Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a staple of 90's culture, despite being a less than stellar children's show. Still, it touched the lives of many 90's kids, and has transformed into a franchise that is still strong today. But given the trend of exploiting nostalgia in TV and movies, we are about to see the original series get the hollywood blockbuster treatment for the first time since 1995's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Details and footage have all been scarce, but now we've gotten an even better look at Elizabeth Banks' villainous Rita Repulsa. And she's packing some magical heat.
Pretty cool right? Let's break down the newest addition to Rita Repulsa's look, and how it relates to the silly and poorly dubbed character from the original series.
Right off the bat, Elizabeth Banks' Rita looks to have a far more deadly weapon than the original. While the staff surely contains magical energy and can probably shoot an energy beam or two, it's also pretty damn sharp. We can easily see her going toe to toe with the likes of the Red Ranger's sword, and it's safe to assume that Rita is going to end up kicking some serious ass with her staff. The violence in Power Rangers will probably be much more realistic and brutal than the original campy show, so Rita may end up spilling blood with her new weapon.
The new Rita's weapon, along with her whole look, are quite different than the villain in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As a reminder, check out the OG villain below.
If you weren't already familiar with the franchise, you'd really never know that Elizabeth Banks is playing the same character. Alas, Power Rangers is making a ton of changes to the original characters, including their zords, suits, and morphers. Rita Repulsa is no exception, which you can see clearly from the juxtaposition between the above images.
The original Rita Repulsa was more of a talking head than a villain that the Power Rangers were actually engaging in combat with. Every week Rita would conjure a new monster to battle the teenagers with attitude, and the good guys would end up vanquishing it. From there, Rita would throw her staff (which is noticeably less sharp) down to earth, making the monster to grow and causing some mayhem at Angel Grove.
It's unclear if the new staff will function similarly to the original. We haven't seen Rita with any cronies or monsters, so she'll likely be the actual villain who is fighting the Rangers. The staff will probably allow Rita to grow herself and fight the MegaZord, but maybe she'll also use it to summon putties.
Power Rangers, complete with Elizabeth Banks' Rita Repulsa, will fly into theaters March 24th, 2017.