As soon as the casting for the upcoming Power Rangers flick was announced, it shattered expectations and broke new ground in superhero films with its multi-cultural cast.
However, diversity isn’t the only way that the film is making history. Based on the iconic ’90s television series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the film follows five teens who need an attitude adjustment. Together, they find themselves in position as the newest generation of Power Rangers sent to defeat the powerful witch and former Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) stars as the Red Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers. Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott) is the Pink Ranger, Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler) is the Blue Ranger, Trini (Becky G) is the Yellow Ranger and Zack (Ludi Lin ) is the Black Ranger.
However, it’s Trini, the Yellow Ranger’s story that is breaking barriers as the first queer superhero in a big budget feature film. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s director Dean Israelite said, “For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
Though superheroes that identify as LGBTQ appear in both Marvel Comics and the DC Universe, those type of storylines have not translated to the big screen until now. On television, The CW has been fairly progressive with their heroes’ sexual identities in shows like Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, but Power Rangers is taking on a global audience, giving Trini some major visibility. This is especially important because actor David Yost who played the original Blue Ranger on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series in the 1990’s left the show after being ridiculed for his sexual orientation. He said of the new film, “They really stepped up to the plate. I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation.”
We’re sure that there is going to be a ton of backlash surrounding Trini’s sexuality (many conservatives refused to see the live-action Beauty and the Beast this past weekend due to the gay storyline); however, we hope that Power Rangers encourages more space and visibility for LGBTQ characters, particularly millennials.
Power Rangers comes roaring into theaters on Friday, March 24, 2017. Will you be watching?