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6 Things We Want to See in Power Rangers Beast Morphers

The momentum built towards a new Power Rangers series is always a fun one to ride, but Power Rangers Beast Morphers promises to be a different ride from others, and is packaged with more expectation from fans than recent past series. Power Rangers Beast Morphers will be the first entry in the franchise under its third and newest owners, Hasbro. The selling of their merchandise rights from Bandai to Hasbro earlier in the year rapidly evolved into a full-blown house-move for the franchise as it left Saban for a second time.

Beast Morphers promises to be one of the more intriguing entries in Power Rangers. For the first time in the show’s history, it will adapt a season of Super Sentai that was previously skipped over by Power Rangers‘ past owners. By the time Power Rangers Beast Morphers airs in February, its source material, Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, will be an aged seven years old. Armed with a new franchise logo, Power Rangers Beast Morphers is set to usher in a revitalised era for the franchise, so let’s countdown six things we’re keen to see in this new series.

6. A New Era

The colloquially-named Neo-Saban era of Power Rangers, stretching between Samurai and Ninja Steel, has left fans somewhat perturbed by the franchise they love. Samurai, Megaforce, Dino Charge and Ninja Steel are generally viewed as lesser seasons compared to what has come before. Saban’s re-acquisition of Power Rangers from Disney had timed itself towards the show’s 20th anniversary, celebrated in Power Rangers Megaforce. Neither Samurai or Megaforce were taken well with fans.

Former Power Rangers writer/editor James W. Bates claimed that Samurai and Megaforce were plagued with creative issues brought about chiefly by then-producer Jonathan Tzacher, who wanted action prioritised over character growth or intriguing story-telling. For undisclosed reasons, come Dino Charge, Tzacher was replaced by Judd Chip Lynn, who assembled a new writing team and found some creative spark with Dino Charge, but lapsed into generic Ranger fare for Ninja Steel.

The re-birth of the franchise raises hopes for improved quality, however Chip Lynn is set to return, marking his fifth instance in executive producing a Power Rangers series. It’s debatable then just how different Beast Morphers may be in terms of tone and direction, yet new owners point towards a fresh perspective.

5. Probing the Mythology?

Story details on Beast Morphers are currently bare, yet the premise itself sounds like a fairly faithful adaptation of Go-Busters. The very mention of the Moprhin Grid is downright intriguing. For the uninitiated, the Morphin Grid is essentially Power Rangers‘ equivalent of The Force or The Matrix of Leadership. What the Morphin Grid actually is is debatable, yet it’s the source of the Rangers’ power. No matter how far apart each season may be in terms of continuity, the Morphin Grid has remained relatively consistent and singular.

Will Beast Morphers feature very direct ties with the Morphin Grid, and therefore probe deeper into the mythology behind Power Rangers? It may seem like an otherwise curious thing to mull over, yet the anchoring of the Morphin Grid hints towards a series who’s story is focused and bears consequences that could ripple beyond the world of Beast Morphers. Coming off from an era littered with passable filler content, such a move would be most welcomed.

4. Palpable Stakes

Spinning off from the above reason then, something that Power Rangers has lacked in recent times is memorable villains and impressive stakes. Megaforce/Super Megaforce‘s lack of creativity in particular demonstrated the worst attributes of having villains who were evil for the sake of being evil. In the context of Power Rangers, creativity is a curious, sometimes unachievable aspect. The mythology of a Power Rangers series is subservient to its Super Sentai source material, whether the season in question is a straight-forward translation of the Sentai season or something more ambitious. Power Rangers always works from an existing product, never a blank slate.

That hasn’t stopped past seasons from becoming respected entries in the Power Rangers franchise for their sensible story-telling and intriguing characters, whether they’re relatively reflective of their source material (Time Force) or pursue a more original direction (RPM). There’s little reason then why Beast Morphers couldn’t do the same.

3. Connect with Younger Fans

The discourse of Power Rangers between its fans has taken on many forms over the years. Forums, blogs, podcasts, conventions and fan films are to be found across the internet. Such is the level of discourse amongst these older fans who have stuck with the franchise across its numerous incarnations that it can perhaps be overlooked how Power Rangers‘ primary and target audience is, first and foremost, children.

Power Rangers‘ recent expansion into other forms of media has been met with applause from older fans, including the 2017 movie (who’s future still remains in something of a limbo) and numerous comic book adaptations from BOOM Studios. However, one could see these movies as attempts to increase Power Rangers‘ standing as a versatile, multimedia product, one that can appeal to multiple audiences thanks to multiple incarnations. Where older fans can perhaps enjoy spin-off material, the TV series can be left to entice the core audience of younger viewers who, whether they grow up to become the next generation of Power Rangers fans, sustain the series’ longevity on the small screen.

2. Less Gimmicks

This is perhaps wishful thinking on my part, but you can’t deny how the Ranger teams of the Neo-Saban era had their spandex pockets littered with more gadgets and power-up items than the earlier days of the franchise. Harking back to my earlier point of Power Rangers‘ subservience to its Japanese counterpart, gimmicks have been increasing in numbers for Super Sentai for the past few years – Gosei Cards, Ranger Keys, Zyudenchi, ToQ Ressha, Nin Shuriken, Kyutama. These small devices are integral to the transformation process of our heroes, and a plague on the wallets of the rest of us.

Beyond Samurai, Megaforce, Dino Charge and Ninja Steel adapted Super Sentai series that boasted these collectable items, signalling the merchandise-driven nature of the Neo Saban era. Megaforce and Super Megaforce displayed the arrogant nature of Power Rangers in full when its sole focused on such matters, where story-lines were dictated by the need to frantically plug their merchandise to fans.

With its lack of gimmicky morphers that didn’t rely on collectables and a smaller team of Rangers, Beast Morphers looks to step away from the merch-driven nature of recent seasons and not be so caught up in money-making ideals. Still, that didn’t stop Hasbro from announcing the first wave of Beast Morphers merchandise as quickly as possible, involving repainting and slightly remoulding figures from their Transformers line into the Beast Morpher Rangers (it had to happen sometime). Ah well, maybe it’s just impossible to not be cynical when it comes to Power Rangers toys.

1. Don’t be Awful

A simple yet honest request. Fandom, by its very nature, is a diverse beast that’s susceptible to internal conflict. Opinions on what stands as the best or worst of something can differ greatly, yet much of the Power Rangers fandom has found a harmonious unity in its shared disdain for the bulk of the Neo-Saban era. The past eight years have felt something like prolonged exposure to an horrendous Christmas cracker joke. It’s contents may be sub-par, but the majority is at least bonded in feeling this way.

In the grand scheme of things, we demand simple things from a Power Rangers season. We enjoy all the high-spirited action and adventure that’s standard fare for the series, yet we also enjoy the drama, the humour, the heroes and villains driving a story that blossoms into a grand finale of morphenomenal adventure. A cohesive story with engaging, three-dimensional characters is something Power Rangers has managed to couple together with action-heavy Super Sentai footage time and time again. Power Rangers Beast Morphers has every opportunity to be a quality addition to a franchise one may consider lost in a cycle of trying to capture the same zeitgeist it once had 25 years ago.

Are you excited for Power Rangers Beast Morphers? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Fred McNamara