You know the classic bridge to the guilty pleasure chorus of most seasoned nerds’ childhood: power and the force like you’ve never seen before, ability to morph to even up the score, no one can ever take them down (arguably) but if they do, they have their modular mech suits to save the day! The announcement of the newest Power Rangers team roster did tug at a lot of heartstrings in that certain nostalgic way, but the recent details about their newest transformations sound kind of…adventurous.
The new Power Rangers team will be reprising the roles of the first generation sentai superheroes, with Becky G in the role of Trini, RJ Cyler as Billy, Naomi Scott reprising Kimberly, Ludi Lin as Zack and Dacre Montgomery as Jason. The team is looking mighty fine, owning the iconic teenagers-with-attitude look (updated for millennial sensibilities) but here’s the ‘brave new world’ approach that sounds kind of nebulous. According to a recent statement made by the film’s director, Dean Israelite, regarding the new Ranger costumes:
“We’ve really pushed ourselves to make them feel different from any other superhero costume that’s out there…one key that’s different to the Power Ranger suits is that they’re not really suits that people get into. They’re suits that morph onto our kids, so they already have this almost metaphysical quality to them.”
Alright, so here’s the thing: we understand that the director and the development team decided to try something new and bold for the re-imagining of the world’s most iconic transforming super-team. Obviously, they are going to go with a more Miracleman approach to the issue, with the teenagers transforming into the sentai heroes, instead of the tried and true Iron Man technique of them just slipping onto the suits, but how will that affect the team’s look? How will these newer, sleeker transformations actually impact the look of the heroes or even the story? What are the metaphysical elements? And more importantly, how far are the developers willing to stray from the source material?
A lot of the above mentioned questions are largely conjecture and cynical old nerd instincts kick in, but we can’t help but wonder at the overall vague aspect of this statement. On one hand, we want the story to take a new direction that’s not been explored before and to breathe new life into te formulaic story. On the other, we find ourselves wishing the film doesn’t stray too far from its roots. If half a century’s worth of nerd culture has taught us anything, it’s that it doesn’t pay to mess about with the canon.