Dean Israelite's Power Rangers makes many changes to the Mighty Morphin' lore that 1990s kids grew up loving. Aside from the obvious visual and aesthetic differences (particularly when it comes to the suits), the reboot also makes some drastic alterations to the personalities of the characters -- turning them from model students into troubled teens. I recently spoke to the cast of the film to ask about those changes, and Naomi Scott, who portrays the Pink Ranger, explained that this creative decision helps make the Rangers more relatable to modern day kids. Scott elaborated:
I think it's really important because it has to be relevant to kids nowadays and things kids are going through. I think that kids and young people respond to real models as we've said before... with flaws and real people and imperfections and because my hope is that kids can see themselves in it, or at least one of us or relate specifically to one of the characters. And I also think that audiences are more sophisticated. Kids are smart and people have to invest in these characters, especially if they're going to go on to do more or whatever. So I think that's what's really important.
If you look back on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, you will notice that the initial versions of these characters were impossibly perfect. They were model students, great athletes (except Billy Cranston) and all-around good kids who spent their time hanging out at the juice bar of a youth center. That's a great example to set for kids, but it's not entirely realistic or relatable. The reboot takes the characters in the opposite direction by making them troubled youths who grow into their responsibilities as heroes. It's an important change, but it's also one that serves the reboot well as it translates these classic characters onto the silver screen.
I think it's also worth pointing out that Naomi Scott is right; audiences have become more sophisticated as superhero movies have progressed in recent years. As the genre has worn on, certain old-fashioned tropes have become tired and less viable. Although making this new team of Power Rangers into a group of John Hughes-esque misfits significantly alters a fundamental aspect of the Power Rangers lore, it also adds new levels of depth that turns the mythology on its head and keeps these characters fresh.
Check out the video below to see what Naomi Scott had to say about the new versions of the classic Power Rangers characters: