It’s morphin’ time once more with the OG Power Rangers back for the ultimate nostalgia trip.
When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first premiered in the US back on August 28, 1993, it quickly went from a Saturday morning kids’ show into a cultural force. Over three decades and dozens of seasons and spin-offs later, Power Rangers is still loved by many around the world. (You probably watched your fair share of the Power Rangers every Saturday and Sunday morning.) And as the franchise is hitting the big 3-0 this 2023, something special is brewing that is sure to give a nostalgic blast to fans of the series, and that is the epic 30th-anniversary special, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always.
Announced by Netflix and Hasbro, and revealed first by Entertainment Weekly last January 17, the special is shaping up to be everything that longtime and even new fans of the franchise have been wanting. Here’s what you need to know about this once-in-a-generation special.
ONCE A RANGER, ALWAYS A RANGER
Nostalgic sequels and revivals have been coming out left and right recently. In the past few months alone, we’ve gotten confirmation that a new Princess Diaries movie, a sequel series to Zoey 101, and forty more episodes of Phineas and Ferb are on the way. And the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is the latest one as it’s looking to tap deep into the deep well of the Power Rangers lore for a story on what it means to be a Ranger.
As shared by Hasbro, the special will revolve around the OG Rangers coming “face to face with a familiar threat from the past. Amid a global crisis, they are called on once again to be the heroes the world needs. Inspired by the legendary mantra from the franchise ‘Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger,’ Once & Always reminds everyone when you become a Ranger, you are always a part of the Ranger family and always welcome.”
What’s a reunion special without the OG cast right? And while the Power Rangers are no strangers to having crossover episodes that see multiple generations of Rangers come together, Once & Always is on another level. Leading the way are David Yost and Walter E. Jones who are set to reprise their roles as the first Blue and Black Ranger respectively. Joining them is Barbara Goodson who will serve as the voice of Rita Repulsa while Richard Horvitz is bringing to life the voice of Alpha 5.
However, it looks like it won’t be a full family reunion. Beloved OG Green Ranger actor Jason David Frank passed away last year and there is no word yet if he filmed for the special or if there would be a special tribute in his honor. There also is no word on whether the first Red Ranger actor Austin St. John will be in this as well. We do know though that the original Pink Ranger actress Amy Jo Johnson will not be appearing in the reunion special. She recently took to Twitter to say that she didn’t accept the deal that the producers offered her to be a part of Once & Always.
FAMILIAR ROLES, FAMILIAR FACES
It isn’t just Yost and Jones that we will be seeing on screen again. The special will also feature a bevy of second-wave rangers. Catherine Sutherland is back as the Pink Ranger, a role she first played back in season three. Meanwhile, Steve Cardenas, Karan Ashley, and Johnny Yong Bosch are all returning to play the second-generation Red, Yellow, and Black Ranger respectively. And in a touching homage, Charlie Kersh will be playing new character Minh, the daughter of the original Yellow Ranger. (Original actress Thuy Trang died in a car crash in 2001.)
IT’S COMING REAL SOON
If all this has gotten you excited and more, then you won’t have to wait too long to see this as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is dropping on Netflix this April 19. In just a couple of months, you’ll get to witness this nostalgic passion project made for fans.