Power Rangers is poised to make a ton of money this weekend, but do we really need yet another franchise movie that will inevitably lead to spin-offs and reboots and, and and? Don’t we have enough of that with Marvel and D.C.?
One thing that can’t be denied, however, is that Zack, the Black Ranger who is played by Ludi Lin, is fine as hell.
Though he’s dabbed in some small projects prior to this, Power Rangers is his first real breakthrough role, something he’s very proud of.
“In this movie, I wanted to develop a role where it’s not just the Asian character in a movie,” he said in a profile for Teen Vogue. “It’s just a character with an Asian background. And I want to play roles like that that are complex. I speak fluent Mandarin like a native speaker, and I speak English very well as well. In this movie, I speak both languages fluently. I think there’s a lot of people out there like that, because they’re in tune with both cultures. … And I want to play roles where that can be demonstrated. Just as a facet of a person, rather than as a caricature of the role. I can do an accent, but I don’t want the accent to take over the character. I want anything that comes with the character to come organically out of the character and be part of the story, because that layers the character, rather than set that model of the character that’s already in the person’s mind. I think that cheapens the whole experience — that’s like calling the audience an idiot because you’re just showing them what they already know. I want to show people what they don’t know.”
With all of the whitewashing that goes on in mainstream Hollywood blockbusters, it’s great that the Power Rangers’ cast is so inclusive, not just in Lin’s casting, but in the rest of the casting and writing as well. For example, singer Becky G’s character Trini, the Yellow Ranger, is revealed to be queer.
“Trini is attending one of the biggest high schools but nobody knows her. Nobody sees her. She feels invisible,” Becky explained in an interview with People. “I’m really proud that she is such a strong character.”
So whether or not Power Rangers is your thing, we think everybody can appreciate the lengths that the team is going towards to represent diverse backgrounds, from small ways like character backstories to bigger ones like casting choices.