Even though the Power Rangers movie is taking inspiration from the early '90s pop culture hit that was Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, there are a lot of ways that this cinematic tale differs from the TV series, which is to be expected from a reboot. The main differences so far have largely been largely appearance-based, from the radically different design of the Rangers' suits and Zords to Rita Repulsa, Zordon and Alpha 5 rocking different looks. However, an update on the classic Power Rangers two decades later also means that characterization adjustments are also called for to better reflect the times and take the movie in a more realistic direction. For Trini the Yellow Ranger and Billy the Blue Ranger, that means making the former an LGBT character and the latter someone on the autism spectrum.
When moviegoers meets Power Rangers' version of Trini, she'll be questioning her sexual orientation, and actress Becky G told ScreenRant that it was commendable that the movie chose to include an LGBT character. She said:
Power Rangers has always represented diversity and they're always been ahead of the curve on a lot of things and although it may be a touchy subject for some people, I think it's done in a very classy way, and not only that, in a way that's really real, because you don't know, Trini doesn't know herself, and it's that moment where she says out loud, 'I've never said any of this out loud' and that line, where, you know, Zordon says 'You must shed your masks to wear this armor.' It's true. People should accept themselves for who they really are and be proud of that and take ownership of that first and learn that self love to really be happy; and I think that's why Trini never found her purpose just yet, until she met them and that's why she never really learned to love herself, because she didn't accept who she really is just yet.
As for Billy, actor RJ Cyler said to ScreenRant that it was important he show a "different viewpoint" of people on the autism spectrum in Power Rangers, one that paints them in a more normal light. He explained:
I actually sat down and shut my mouth and actually just listened and you know, accepted every bit of information with no judgement... 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, 'cause all of us are affected by it... and it's something I feel like we needed to have in this movie to be honest.
Trini and Billy, along with Jason the Red Ranger, Kimberly the Pink Ranger and Zack the Black Ranger, will be recruited by head-on-a-wall Zordon to stop the witch Rita Repulsa from accomplishing her evil plan. Along the way, audiences will learn about each of the five heroes' personal lives, delving into what makes them tick deeper than the '90s TV series ever did. Even though Power Rangers' primary draw is seeing the teenagers with attitude in colorful costumes battling aliens both on the ground and in their giant robots, the updates for Trini and Billy are good examples of how to make these characters more complex, but also more relatable.
Power Rangers morphs into action this Friday, March 24.