Forever Red

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Forever Red

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"Forever Red"
Power Rangers episode
Episode no. Season Wild Force
Episode 452
Directed by Koichi Sakamoto
Written by Amit Bhaumik
Original air date October 5, 2002
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Soul of Humanity"
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"The Master's Herald, Part I"
List of Power Rangers episodes

"Forever Red" is an episode of the television series Power Rangers Wild Force, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Power Rangers meta-series. The episode was later included in the 2003 DVD collection The Best Of The Power Rangers: The Ultimate Rangers as one of several voted by the fans to be the best in the series.12 "Forever Red" was the first episode to commemorate the anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise followed by Once a Ranger which took place in the 15th season, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive.

Premise

"Forever Red" reunited every previous Red Ranger (with the exception of Rocky DeSantos and the Red Ninja Ranger). The ten Red Rangers featured, in order of appearance in Power Rangers continuity were:

Plot

Four years after the destruction of the Machine Empire, surviving members of the empire remain, seeking to avenge King Mondo by destroying the Earth. Tezzla, Gerrok, Steelon, and Automon are the surviving machine generals led by General Venjix. They have recently learned that Earth's Moon is the resting place of Serpentera, a war machine created by Lord Zedd and one of the most powerful weapons ever used against the Power Rangers, with the capability of destroying a whole planet. The only drawback to Serpentera is that it requires a lot of power for any function. Ever since Zedd's "death" in Countdown to Destruction, the location of Serpentera remained a mystery for many years. Venjix finds it and begins using Cog soldiers to dig it up, refitting it with a Neo Plutonium reactor, the same power source that gave several monsters a new indestructable armor in Mondo's fight against the Zeo Rangers.

Andros, the Red Space Ranger, has been trailing Venjix for several years and upon spying on him while on the Earth's moon, he discovers Venjix's plan but was found out by the machines. He manages to escape, gathering enough evidence to know what lies ahead. On Earth, someone calls Bulk and Skull's poolside cafe, which makes Bulk nervous as it sounds important. While the Wild Force Rangers are gathered at the park, Carter Grayson of Lightspeed Rescue arrives to recruit Cole Evans, the current Red Ranger of the Wild Force team, for an important mission. The two proceed to NASADA's space port, where Cole finds Wes Collins and Eric Meyers, leaders of the Silver Guardians and his allies against the Mutorgs, have also gathered. They're introduced to Theodore J. Jarvis Johnson, the Red Turbo Ranger, or T.J. for short. T.J. introduces them all to his colleague and teammate, Andros. Everyone there's a Red Ranger of their own respective teams, which surprises Cole. Andros explains that they were all recruited by "a veteran ranger", their leader for this mission. At that moment, Zeo Ranger V Tommy Oliver, arrives at the space port, having been contacted earlier by Andros while at Bulk and Skull's cafe.

The Red Rangers gather in a hangar, where Tommy explains that he would be leading a team of Red Rangers to strike the Machine Empire on the moon. Andros reveals their mode of travel, the Astro Megaship Mark II. Just as they're about to depart, Jason pulls up to the group on a motorcycle, surprising Tommy. Jason explains that he didn't think the mission would feel right without the original Red Ranger. He then proceeds to rib Cole, "the new guy" of the group, who originally offers a handshake. Tommy, Jason, Andros, Wes, Eric, T.J., Carter, and Cole board the Megaship and proceed to the Moon. A new Alpha robot, Alpha 7, is on board as well. While on route, Andros informs the other Red Rangers that Aurico and Leo Corbett will be joining them shortly, coming from Aquitar and Mirinoi respectively, while Tommy further explains their mission to the other Rangers.

Venjix and his other generals prepare to board Serpentera, but then they're interrupted by the Red Rangers. Venjix sends Cogs to distract the eight Rangers while he and the others flee to Serpentera. The Rangers battle the Cogs unmorphed and easily defeat them. Eventually, Cole escapes the barrage of Cogs and chases after the generals. Venjix fires at him, but Cole's rescued by Leo and Aurico on Leo's Jet Jammer. All the Rangers gather to face off the machine generals and morph into their Ranger forms to battle the Generals.

Cole and Jason fight Venjix, with Cole having trouble at first but coming back strong after Jason single-handedly overwhelms Venjix with a corkscrew kick to show off to Cole. Tommy and Wes fight Gerrok and Tommy destroys him with the Zeo V Power Kick. Eric and Aurico fight Tezzla and destroy her with the Quantum Defender. T.J. and Leo fight Automon and destroy him with combo attacks from their Quasar Saber, Transdagger, Turbo Blade, and Turbo Lightning Sword. Andros and Carter fight Steelon and destroy him by combining power from their Astro, Rescue & Thermo Blasters. Then Cole severely damages Venjix with his Crystal Saber. Venjix then jumps into Serpentera and takes off. The Rangers fear they've failed, but Cole calls upon his Wild Force Rider, a gift from the god, Animus, to battle Venjix. Cole uses the Wild Force Rider to fly into Serpentera and destroy it from the inside. Both Venjix and Serpentera are destroyed, and Cole ends up surviving the explosion despite the others' thinking he may have been destroyed too.

Afterwards, the nine human Rangers part ways, and Cole remarks how Tommy appeared to be the "greatest Ranger ever", with the other Rangers attempting to refute his claim with some of their own adventures.

Production

  • There were four separate outlines for Forever Red: one by Koichi Sakamoto, one by Jonathan Tzachor, and two by Amit Bhaumik. The first outline involved the villains (who have already destroyed a colony) planning to attack Earth and assaulting various Red Rangers, whose introductions are staggered throughout the story. The second outline had all the Red Rangers, introduced in brief showcase scenes, being separately gathered by Alpha 5 to Angel Grove, where they surprise the "Five Metallic Warriors" upon arrival. The third had Andros gathering the Red Rangers (via Tommy) after discovering a cult are trying to resurrect Dark Specter, and involves all ten fighting a resurrected Specter; this draft brought all the Rangers together early on, so they could interact more. Most of the elements from this draft would survive into the fourth. (Bhaumik hoped to include a reference to Maligore - Specter and Maligore used the same costume - and claim Dark Specter was an adult of the same species) The battle now took place on the Moon rather than on Earth, as a deliberate twist on the first four years where Rita through King Mondo operated there: "our heroes [are] proactive and bringing the battle to the villain’s base on the Moon for a change".3
  • The fourth outline became the script: only one draft was made for the script due to time constraints. (On top of that, other episodes of Wild Force were being made at the same time)3
  • The suits from five random Beetleborgs: Shadowborg, The Green Hunter Beetleborg, Dragonborg (minus his antennae), Fireborg and Ladyborg from Saban's Big Bad Beetleborgs were used as the bodies for the remaining generals of the Machine Empire trying to reactivate Serpentera. The use of Beetleborgs costumes was planned from the very first outline (the original idea was to use costumes of Beetleborg villains) and led to Serpentera, another robot, being used instead of Dark Specter. Bhaumik said he preferred this idea, as "it allowed us to combine the villains from two different seasons".3
  • Danny Slavin who plays Leo, the Red Galaxy Ranger, initially refused his involvement, having had a sour experience with the management of Saban Entertainment during his return in the Lost Galaxy and Lightspeed Rescue team up. He decided to return late in the production process and had to shoot his scenes on his own, which was later digitally inserted into any group shots where he was seen.
  • The machine generals were voiced by Power Ranger alumni: Archie Kao voiced Venjix, Walter Jones voiced Gerrok and Catherine Sutherland voiced Tezzla.
  • Steve Cardenas who played Rocky (the Red Ranger that replaced Jason) on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Zeo Ranger III in Power Rangers Zeo, was originally contacted to appear in the episode but he moved and changed addresses without notifying the production team and they could not find him in time to film.
  • Bulk (without Skull) appeared in the third outline. In the second, Tommy was going to pass up a T-shirt of "the famous two-man rock band Bulk & Skull".
  • Tommy was deliberately given lines that Zordon used to say.3

References

See also