Lionsgate's Power Rangers reboot took one more step toward becoming a reality today, as we finally got our first look at the new suits.
They're admittedly a far cry from the spandex of the original show, but it's a notable effort in keeping the original designs intact while also making them feel completely alien. The influence of Tron, Iron Man and production designer Andrew Menzies' own work in G.I. Joe: Retaliation is clearly visible, but let's dive a little deeper:
The first instantly recognizable change — aside from the texture of the suits — is that the helmets no longer integrate the design of the Rangers' respective Zords, aside from the Red Ranger. Blue (triceratops), Black (mastodon), Pink (pterodactyl) and Yellow (saber-toothed tiger) all have a similar design on their helmets that actually resembles the original Pink Ranger's look:
Red Ranger's helmet is the only exception to these changes — I guess because he's the leader — and his helmet still resembles the iconic T-rex look:
However, one really cool, small thing about the new helmets is that it seems like all of the mouth plates are actually unique to the mouth of each actor. So while the visors of the helmets might have become more uniform than in the original, it looks like the trade-off is in the lower portion.
For comparison, check out the designs of the original Ranger helmets:
Keeping with the alien design of the new suits, the Power Morphers now appear to be integrated into the suit. It almost looks as though the suit might grow organically out of the Morpher and I wouldn't be surprised to see the morphing sequence feature the armor growing from the waist out.
Boots Vs Heels
While I can understand the functionality and story-specific reasoning for the redesigns, this aspect is a little more difficult to defend. The original Pink Ranger suit featured a skirt — a questionable design choice, sure, but somewhat reflective of Kimberly's initial mall rat personality — but stereotypes are being reinforced in a different way in the reboot.
The Yellow and Pink Rangers are featured with boob armor and wedged heels — probably not ideal for martial arts — while the guys are blessed with regular, functional boots.
In a world where Captain Phasma and Game of Thrones have shown that armor need not be molded to emphasize the female form, it's weird to think that advanced alien tech in the Power Rangers' universe hasn't quite gotten there yet.
Boob armor aside, one really cool new addition to the costumes is this swirly galaxy-like design, emphasizing the alien technology and the cosmic power that flows through the Rangers:
In the original series, the chest plates were simply blank diamonds, but in old promotional material, toys, and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers film, the Rangers features their Power Coins prominently on their chest:
It's unknown at this point if the Power Coins will play a role in the reboot, but it's cool that the aesthetic of their placement is still intact.
Connection To Rita
One of the most popular theories after the first look at Elizabeth Banks' Rita Repulsa that will surely be expounded upon is the villain's connection to the Green Ranger.
Of course, Rita is the creator of the fan-favorite hero in the original series' classic "Green With Evil" storyline. Given the similarities between Rita's look, color scheme and the design of the new Rangers, I think it's safe to say there's definitely going to be a connection, even if it's saved for a sequel: