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Dean Israelite's Power Rangers movie made waves after its release in March. Utilizing characters and settings from the classically campy 90s show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the blockbuster version modernized the classic iconography that so many of us remember fondly. One of the reasons for the film's positive buzz was for how inclusive the titular group was. The Rangers were an ethnically diverse group of outsiders that included someone on the autism spectrum and the franchise's first LBGT Power Ranger. The latter was Trini the Yellow Ranger, played by singer and actress Becky G, who recently spoke to the importance of her role.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Becky G about her role in Power Rangers. And when I asked the actress about the experience of playing the first queer Power Ranger, she addressed how warm the reception has been, saying:
The response that my character got was so special. Because it was real. It's something that's really relevant to our generation. And when I think about what she represents for a lot of people, it's just amazing.
Becky G certainly seems to understand the significance of Trini's inclusion in Power Rangers. Representation in the media has been a hot button issue for a few years now, and having the inclusion of an LBGT Ranger was no doubt a validating experience for many.
Part of what makes Trini's Power Rangers plot line so acclaimed was how understated and tastefully it was handled. Trini is a teenager, and she hasn't really figured it all out yet. She's hasn't yet grasped onto a label that she feels comfortable with, and shared her curiosity to the other Rangers. And while the experience of being questioning is one that can happen at any age, it certainly felt like a struggle that many folks in high school can identify with.
In addition to speaking to Trini's sexuality, Becky G also expressed how proud she was to be playing a Latina superhero. The vast majority of Marvel and DC's superheroes aren't people of color, so having a Latina Power Ranger feels as similarly significant as her sexuality. Overall, Power Rangers is just about the most inclusive film produced in recent years. And what's so remarkable about is that the Rangers aren't defined by what makes them unique and diverse. They're celebrated for themselves as a whole, rather than the sum of their parts.
It should be interesting to see whether or not a Power Rangers sequel is eventually ordered. The film didn't make quite as much money as originally projected, which director Dean Israelite feels is partly due to its PG-13 rating. But with conversation still swirling around the film's contents, it certainly feels like there is fan interest.
Power Rangers is currently available for home purchase across all platforms. And be sure to check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.