I haven’t watched Power Rangers in quite some time but I have fond memories of the Fox television series from my youth. It was a crazy combination of US actors mixed with sequences from the Japanese series Super Sentai. I always considered it a Voltron knockoff but discovered that the live-action Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Japanese counterpart was released before the animated Voltron series.
My mind was blown.
Now, 30 years later, my mind is blown once again. Netflix released a short film to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the television series that changed weekday afternoons. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since American youth were introduced to these characters. They’ve gone through many generations, but one phrase stands true:
Once a ranger, always a ranger.
This movie is set 30 years after the original Power Rangers series. It brings back many of the original cast, including the Blue Ranger Billy Cranston (David Yost), Black Ranger Zack Taylor (Walter Emmanuel Jones), the replacement Pink Ranger Katherine Hillard (Catherine Sutherland), the second Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Rocky DeSantos (Steve Cardenas), the second Yellow Ranger of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Aisha Campbell (Karen Ashley), and the second Black Ranger Adam Park (Johnny Yong Bosch). The nostalgia was strong with the cast lineup.
There were also touching moments, such as the tribute to the original Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan (Thuy Trang played her in the original series but died in a tragic car accident in 2001). There was also a tribute to Jason David Frank, the Green Ranger, who passed away tragically due to suicide in 2022.
Everything felt like a direct callback to the ’90s. This short film brought everything one could want back to the Power Rangers world except for the characters we just can’t bring back.
Be prepared for you to wipe away some tears, cheer on the Rangers, and put on your Reel Leaders suits. This movie will give everything a child of the ’90s could ever want.
Quotes And Leadership Lessons From Might Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always
1. You’re not as alone as you think you are:
The movie opens with Billy being attacked by a Robotic Rita Repulsa (voiced by Barbara Goodson). *Fun fact: I met the original actress for Rita Repulsa, Carla Perez, at the Grand Rapids Comic Con. She was a peach and appeared briefly in a scene from the original series)* He’s alone in a grassy field. Rita unleashes her putty minions on him. He looks like he’s about to be defeated.
Rita Repulsa drives home that Billy will die alone. But Billy wasn’t alone. Rangers were coming to his aid.
Before Rita and her minions can finish Billy off, the Yellow, Red, Pink, Black, and Green Rangers teleport into the battle.
You’re not alone. You may feel that way, but you never are.
There are people there for you. Your team wants to see you succeed. Your family wants to see you succeed. And they’re all there for you.
Accept their help. Stop pushing them away.
2. The best leaders are sacrificial leaders:
In a heartwrenching scene, we see the death of the Yellow Ranger. Rita Repulsa powers up her magical staff and unleashes a powerful blast aimed at Billy, the Blue Ranger. Trini, the Yellow Ranger, sees what is about to happen. She leaps towards Billy.
She is hit with the blast. She has given up her life for one of her teammates (and a beautiful tribute to Trang).
The best leaders are sacrificial leaders. They know they have to give of themselves to help their teams and organizations to succeed.
Now, I don’t ever want you to literally lay down your life for your team unless you absolutely have to, but there is something to be said about leaders sacrificing themselves for the greater good. You must be willing to set aside your preferences and ideas for your team.
Listen to them. Be willing to let go of the ideas you’ve clutched to for so long. Be ready to set aside your personal needs for those of your team, as well. Sometimes, you have to hurt financially so your team can be cared for.
3. Billy Cranston:
Rules can be broken for a good reason.
We discover that Trini has a daughter. A teenager named Minh Kwan (Charlie Kersh). She just lost her mother and didn’t know Trini was the Yellow Ranger.
Zack and Billy argue over whether or not to tell Minh the truth about her mother. Billy believes they should. Zack disagrees.
To further complicate things, there were rules put in place. They were never to reveal their identities.
Billy puts forth a great argument that ends with, “Rules can be broken for a good reason.” It’s something I believe.
We put rules into place to prevent negative things from happening. Someone did something a long time ago and the rules prevent that from happening again.
What happens when the rules get in the way of the truth, a positive outcome, or healing? I believe they can be broken. I think you can agree on this as well.
Rules are guardrails for us. They’re not immutable. Know when to break the rules.
4. It’s okay to run at times:
It was the one-year anniversary of Trini’s death. The other Rangers go to visit her gravesite. The Red, Green, and Pink Rangers were already there, mourning. Billy, Zack, and Minh arrive late.
They also don’t arrive at a memorial. They arrive at a battle.
Rita Repulsa with her created creatures, Robo Minotaur (Ryan Cooper) and Robo Snizzard (Daniel Watterson). She unleashes them upon the Rangers. Snizzard bites the Red, Green, and Pink Rangers, shrinking them down to action figure size.
Billy, Zack, and Minh see this happen. They have a choice. Do they continue the fight, or do they run away to fight another day?
They chose flight.
We think we have to fight every battle. We don’t. There’s a choice we get to make. We get to decide what is worth fighting for and when we need to run so that we can come back stronger.
Don’t be afraid to run away from negative situations or dangerous situations. You have to be able to come back.
Run when needed, fight when required.
5. Minh Kwan:
If mom could do it, so can I.
Minh discovered her mother had been the Yellow Ranger. She was inspired by the grit and fight Trini had in her. Trini had fought many dangerous battles.
This inspired Minh. She saw what her mother could do and wanted to do it. What her mother did inspired her to be something better, though her reasoning was flawed because it was fueled by revenge.
We all leave a legacy. The great leaders leave a legacy that inspires others to step into a leadership position.
Be the leader who inspires the next generation of leaders. And the next.
Your legacy can be one of great leaders standing up because of what you did.
6. Katherine ‘Kat’ Hillard
Once a Ranger…
Always a Ranger.
There was a danger to what Kat and Rocky were about to do. They didn’t have active Ranger coins of their own. Rather, there were duplicated coins that could be dangerous.
Why? Because the original coins’ powers were still active. They hadn’t been transferred yet.
Rocky and Kat didn’t care. They knew something all leaders know. Once they were a Ranger, they were always a Ranger.
Leaders, there’s something similar for us. I believe that once we’re a leader, we’re always a leader. There’s no taking it back from us.
Once you’ve become a leader, you have a responsibility. You have to lead when called upon. Be ready.
7. Zack Taylor:
You wanna be a hero? It’s a selfless path. It’s not always easy. But I do my best. Setting aside your ambitions can be a good thing. Like me, making sure that have a good life and a home
Minh wanted to become the Yellow Ranger for revenge. She couldn’t see past the burning rage in her heart to know why one becomes a Ranger. It’s not for their selfish gain. You became a Ranger and you have to set aside your ambitions.
Zack helped Minh understand this. It’s not an easy road, but it’s the road of a Ranger.
It’s also the road of the leader. You set aside your ambitions. You set aside your self.
When you do this, you can learn that doing things for others can be rewarding. It may even be better than the ambitions you once held for yourself.
8. Zack Taylor:
A mission of revenge can never end well. That’s not what I want for you.
Minh’s reasoning for fighting was for revenge. She wanted Rita Repulsa to pay for her mother’s death. This fueled her.
Zack saw this growing anger and hate growing within Minh. He wanted to help her avoid the dangerous path of revenge.
He wanted something better for Minh.
I want something better for you. I don’t want you to lead because of something someone once did to you (I’ve been there, done that). It’s not the path of a leader.
Leaders have to desire to lead because it’s where they’re called. Listen to your inner voice. Why are you leading? Is it the right reason?
9. We’re more powerful together:
Rita uses her magic wand to make her creatures grow. In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, she calls on this power to increase the size of Snizzard.
Any fan of Power Rangers knows what happens next. The Power Rangers call upon the power of their Megazord. This is a giant fighting robot comprised of five different robots.
The power of the Megazord is incalculable. It allows them to defeat powerful foes, just like the giant Snizzard.
There was a problem. There were only two Rangers in the Megazord, Minh and Billy.
Eventually, Zack, Kat, and Rocky join the duo in the Megazord. This was when they gained enough power to defeat Snizzard.
We form a powerful force when we bring the people on our teams together. We are more powerful together than we are alone.
Great leaders know how to connect with their teams. They know how to connect their teams to each other. And they know how to help them use the combined strength they’ve gained to win quotes, get stuff done, and succeed.
Bring people together.
10. Pay respects to former leaders:
What an emotional ride Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always took viewers on. At the end of the film, they knew what to do. They had to officially pay tribute to the fallen actors of the characters children had loved growing up.
The film showed photos of Jason David Frank and Thuy Trang. They also showed clips from the original series that brought back memories. We also got to see actress Amy Jo Johnson (who couldn’t film a scene for the movie) play the guitar.
It was a touching tribute to actors and actresses that we lost too early.
It’s great to pay tribute to those who have come before you. Especially if they’ve passed away.
Don’t forget the leaders of old. They set the groundwork for you to lead today. They deserve to be remembered and honored.