Since 1993, Power Rangers has been part of popular culture. A simple kid’s show that took a nutty idea of integrating new U.S. footage with an old Japanese show, the Fox series became a massive hit. It has gone through three networks and numerous versions, each with different casts and plenty of wild action. It continues on Nickelodeon with Ninja Steel while a brand-new big screen reboot is ready to hit this March. The series has tons of fans who love the campy aspects, the actors and the storylines and a key reason it has lasted so long. With so much material in the form of these shows, it’s no surprise fans have found a lot to be debated about. It can range from the best seasons, best actors, hottest ladies, etc. But some fans love to speculate further. While Power Rangers may not seem the type of show to inspire in-depth investigation, the series has given fans a lot to think about.
It can range from the meaning of the powers and how they come to be to the connections of the various characters. Fan Fiction is highly popular taking so many different aspects to delve into, trying to detail more about these odd worlds and the heroes in them. There are the usual discussions as to motivations, the “fan couplings” and where the series might go next. Some theories stand much bigger than others, sometimes wild but also backed by evidence that makes a lot of sense. In a few cases, the producers have even confirmed some fan theories (such as how soda shop owner Ernie knew who the Rangers were all along) and thus pushed more love of these ideas. Here are 15 of the most fascinating theories fans have come up with regarding the Power Rangers franchise and how it makes you see the series in a new light.
15. The Morphing Grid Has Various Powers
Mentioned in the very first season, the Morphing Grid is the name for the power source that grants the Rangers their powers. Basically, think “The Force” of this franchise. It has various aspects that are uniquely shown throughout the show as it seems to exist in various time periods and able to be utilized by means both magical and scientific. From the magic users of Mystic Force to the future science of SPD, the Grid can power a Rangers team as it seems to know when they’re needed. It makes the choices on how long some Rangers can keep their powers and how to adapt them for different times and themes to match the right threat. Later shows use items like the Energems of Dino Charge and the Ninja Stars of Ninja Steel that appear to be aspects of the Grid given a new form. Basically, the Grid is an actually sentient force that is beyond the understanding of most beings meant to maintain balance in the universe to fight evil. Thus, no matter the team or the setting, it’s ready to take the true lead to ensure the Rangers are victorious.
14. Lord Zedd Is The Master
After several seasons as one of the most popular villains of the franchise, Lord Zedd seemed to meet a unique end in the final episode of In Space. When a captured Zordon had his chamber broken, it unleashed a wave of energy that basically extinguished forces of evil across the universe. Zedd and wife Rita Repulsa were seen turned into normal humans and walking off happily. In the finale of Mystic Force, it was revealed that the power “Mystic Mother” who granted the team their powers was basically the former Rita now turned to good. This has led fans to speculate that Zedd not only fell back into darkness but got even worse, discovering huge powers to transform himself into the Master, the monstrous force of evil long buried in the series before breaking out in the finale. It thus makes sense that, seeing her former husband fall, Rita embraced her own great power to help form a new Ranger team to fight him off. This does make it annoying how the Master/Zedd meets his end to a team he’d never fought before but it’s fun to imagine one of the best bad guys of the franchise making a grand return.
13. The Coins Automatically Equal Fighting Skills
This has been one of the longest-running theories of fans and one that makes total sense. From the beginning, there has been one aspect of the show that keeps up in every incarnation: As soon as they get their power coins and morphers, the teenagers instantly know how to fight. What’s more, they’re ready to unleash special weapons, powers and pilot Zords with perfect knowledge of how to use them. There’s also how some of these teens are shown to have little real skills before they get their powers. Indeed, Dino Thunder has the heroes as a soccer player, a rock singer and a computer geek who have never taken martial arts. While the series plays with some cases of Rangers trained beforehand, it’s more common they’re newcomers to fighting when they join up. Thus, the idea seems logical that the coins/morphers instantly grant the wearer access to massive fighting skills and making them feel second nature without major training. They also “download” knowledge on how to pilot Zords and the use of the weapons. It might be a tad troubling to think on how this alters the brains of the Rangers but it also saves plenty of time as it gets them in shape to save the world without worrying too much about a learning curve.
12. Tommy Clone
A huge surprise to fans was the announcement that Dino Thunder would have the return of former Green/White/Red Ranger Tommy Oliver. A bigger surprise was how he returned. It was now shown that Tommy had graduated, become a teacher with a knowledge of prehistoric times as well as a super-scientist capable of creating all these morphing devices. Indeed, when former teammate Adam helped these Rangers out, he remarked “really hard to imagine him being a teacher.” The fan explanation is a unique one: This isn’t the real Tommy.
In an MMPR storyline, Zedd created an evil clone of Tommy who dragged him back in time to Colonial Angel Grove. Tommy was able to redeem his clone, who decided to stay and live in the past. The theory is that the clone ended up returning to the present to take on the identity of Tommy and using his smarts to become this professor. The real Tommy might have heard but he’s happily married to former Pink Ranger Kat and decides to let this guy run with the team. The episode where “Tommy” faces off against aspects of the Green and White Rangers was the Clone trying to prove he could live up to Tommy’s legacy. It just seems a bit much to think Tommy went from Ranger to teacher in six years so having it be this copy is actually easier to swallow.
11. The Evil Dimension
Throughout the various series, there have been showcases for an “evil place.” Lord Zedd had his “Haunted Forest,” Lightspeed Rescue had “the Shadow World,” Ninja Storm had the “Abyss of Evil” and Samurai contained the “Nighlock Heaven.” In each case, it was basically a resting place for all the various evil monsters that were destroyed by the Rangers to hang around in. Indeed, a genius part of Ninja Storm was the revelation that villain Lothor had been tricking the Rangers into filling up the Abyss with monsters so it would overload and he’d absorb the power. Fans naturally assume that all these “evil afterlife universes” are actually all the same dimension. This can lead to a fascinating theological debate on what sort of religions these monsters hold to and thus how they have different paths in this dimension. Putting that aside, it just makes sense that all these forces of evil and darkness call the same dimension “home” after their destruction and many speculate that this also ends up feeding the next generation of evil power. So while the Rangers have the Morphing Grid, the forces of evil have their own power source to build off of.
10. The Saban Universe
Fans love to imagine that long before Marvel or DC were doing it in movies and TV, Saban was creating their own universe. The company naturally mixed in other takes of Japanese shows with new footage but some original shows too. They took the long riding Japanese hit Kamen Rider and turned it into Masked Rider, having a crossover with MMPR to push it for viewers. Saban also created VR Troopers and fans liked to imagine that a crossover between those shows could have existed. Big Bad Beetleborgs was even more kid-centric with a truly funny beat and it’s amazing Fox didn’t cross them over at some point. Also interesting was Mystic Knight of Tir Na Nog, an original series set in ancient Ireland. Fans insist all these shows take place in the same universe and with Mystic Knights, the “magic” of the show was what would become known as the Morphing Grid to transform their knights into special armor. While Saban has never confirmed it, fans love to think that this universe is more than just the Rangers.
9. There’s A Ranger Limit
A key question that comes up in series is an obvious one: Why is there only a handful of Rangers? Usually, the limit is six although some (Jungle Fury, Dino Charge) are able to expand to nearly a dozen if need be. In series like RPM or SPD, an army of Rangers would be very helpful yet it’s always the same number of roughly six. The reason plays into a long-standing theory that the Morphing Grid that gives the powers has a mind of its own and decides who gets the powers and how. Spreading that power out would make it weaker and thus a hundred Rangers would actually be far less effective than a half dozen. The Rangers are chosen for their bravery and the unique skill and spirit needed to be effective and finding folks that aren’t common. The Grid can judge who is worthy and who isn’t and only a select few meet its criteria. As much as fans like to think of pure Ranger armies, the fact is that the Grid decides less is really more and the small teams are the best to carry on the legacy.
8. The Timeline Is Split
With versions that take place in a variety of time periods, it’s no surprise that the Power Rangers franchise can contradict itself at times in history. It begins with how the events of the 1995 movie involving villain Ivan Ooze are never referenced at all in the show, leading to the idea that takes place in an alternate timeline. That’s not to mention the wild storyline of the Rangers reduced to children for a time and thus the idea that when things were set right, it altered the time stream a bit. Time Force is set in the year 3000 while SPD takes place in 2025 yet SPD has better technology and aliens living on Earth.
Many point out to a key thing, which is that RPM takes place in a future where the evil artificial intelligence Venjix basically conquered Earth and wiped out all humanity and thus it took centuries for Earth to get back to normal. RPM was intended to be the final incarnation of the franchise but it’s continued since and thus now it appears RPM is an alternate future as are SPD and Time Force. Although some also argue that SPD was wiped out because of the events of RPM. Yeah, it’s enough to give you a headache but does explain how so many future teams can exist in one go.
7. Parallel Earth
Obviously, you can argue that the series takes place in an alternate Earth already because of the whole “aliens and teens with super powers” thing. However, some take it another step. It was obvious from the start Angel Grove was meant to be in California but during one adventure, the Rangers are sent back to an Angel Grove that clearly resembles Colonial Williamsburg. Thus, the concept has come that this is a world where, instead of the Spanish, the British founded California and thus that influence is why the population is so dominantly white. Some go further to say there is no Los Angeles in this world and Angel Grove is its substitute. Also, the various degrees of technology, including space colonies and the ability to build massive fortresses for teams like Lightspeed Rescue gives the idea that technology grew far more advanced faster in this world. An intriguing idea that explains more of how vastly different this world is.
6. There’s A Time Limit For Rangers
Since the end of In Space, the tradition has been set: Every season brings a brand new Ranger team brought together, often by chance, other times by plan. With few exceptions (Tommy in Dino Thunder), you never see Rangers coming back with powers. This raises the question as to why but the answer can be logical. First of all, the simple fact that the human body (even one with some abilities already) can’t handle the influx of power of the Morphing Grid without burning out. Thus, as soon as a Ranger gets powers, there’s a “time limit” to how long they can last with them before it gets too dangerous. This ties into the long-standing theory that the “Grid” is actually sentient in its own way and decides how many Rangers are needed for a specific threat. The original Rangers handled it by shifting their powers about (MMPR, Zeo, Turbo) but eventually had to give them up. Indeed, when Black Ranger Adam showed up in a later Space storyline, it was shown how using his old morpher was dangerous for him. The Grid needs the powers to come back to recycle them for the next incarnation. While it’s played with (the massive past Rangers battle in Megaforce), it showcases that when it comes to the power of the Rangers, the Grid decides less is more and it’s better they don’t carry the burden all their lives.
5. Family Connections
While it’s not confirmed, fans love to imagine a lot of family connections over the series. It makes sense given how it expands over generations and thus plenty of ideas to play with. An obvious one was that Divatox, the villainess of Turbo was actually the sister of the team’s mentor, Demitria. It was hinted at various times but never fully made clear. Fans believe that Tommy ended up marrying teammate Kate. Meanwhile, since SPD takes place in the future, it’s imagined that Elizabeth “Z” Delgado is the daughter of Wild Force Black Ranger Danny Delgado. Likewise, Sky of SPD is believed to be the son of Alex, the Red Ranger from Time Force. Then there’s Thrax who introduces himself as the son of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa in Operation Overdrive. Most believe he’s not really their son but rather using it to make himself seem a bigger deal. There are a few other suggestions as it shows how fans love to imagine the Rangers being a real family deal aside from just a random bunch of heroic teens.
4. Trini Has Died
Vietnamese-born Thuy Trang was as unknown as the rest of the actors when she was cast as Yellow Ranger Trini. Putting aside the troubling aspect of an Asian playing the Yellow Ranger, she was good in the part and a key part of the show. In 1994, she, Walter Jones and Austin St. John decided to stand up to producers in a demand for more money. The show-runners called their bluff, basically firing the trio and replacing them with new Rangers. Trang did some work like the movie The Crow: City of Angels, but tragically, on September 3rd, 2001, Trang was killed in a car accident. Her funeral was one of the few times the entire original cast has gotten together since leaving the show with Amy Jo Johnson giving a tearful eulogy.
The series did end an episode that week with an “in memory of” line although not much mention since. To many fans, this obviously means Trini also died at some point. It’s a common thing in fan fiction as they use references to Trini having passed on in some way, usually also in an accident. It’s a sad reminder of the loss of one of the original Rangers but fans use it as a tribute as well to the memory of the first Yellow Ranger.
3. Zordon Was Evil
This may seem crazy as Zordon was seen as a fantastic force for good. But some fans hold to the idea that he wasn’t as noble as he seemed. The idea is that Zordon was a dark figure but hid it far better under a veneer of being a good man. He had been biding his time in secret, waiting for humanity to get to the technology level for him to finally break out and conquer. When Rita Repulsa showed up, Zordon decided he didn’t want any competition. So, he recruited the teenagers, convincing them that this witch and her monsters were evil but Zordon the good guy fighting them off. Zedd and Rita both knew of him being evil but figured the Rangers were in on it with him. Conversely, they figured Zordon’s scam but were amused by the idea so decided to play along, thinking they could still take out the Rangers. So Zordon not only has a team of warriors able to fight against his enemies but having them think they’re on the side of right fuels them as they trust him completely. Thus, if he were to, say, influence them to start fighting against other “enemies” like Earth’s own forces, they would go with him, thinking he must know something. A wild idea (and Zordon’s ultimate sacrifice seems to hinder the theory) but intriguing to think the Rangers might have been on the wrong side all along.
2. Zordon Was… Ernie?!
You think Zordon being evil was crazy? Try this one. Ernie was introduced in the pilot, the overweight but friendly owner of the Juice Bar where the kids hung out at. Practically every key event of the series took place there from the karate tournaments where the gang first met Tommy and replacement Rangers Aishia, Adam and Rocky to school fairs, parties and more. Thus, fans contend that Ernie was actually Zordon in human form. It was an idea the producers actually played with and David Felding (who played Zordon) was under the impression that was the case. Zordon was using the role of Ernie to keep an eye on the team in their regular lives and make sure they were handling things okay. He was also hosting events like tournaments to see the possibility of who could be worthy of being a future Ranger. He encouraged Billy to get karate lessons, knowing someone so smart would be good with fighting skills. Out of everyone on Earth, he chose five teens who happened to be at the same place at the same time. Also, when Zordon leaves during Turbo, Ernie also vanishes with some explanation of him going overseas. It may seem crazy but the idea of Zordon being right under the Rangers’ noses is a fun way to look back at the series.
1. The Civil War Plot
This is partly based on varying information from sources, but also a lot of fan push as well. In 2003, Fox finally decided to let the show go and it was bought by Disney who moved it to ABC. While the first idea was what would become Ninja Storm, a much bigger idea was pushed under the code-name “Hexagon.” The idea was that Tommy Oliver would be managing a Ninja academy while also helping other former Rangers in working to keep peace in the world. Instead of just one city, the Ninja Rangers would be sent around the world to fight foes that would include some leftovers of past seasons while less unified than before. However, the characters who became the Thunder Ninjas would be part of another group led by former Red Ranger Jason who wanted to be more strident and do their own thing. The idea would be for various former Rangers to pop in and things to grow more and more, leading to a massive showdown between the two Rangers sides.
This was daring and epic and quite probably a key reason it was never done. A big theme would be Tommy basically trying to “fix” the world and his own teammates realizing he’d gone a bit too far and had to pull him back. Of course, the Rangers would end up all uniting to face a deadly threat with Tommy deciding they were better off in smaller groups. Again, the challenge of getting all these past characters and the pressures it would put on the budget led to the far simpler Ninja Storm. But this was a notable idea of how grand the MMPR universe had become to inspire something like this.