'Power Rangers': Original 'Mighty Morphin' Star Returns in 2019 Crossover
At San Diego Comic-Con, Hasbro revealed Austin St. John's return to his role after 17 years.
For aging millennials, a childhood hero will return this fall in 2019. Austin St. John, who played “Jason,” the Red Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, will reprise his role in a new crossover episode 17 years after his last appearance.
At San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, new owners Hasbro held a panel for the Power Rangers brand, previewing new toys, collectibles, and the next season of Power Rangers Beast Morphers, the current iteration of the series.
At the end of the trailer, a trailer for a series crossover teased “the return of a legend.” The scene reveals Austin St. John as Jason, who faces the current Red Ranger, Devon (played by Rorrie D. Travis).
The episode, which does not yet have a premiere date, will be Austin St. John’s first appearance in Power Rangers in 17 years. The actor last appeared in a 2002 special, “Forever Red,” which involved a reunion of Red Rangers teaming up for a mission to Earth’s Moon. Before that, he appeared in the 1997 film Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, when his character retired from superhero duty.
The episode’s plot remains unknown, but the crossover should involve all the dinosaur-themed Ranger teams fighting a common threat. The trailer teased characters (or at least the costumes) from 1993’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, 2004’s Power Rangers DinoThunder, and 2014’s Power Rangers Dino Charge. Because of a multiverse concept introduced in the finale of Dino Charge, it remains to be seen how Austin St. John’s Jason will return as his Red Ranger in the new series.
Another cool thing about Jason’s return: You can see that Jason is still wearing his wrist communicator, the iconic device the Power Rangers used to contact each other in a time before texting and smart watches.
It is also unknown whether or not the other original actors will return to reprise their roles; Power Rangers has historically featured alumni characters returning only via costume, without their original actors.
But Austin St. John is the connective tissue that brings the current generation back to the show’s nostalgic roots. In 1993, Austin St. John was cast — alongside Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Walter Jones, and the late Thuy Trang — to star in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which became an unexpected pop culture phenomenon in the early ‘90s.
He starred in 88 episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers before leaving over contractual disputes. He returned for another 17 episodes, wearing a different color as the Gold Ranger, in the 1996 sequel series Power Rangers Zeo. After leaving Hollywood, St. John became an EMT and served as an army medic helping soldiers in Kuwait.
In 2017’s film reboot Power Rangers, the character was played by Dacre Montgomery, who recently starred as “Billy” in the Netflix series Stranger Things.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers will return this fall on Nickelodeon.