IT’S MASTER MORPHIN TIME!
POWER RANGERS 25TH ANNIVERSARY DEBUTS THE MASTER MORPHER
25 years of the Power Rangers franchise was celebrated with a legacy episode of the current Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel season. While the episode did see the return of 10 former rangers, one of those rangers was Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank).
For those who fell off the fanbase, Tommy has actually been a ranger five separate times, each with different colors and powers. Yes his most famous role was that of the Mighty Morphin Green ranger, but Hasbro decided to honor Tommy’s other ranger forms by giving him the Master Morpher. This morpher, which still looks like the one used during the Mighty Morphin seasons, allows Tommy to switch between his various forms. It’s actually a nice throwback to his original role and a simple yet excellent way to acknowledge the franchise’s history. Despite every iteration of the Power Rangers after Space consisting of separate teams, every now and then the franchise has found ways to connect every team together.
As for the episode itself…it’s one episode. You have a team of six rangers teaming up with ten returning rangers. While it’s not as grand a scale as the “Legendary Battle” episode of Super MegaForce (which was the series ending episode), having 16 characters to interact with each other in a story that lasts only one episode is terrible. There are exposition dumps, which are constantly repeated and the plot is revealed by returning characters without any of their original personality. Yes it’s been some time but these rangers were already old, so they couldn’t have lost personality over the years right?
Focusing more on the returning rangers, the focus was placed more on Tommy and Kat. It does make sense but if that was the case, then the other rangers weren’t needed. Also, despite Tommy getting most of the focus, he barely gets enough time. The fight in which he needs to bust out his Master Morpher is over in about two minutes. We also don’t see much of his relationship with Kat, despite the two having a son together. Are they married or was this a one night stand type of thing?
Also on the subject of time, the entire morphing sequence for everyone lasts 20 seconds. 16 rangers morphing with all the amazing effects that can polish older ranger transformations is only 20 seconds. Lastly, any fighting time dedicated to the Ninja Steel team is actually comprised of Sentai footage. Poor storytelling, lack of iconic character personalities and re-purposing footage from Japan does nothing to celebrate this iconic franchise. The adults who grew up on the franchise are severely disappointed, while the kids who do watch now can never develop an interest in the franchise as a whole from this episode. If the anniversary episode can’t connect the two fan-bases then the celebration was a waste.
At least you can watch Tommy’s Master Morpher in action below: