Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)
This one is set some time in the ‘not too distant future’, so I’m assuming it’s like…2007? Four teenagers leave Earth for a new space colony called Terra Ventura. Unsurprisingly, they run into some of the millions of aliens that populate our galaxy. One of them is this jungle queen girl (played by Cerina Vincent, who grew up to be quite pretty) who gives them some swords called Quasar Sabers that are stuck into rocks on her home planet. The kids have to pull them out and then a wizard declares them all joint kings of England.
Then one of the kids falls down a crevasse and dies. I am not even kidding. Luckily he had a premonition or something and gave the Quasar Saber to his little brother so there wouldn’t be a Power Ranger gap.
The Galaxy Rangers get not one but two sets of evil aliens from different parts of the universe. These include some scorpion/insect bad guys, a robot who for some reason wears an Elizabethan ruffle around his neck, and a space pirate whose body is- I kid you not- shaped like a pirate ship. They also run into this guy called the Magna Defender, who turns out to be an ally, and is some kind of nice space entity who, in DC comics fashion, has taken the dead Power Ranger who fell down the crevasse ‘s body and is using it for a host. He dies eventually. Again.
Then the Elizabethan robot resurrects the Psycho Rangers (yay!) and the Pink Ranger sacrifices her life and the former evil space princess Astronema takes over the Pink Galaxy Ranger role.
There’s an unusual amount of death in this series. My kid kind of got it but not really, because he’s 3.
Oh, and their Zords are actually ancient creatures that live in the Quasar Sabers and are called Galactabeasts. Lost Galaxy is kind of a weird show, all around.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
Power Rangers are so awesome that if you are in trouble 186,282 miles away from them, they will rescue you exactly one second after you fall into peril. Unfortunately their helmets have even dumber visors than the Zeo Rangers’.
This series is set in a fake city in California that, like all good cities, is built on a demonic burial ground. Somehow the demons get free from their tombs and start attacking people so the city government recruits a bunch of people with various specialties to stop them and save people. Like one was a fireman, one trained orcas and was a lifeguard, one is an x-sports athlete, one’s a stunt pilot, and one is a nurse.
There’s also this huge support staff of scientists and shit, and they work out of an underwater base like in Sealab 2021, but not as funny. The base is in the sea because, like the aliens in Signs, which is maybe the most disappointing movie ever, the demons are scared of water. And like in all the other series, there’s a wacky Ranger who shows up out of the blue to help out, the Titanium Ranger. And all the Zords and such are destroyed. Again.
At some point the Lightspeed Rangers hook up with the Galaxy Rangers and they have to fight this evil bug-woman from the last show. I’m not totally sure because I wasn’t really paying attention. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue is kind of boring.
Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
It is the year 3000. The world is overrun by mutants with super powers (but they’re all evil, so it’s like they’re all Brotherhood and no X-Men), and there’s a police agency called the Time Force to catch them. The worst criminal, Ransik, is captured and shipped off to mutant jail, but he manages to break out and travel back in time to 2001. In the process he kills the Red Time Force Ranger, who was engaged to the Pink Force Ranger (at this point maybe the producers thought the original fans were still watching, I guess, so they jacked up the tragedy, kind of like in the Harry Potter books). The Rangers travel back to 2001 to catch Ransik, but nobody told them that their morphers wouldn’t work without someone who has Alex’s DNA to activate them.
I can’t begin to articulate what a dumbass policy that is.
So they find this rich party boy ancestor of Alex’s to unlock the morphers, and Jen hates him because he looks exactly like her dead fiancee, but he’s a douchebag, and then he learns responsibility/teamwork/caring and all that bullshit, and joins the Time Force Rangers to battle mutants across the centuries.
In the meantime some archaeologists find a box with the Quantum Ranger morpher and it ends up in the hands of a police guy from 2001, so he becomes the bonus Quantum Ranger.
After that is gets confusing because Alex comes from the future and says he’s alive again because the Rangers did something in the past that changed what happened in the year 3000. He takes back his role as the Red Ranger, but eventually everyone realizes he’s kind of become a dick, so he relinquishes his morpher back to his ancestor, giving up his Red Ranger powers. Confused yet? My kid was.
When Ransik (who is actually kind of awesome- he looks like he entered the Thunderdome and emerged victorious. Ransik wouldn’t have hesitated to kill Blaster, oh no) makes his Final Assault on Earth, all the Power Rangers except the Quantum Ranger and the new Red Ranger have to go back to 3000, or they might not get another chance. They get to the future and learn that Earth was saved back in 2001, but the Red Ranger died in the process. They buck their orders to stay and go back to 2001 to fight Ransik and hopefully save their friend. But then Ransik accidentally hurts his daughter (who should be in a j-pop girl band- oh my God, what were the costume designers smoking?) and is so traumatized he surrenders to the Rangers anyway. See, mutants aren’t totally evil.
So the new Red Ranger is saved and -I TOTALLY called this from the beginning of the series- the Pink Ranger dumps Alex’s ass and she and the new Red Ranger profess their love for each other. But it’s not to be because they live 1,000 years apart. Ah, well. Can’t have everything. She should just be content that her helmet doesn’t look stupid. Oh wait. Yes it does. It has a freaking heart on it.
Power Rangers Time Force was the last series produced by Saban, which I think is part of the reason it all kind of went downhill until Saban returned to producing it a decade later.
Power Rangers Wild Force (2002)
This series opens with a white teenager who lives with a primitive tribe on some unnamed Pacific island (I assume, as they’re in a jungle). He has no clues to his identity but an old photograph of him as a baby with his parents (and the fact that he speaks English, I guess, even though he was a baby when he was adopted by the tribe). Now he’s a teenager though, it’s time for him to find his own people or something, so he swims to California to discover his heritage.
Meanwhile, there is a flying island in the sky, that is shaped like a turtle, called Animarium, which is ruled by a mystical princess who can give teenagers with attitude magic Ranger Powers. She has four Rangers collected when the series starts, and of course Cole is the fifth. It’s never entirely clear how the kids move between Animarium and Earth; I guess they have a neat Star Trek teleporter setup or something. Thousands of years ago these creatures called Orgs tried to do evil shit, but were imprisoned on Earth, and now pollution or something has weakened their prisons and they’re back, baby! All the Orgs have horns on their heads. This is how you can tell they are bad guys. Also you can tell because they are made of foam rubber.
Cole eventually finds out the truth about his parents, who were doing an archaeological dig when they found the Master Org, and got killed for their trouble. Luckily their baby, who they’d taken on their dig for some reason, was adopted by the jungle tribe.
There’s this other guy who was an ancient warrior who originally put the Orgs into prison, and has been brought back to life. He can shapeshift into the Lunar Wolf Ranger, so I guess he’s the bonus Ranger on this one.
The Orgs are weird; they’re supposed to be like animals, but they all resemble real things; there’s a Turbine Org, a Bell Org and bizzarely, a Wedding Dress Org. In the end some of the Orgs’ allies betrayed them and helped the Rangers, who lost their powers, so their Zords came and did the work of defeating them. It makes you feel kind of cheated, actually.
When the villains are defeated that selfish bitch the princess of Animarium takes back their powers and they have to go back to being normal teenagers. Except for Cole, because you know, raised by a jungle tribe and all.
Check back next week for more of the history of the Power Rangers!
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