If there is one thing the nerd community loves to do, it’s to debate. Who shot first? Who is the best Doctor? Are Iron Man’s eye holes functional or cosmetic? Okay, maybe that last one is only between my friend and me. There is one argument that has split an entire fan base straight down the middle for over 2 decades: Who is better, the Green Power Ranger or the White Power Ranger?
Anybody who knows me will tell you of my deep love of anything Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Most people have some sort of ironic love for the show, with the mentality being “it’s bad, so it’s cool.” The love I have for MMPR is 100% pure. I love the message that it sends, I love the over-the-top villains, the once terrifying Lord Zedd, the actors, the fights, etc. In 22 years of watching, I have not once found one thing that I hate about MMPR. I love both the White and Green Ranger, but this debate has never made any sense to me. So I’m going to explain exactly why the answer to this question is an obvious one.
It is essential to note here that there is a difference between the two Rangers. Both were Tommy Oliver, but that is just about the end of the similarities.
The introduction of the White Power Ranger was an epic event for any fan. By the end of the 18th episode of season 2, it was discovered that Alpha5 and Zordon were creating a brand new Power Ranger. The next 24 hours turned into a whirlwind of guessing as to who, or what, the new Ranger would be. In retrospect, it was quite obviously Tommy, but we were kids! After the “big reveal,” fans everywhere rejoiced; we got the über-popular Tommy Oliver back.
The White Ranger was a great addition to the team, and it was fantastic that he was actually named the official leader of the Power Rangers after being considered the leader of the team throughout his Green Ranger days. The design of the new Ranger’s suit was awesome and provided something fresh to what amounted to palette-swapped Rangers. The downfall of the Green Power Ranger came because his powers were controlled by a dark magic candle created by Rita Repulsa. The more he used his powers, the more Tommy’s Green Ranger abilities faded. While they tried everything they could to preserve them, nothing could be done because he was created by darkness. The White Power Ranger, on the other hand, was created using the White Light of Good. This meant that his powers would be incorruptible and eternal (until the show called for an era change). Unfortunately, this is also what ultimately lost this argument for the White Power Ranger.
Not only did the Green Ranger’s limitations and risks create extraordinary stories, but they created a great character. Even after finding out that his powers were temporary and that they would fade faster the more he used them, Tommy opted to remain a full-time Ranger. He became the de facto leader when it became clear that he was able to unify the team far more than the Red Ranger ever did. Every time he morphed into the Green Ranger Tommy knew that it could be his last time, but he was always willing to take that risk. Why? He knew that it was the right thing to do. Tommy would rather lose all of his powers doing what was right than to keep them and do nothing. He couldn’t let his friends go up against Lord Zedd or Rita Repulsa alone and would always be seen fighting right alongside them.
I know that you’re thinking, “Cheese-Its Rice! This is a ¼ of a century old children’s show.” Well, to be perfectly honest, I believe this show was more than that. People generally believe that the message Mighty Morphin Power Rangers sent to kids was that good always triumphs over evil. For me, the entire purpose of the show goes a little deeper than that and is exemplified by the saga of the Green Ranger.
As our lives have worn on, we’ve seen terrible atrocities carried out by evil people every day. Unfortunately, that will never change, but we should never give up. It takes hard work to make the world a better place to live and you will always have people standing in your way to try to stop you from making an impact. You should always fight for what you believe in and never let anybody stop you.
PS – I’d like to take a second to specifically thank Jason David Frank. Not only did he play the greatest Power Ranger, but he’s also an all-around awesome person. When a lot of the actors were semi-ignoring their MMPR background, he fully embraced it. He is a frequent guest at conventions, takes time out for each fan and actually engages them, and seems genuinely thankful for everything he has. As a child, I wanted desperately to be like Tommy. Not only did he look cool, but he really was a great character to look up to. As it turns out, Jason David Frank is an even better role model than his MMPR character. So, thank you so much for all for all of the incredible memories and actually caring about your fans. You’re a rock star!
All Images Courtesy of Saban Entertainment