Cult Film, TV, Geek Art
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by Dave Rapoza
Power Rangers is a long-running American entertainment and merchandising franchise built around a live action children’s television series featuring teams of costumed heroes. Produced first by Saban Entertainment, later by BVS Entertainment, and currently by SCG Power Rangers LLC, the series took its initial premise and much of its footage from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai franchise. Its first entry, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, debuted on August 28, 1993, and helped launch the Fox Kids programming block of the 1990s, during which it catapulted into popular culture along with a line of action figures and other toys by Bandai.
Jason Lee Scott, played by actor Austin St. John was the original Red Ranger and team leader from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He later became the second Gold Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo.
Jason is a martial artist from the fictional town of Angel Grove, California. In the beginning of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he is selected by Zordon and Alpha 5, along with his closest friends Zack Taylor, Billy Cranston, Trini Kwan, and Kimberly Hart, as the five “teenagers with attitude” to become the original Power Rangers and defend Earth from the forces of the evil Rita Repulsa. When Zordon first confronts the teens to give them their powers, Jason is the only one who initially believes him. Jason becomes the Red Power Ranger, is given the Power Coin of the Tyrannosaurus “Dinozord” (a type of Transformer-esque robot), obtains the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord, and is made the team leader. He leads the Rangers into many successful battles against Rita’s monsters, establishing a rivalry with Rita’s number one henchman Goldar.
When Lord Zedd arrives and overruns Rita, he sends his new brand of Putty Patrollers to Earth. The Putties possess superior strength to Rita’s Putties, but it is Jason who discovers their weak spot. In order to compete with their new enemy’s more powerful monsters, the Dinozords are upgraded into the mythical Thunderzords; Jason’s being the Red Dragon Thunderzord, which can transform into a humanoid form. As with the Tyrannosaurus, the Red Dragon is capable of defeating a monster on its own, separate from the Megazord formation.
Some time later, Jason, Trini and Zack are chosen to act as ambassadors at a peace conference in Switzerland (after the actors playing the characters left the show over contract disputes), and are forced to leave the team. Zordon chooses Rocky DeSantos to replace Jason as the Red Ranger.