Saban’s Power Rangers movie from Lionsgate and directed by Dean Israelite is a fresh reboot of the camp TV series from 1993. But it seems the film won’t ignore everything else from the show’s 25-year mythology. Part of the film’s viral marketing includes an automated chatbot with Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader), who makes a curious mention of a “Zeo Crystal.” This not only confirms the Zeo Crystal as a key plot element in the new movie, it also helps set up future movie sequels for the Power Rangers.
After some chatting with Alpha 5, the lil’ guy asks if you think Rita Repulsa is looking for the Zeo Crystal. When you ask what the Zeo Crystal is, Alpha responds: “It’s a powerful crystal with an enormous amount of energy! In the wrong hands, it could be disastrous!”
In the TV show, the Zeo Crystal — composed of five separate sub-crystals — was an enormous power source that grew stronger over time. In the show’s fourth season, it was used to upgrade the Power Rangers’ arsenal, evolving them into the Zeo Rangers. The show also got an appropriate title change: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers became Power Rangers Zeo, and premiered on April 20, 1996.
The Zeo Crystal’s origins are still a mystery to Power Rangers fans. But what fans do know is that thousands of years ago, it was left deep inside Earth’s Moon by peaceful aliens from the M-51 galaxy to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The aliens surrounded the crystal by a barrier, preventing anyone who isn’t “pure of heart” from even touching it.
In Season 3 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa’s father Master Vile sought to obtain the Zeo Crystal. The Power Rangers get it first and scatter the crystal’s five pieces all around Earth. That’s when Master Vile turns back time on Earth, de-ageing the Power Rangers into adolescents.
With the planet vulnerable, Zordon sends the Rangers on their “Zeo Quest” to retrieve the pieces and assemble the crystal back. In the interim, the ally Alien Rangers from the planet Aquitar defended Earth in their stead.
The Zeo Quest is successful and the Rangers finally assemble the crystals and return to their proper age. But it’s at that moment Rita sends her henchmen — Goldar and Rito Revolto — to steal it back as they blow up the Rangers’ home base. Under the rubble, the Rangers find the Zeo Crystal intact, dropped by Goldar and Rito. (Those two were always characterized as useless buffoons.)
The Zeo Crystal’s importance in the reboot Power Rangers movie shows how far into the future the hopeful movie franchise is looking ahead.
Israelite’s Power Rangers is essentially retelling the show’s very first episode “Day of the Dumpster” where Zordon recruits the five teenagers for the very first time. There’s a LOT that happens between the first episode to Power Rangers Zeo — like an evil Green Ranger, who becomes a good White Ranger — but in the age of tentpole franchises, there’s simply no time to waste.
Saban’s Power Rangers will be released on March 24.