Set controls to outer space now flying higher than ever before! Rangers in space! Power Rangers is a franchise held near and dear to the hearts of many in the United States. Boasting an impressive history since it’s debut on August 28, 1993 as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and continuing on to the present day with Power Rangers Ninja Steel. However, one season, in particular, stands out amongst the fans as being one of the best if not the greatest point in Power Rangers history. Power Rangers in Space took everything about the original and made it even better by improving upon the formula.
Strong character arcs, a plot continuity that made sense, excellent themes, and villains with complex personalities were all heavily prominently in Power Rangers in Space. This was a contrast to the low point in the prior seasons, which came about due to Power Rangers Turbo being adapted from a parody Sentai series. However, to really understand what made Power Rangers in Space so great requires a retrospective look at the series.
Power Rangers in Space begins with the previous team escaping into outer space after their defeat. While in space, they run into Andros, the current Red Ranger and lone wolf, who pilots the Astro Megaship. This is not before introducing the audience to him by presenting Andros as infiltrating a meeting for the United Alliance of Evil, being discovered, and proceeding to escape said reunion. Andros is established as a badass and is quick to demonstrate the reason why he is the leader of the next group of Rangers. The initial reaction of fans to the character was great, but it wasn’t until a couple of episodes later, as they discovered his motivations, that fans truly fell in love with him.
Andros was the lone survivor of a planet devastated by a plague, which fans will discover was released by one of the villains. His primary objective is to find his little sister, who was abducted from their home planet by something (Andros is not aware). Through his journey as leader of the team, Andros will discover the best way to find his little sister is by relying on the team; initially, something which he has trouble accepting as he’s grown used to working alone. That’s not his only problem as Andros is also prone to losing his temper and acting rashly when angered. This is one of Andros’s biggest flaws and adds to the realism of his character.
You see, Andros is young, brash, immature, and inexperienced in leadership. He’s only ever worked in a two-man team and knows nothing about working in a full team of Rangers. Everyone Andros ever loved has either disappeared, died, or is currently in a cryogenic freeze. He’s having to go through a whole new set of experiences, and even harder is that he can’t relate to this team. They’re not only strangers, they’re literally from a whole different planet. He doesn’t even understand the nuances of romance and is dealing with a growing affection for the Yellow Ranger, Ashley. Zordon knew the potential Andros held, and throughout the series, we can see his growth from ineffectual loner to mature and sensible leader, placing the needs of others ahead of his own.
Eventually, Andros discovers that his sister is alive and has been brainwashed into being evil. His diligent search eventually yields results, but the happiness is short lived as Andros, once again, loses his sister. However, at this point, he has grown enough to realize that the galaxy’s stability takes priority over his own needs. Eventually, Andros is left with one choice in order to save the galaxy: destroy Zordon’s tube to unleash all of the positive energy inside. This was an enormous decision and one which was not to be taken lightly as Zordon’s rescue had also been a goal for the Power Rangers. But when push came to shove, Andros did what no villain had been able to do and destroyed Zordon.
Zordon’s sacrifice for the greater good allowed Andros to achieve his objective, save everything he’s learned to hold dear, and finish his character arc. It was through this that Andros learned what it truly meant to be a leader as he now understands that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. We saw Andros’s growth throughout the whole series and, to this day, it is one of the greatest character arcs in the whole Power Rangers series. Forever remembered as one of the greatest Red Rangers, Andros made his appearance in several more reunions for following seasons and is still held in high regard by the fanbase.
What other aspects made Power Rangers in Space so great? Tune in next week to find out.