original power rangers actors

’90s kids had a lot of expectations going into Power Rangers, the big-budget movie reboot of the weird and kitschy American sentai show. We wanted to live their ass-kicking superhero lives (I predictably was a Pink Ranger wannabe), and the anticipation was high for it the movie to measure up to the beloved childhood series.

But for the actors who actually lived the Ranger Life, expectations were even higher. And they weren’t exactly met.

There were a lot of differences between the 2017 Power Rangers and the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series. First and foremost, most of the weird, elements were gone in favor of a more sinister and evil villain — Rita Repulsa was much more threatening than her comedic TV counterpart — and acerbic heroes from broken homes instead of the wholesome moral heroes we got in the ’90s.

While it was grittier, darker and more-self serious, Power Rangers successfully rode the nostalgia wave, delivering an ultimately satisfying movie to many fans of the original series. The overall critical reception was decidedly more mixed but they didn’t connect to the original series like we did, man.

original power rangers series 5

But speaking of personal connection, what did the actors who were actually involved with the original series think of the darker remake?

Comicbook caught up with Walter Jones, the original Black Ranger Zack Taylor, and David Yost, Blue Ranger Billy Cranston, at the C2E2 Convention to find out their thoughts on the new (but maybe not improved?) Power Rangers.

Jones had an issue specifically with how the movie portrayed his character Zack, played in the movie by Chinese actor Ludi Lin.

“I was a little disappointed that they changed the characters around a little bit because I wanted Zack to be with his kido because Hip Hop Kido was a really important element of who I was on Power Rangers. I think if they would have added that then there could have been some parkour and there could have been so many other elements to that character that it would have been awesome.”

The movie had changed around the races of some of the characters to avoid the troubling racial associations (the original Yellow Ranger was Asian, the Black Ranger was black, etc.), so this change in Zack’s character is a whole other issue that it sounds like Jones has to work out for himself.

As for Yost, his criticisms had to do with the overall tone of the movie, and its reluctance to lean into the camp that made the original series so famous.

“The only thing I care about progression wise when they do a sequel and they morph they better bring it and they better say ‘It’s Morphin Time.’ When we said, ‘It’s morphing time!,’ it was like, ‘Shit’s about to go down;’ when they said it in the movie it was so lackadaisical I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

They both also commented on how the Megazord did not live up to their expectations. On the original show, they would all combine into one giant machine with all of them sharing the cockpit, while in the movie they remained separate. Admittedly, this is one part of the movie in which it could’ve abandoned its ironic detachment to the silliness of the original series and just leaned into it. Maybe we’ll get a real “It’s morphin’ time!” in the sequel.

However, both Jones and Yost praised the new cast, especially R.J. Cyler who is the new Billy. Yost was also pleased that Billy was on the autism spectrum in the film.

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