Warning: SPOILERS for Power Rangers ahead
The new Power Rangers movie aims to modernize the franchise and bring it the big screen for a bigger budget interpretation unlike anything fans have seen before. Taking its cues from the very first version of the Power Rangers team in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers sees Jason, Billy, Zack, Kimberly, and Trini become the Red, Blue, Black, Pink, and Yellow rangers respectively. But anyone that knows anything about Power Rangers knows there’s a ranger missing. The Green Ranger.
As revealed in the opening sequence of the movie, Rita Repulsa is the former Green Ranger. At the end of the movie the Megazord slaps Rita into space, but it appears she survives the ordeal and likely still has the Coin in her possession. As such, the mid-credits scene reveal that Tommy Oliver is joining the detention group should thrill any longtime fans who know just how many stories are possible with Tommy’s addition.
Tommy has a longer history with the Power Rangers than any other Ranger and has worn many different colors within many iterations of the team. With news that there may be as many as five sequels to Power Rangers, it’s likely Tommy’s inclusion will have a major impact on all of them.
The Green Ranger
Tommy starts out as just another student at Angel Grove High before Rita takes control, brainwashing him and giving him the powers of the Green Ranger to face off against the Power Rangers. The Rangers eventually defeat him, breaking Rita’s spell, but they’re also able to retain the Green Power Coin. Forgiving Tommy, the Rangers invite him to keep the Green Ranger powers and become a part of the team.
The Green Ranger is similar to the others Rangers in most ways, but with a few key differences. First, he has the power of the Dragonzord, including the Dragon Dagger, which can be played as a flute to control the Dragonzord remotely, and the Dragon Shield, a gold chest and shoulder piece that provides additional protection above and beyond the standard Power Ranger armor.
Unfortunately, when Tommy was under Rita’s control, she linked the Green Ranger powers to a special Green Candle. When the Green Candle is burned, Tommy slowly loses his powers until the candle eventually burns out, along with his power. In order to avoid diminishing the Green Ranger power entirely, Tommy gives the Dragon Dagger and Coin to Jason, who’s unaffected by the Candle. Jason maintains his Red Ranger status, but when he uses the Dragon Coin he has access to the Dragon Dagger, the Dragon Shield, and the Dragonzord.
When Goldar captures the parents of the original five Rangers and sends them to the Dark Dimension, the Rangers are convinced to give up their Power Coins in exchange for their parents' freedom. Goldar double crosses them (of course), keeping their parents prisoner and leaving the Rangers powerless to stop him. Tommy becomes the Green Ranger again and buffs his power levels back up to maximum with the help of a generous donation from Zordon. Seizing the Dragon Dagger, he’s able to defeat Goldar and return the power coins to the other Rangers.
After repeated failures by Rita and Goldar to eliminate the Rangers, Lord Zedd returns to set things right. He imprisons Rita and immediately sets his sights on the Green Ranger. Even though his power had been temporarily restored, the Dragon Coin continues to drain, making Tommy the most vulnerable of the Rangers. Eventually, Tommy depletes the Green Ranger power trying to stop Zedd and leaves the team once more.
The White Ranger
Tommy had become a core member of the Rangers team and many of the other Rangers looked up to him and trusted in his skills, so the loss of the Green Ranger wasn’t easy. Zordon and Alpha immediately got to work creating armor, weapons, and a Zord for a new Ranger using White Light, which would prevent Rita or Zedd from controlling it like they did with the Green Ranger. The White Ranger powers are given to Tommy, including the new Tigerzord and Saba, a talking sword that controls the Zord. Zordon also promotes Tommy to new team leader.
Off screen, Jason David Frank was supposed to leave the show and another actor was supposed to play the White Ranger, but Tommy had become so popular with fans that Saban decided to make Tommy the White Ranger, bringing him back to the team once more.
As the White Ranger, Tommy would see most of his old team move on as new Rangers came in to replace them until, eventually, it was just him and Billy the Blue Ranger, remaining.
The Red Zeo Ranger
Rita Repulsa’s father, Master Vile, shows up next, seeking the power of the Zeo Crystal, which Zordon had hidden in five separate pieces due to the danger of it falling into the wrong hands. Master Vile causes the Earth to rotate backward, turning the Power Rangers into children and removing their powers. Zordon determines that the Zeo Crystals are the only way to return them to adults and get their powers back, so he sends each of the Rangers to locate the crystal fragments.
Master Vile sends his forces to Earth, but the rejuvenated Power Rangers are able to fight them off, causing Master Vile to flee. Zordon gives one of the Zeo Crystal fragments to each of the Rangers, making them the Zeo Rangers. Tommy stays the team leader, becoming the Red Zeo Ranger.
Anyone that has seen the new Power Rangers movie knows that the Zeo Crystal was a major plot point, meaning the franchise already has a built in means to move on to a Tommy led Zeo team (or even a spin-off) depending on how the Power Rangers Cinematic Universe unfolds
Tommy was a Power Ranger longer than any other Ranger, wore more colors than any other ranger, and served as a part of more teams than any other Ranger. The immense opportunity with the character's involvement speaks for itself. This history is ripe for a big-screen explanation as Tommy ages and his roles and level of participation continually shift.
Here's a quick rundown of Tommy Oliver's frequent appearances across the various Power Rangers series.
Power Rangers Turbo
After the Zeo era, Tommy stays on for a while to lead the Power Rangers after they get their Turbo powers. He remains the team leader, but the Turbo powers turn him into a gearhead and racing junkie, so he isn’t as social with the rest of the Rangers anymore.
Eventually, Tommy is ready to go to college and enrolls in M.I.T. to pursue an advanced degree in paleontology, returning to his roots from his days with his original team, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Power Rangers Wild Force
Tommy is no longer an active part of a Power Rangers team, but when he learns that General Venjix of the Machine Empire had revived Lord Zedd’s massive Zord, Serpentera, he assembles a team made up exclusively of former Red Rangers, including the original leader of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Jason. Together, the Red Rangers eliminate the threat of Serpentera.
Power Rangers Dino Thunder
Putting his MIT education to good use, Tommy becomes a science teacher. When three nosey students go poking around his lab, they discover morphers designed by Tommy, learning that he’s a former Power Ranger - and a reputable one at that. Tommy recruits the students to form a new team of Dino Thunder Rangers, taking the mantle of the Black Dino Thunder Ranger for himself.
Power Rangers Super Megaforce
When the earth faces one of the greatest threats it’s ever known, Tommy begins to track down and unite all the Power Rangers that preceded the current team, Super Megaforce, forming the Legendary Power Rangers. In the final conflict, he appears in several variations of his previous Ranger powers, but when it comes time to lead the actual battle, he wields the power of his very first morph, the power of the Green Ranger, which he’s apparently found a way to restore. Once the Earth is safe, Tommy teleports away with the rest of the Legendary Rangers.
Clearly, the mid-credits tease that Tommy Oliver is on his way is a big deal and could shape this franchise for years to come. His story as it exists in the history of the show is more than sufficient to guide the Power Rangers universe for several movies, but even if it's not a direct adaptation, there's plenty of opportunity for mining individual stories and plot beats. Regardless of where it goes, simply seeing Tommy show up as the Green Ranger in the sequel will be more than enough to energize the fan base with hopes of seeing the Greatest Ranger on the big screen.
- Power Rangers (2017) release date: Mar 24, 2017