leader of the considerable host. Even Jason Lee Scott reappeared to fight alongside his fellow Rangers once more as the Mighty Morphin Red Ranger.
Any other bits of trivia you could share about any of the Red Rangers? Let us know in the comments