The original Power Rangers television show was known for it’s attempts to act as a moral compass for it’s audience. Good kids don power suits, fight evil and learn valuable lessons along the way. The Rangers are getting a reboot with the forthcoming movie Power Rangers and they’re mixing things up and bringing the series into the 21st century.
The film’s director Dean Israelite has confirmed that Yellow Ranger, Trini, is battling more than her newfound super hero identity. “For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is… She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK.’ The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
The scene Israelite is referring to sees one character assume Trini is having ‘boyfriend troubles’ only to realize it could also just as easily be ‘girlfriend troubles’. It’s hardly a Gay Pride parade marching down Angel Grove but it’s a scene that carries a lot of weight even if it’s not the longest. Queer representation in a blockbuster movie is only going to have a positive impact on younger audiences.
The movie is also being celebrated for portraying a member of the Rangers team as being on the Autism spectrum. Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston, is on the spectrum. While we don’t know just yet what impact it will have on his role or the story it’s a welcome inclusion in positively portraying the neurodevelopmental disorder and the people who live with it.
Speaking about his character, RJ Cyler opened up about the responsibility of portraying Billy, “I knew that it was my job to show, you know, that people that are on the spectrum are just regular people, literally, just how we talk, how me and Becky [Becky G, Yellow Ranger] talk, they feel the same way, they have the same emotions, they wanna be loved, that want people to love, they want relationships they want, you know, connections, and it’s just like I was really excited to be able to play that ’cause I know it means so much to so many people”
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