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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always Pays A Perfect Tribute To Thuy Trang

Contains spoilers for "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Special: Once & Always"

Thirty years after the global phenomenon premiered, the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" are back to save the day. In a spectacular and moving special, the series homages Trini (the original Yellow Ranger) played by Thuy Trang, who unfortunately died in a car accident in 2001. The anniversary special ushers in the new Yellow Ranger while paying special tribute to Trang's groundbreaking performance in this unforgettable comeback.

While you won't see the original Pink Ranger Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) in the explosive reunion, we are introduced to Trini's daughter Minh (Charlie Kersh), who emulates the essence of her beloved mother. Minh is the perfect addition to the team as a member that's full of heart, grit, and integrity, which makes her an exceptional Yellow Ranger. After Trini sacrifices herself to save the Blue Ranger Billy (David Yost), Minh vows to become a ranger and help them defeat the evil cyborg witch Robo Rita, voiced by original actress Barbara Goodson. 

By spotlighting Trini in the landmark anniversary special, the series makes a beautiful dedication to the fallen ranger in an emotional and satisfying story. Minh learns the history of the Power Rangers while realizing that the job is much more than smart quips and high kicks. Through her relationship with Billy, she mirrors the selfless actions of her mother in a powerful and fitting tribute to the first yellow, Saber-toothed tiger. 

The 30th Anniversary special fondly remembers Thuy Trang through Trini's friendship with Billy

In Season 1, Episode 2 of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," titled "High Five," we begin to see the special bond Trini and Billy share as unpopular outcasts. Trini saves Billy from Rita's goons, which parallels her heartbreaking actions in the "Once & Always'" opening. The two become close over their love of science and technology, which even results in the invention of the flying blue car, known as the R.A.D.B.U.G. (Remote Activated Drivingzord for Basic Ultra Geomorphology). The extraordinary vehicle even makes a stellar comeback in the special to further remember Trini's legacy and her heartwarming friendship with Billy.

It's in Minh that Trini's spirit lives on. She bravely tries to save the citizens of Angel Grove from Putty Patrollers and later rescues an innocent civilian with the R.A.D.B.U.G. She even replicates Trini's selfless act by saving Billy again from Rita's inescapable death curse. It's this act of nobility that grants her access to the morphin' grid where she finally becomes the next Yellow Ranger. This full-circle moment celebrates Thuy Trang's life and continues the powerful example of representation in the series. 

In the moments after her sacrifice, Minh witnesses a flash of Trini's legendary moments as the Yellow Ranger. This is presented through a touching collection of her finest sequences in the series, including when she first saved Billy. After the exciting event concludes, a photo of Trang and the recently deceased Jason David Frank appear with the loving caption, "Once a ranger...always a ranger," to perfectly end the memorable tribute.