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The Entire Power Rangers Timeline Explained

Premiering in 1993, Power Rangers has gone through so many different eras and iterations over nearly three decades on the air that summarizing it succinctly is a near impossibility. In fact, Power Rangers has gone on for so long that it now exists in that rare category of long-running, multiversal, brain-bustingly huge mega-settings like Doctor Who and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What stays consistent? There's a group of young people who wear color-coded, super-powered spandex that runs on the energy of a nebulously defined power source called the Morphin Grid. They fight monsters, they pilot giant robots called Zords, and they win the day through the power of friendship.

To explain everything that's going on in the many long and tangled timelines of Power Rangers would take, well, 28 seasons of television, but we'll do our best to give you the broad strokes in chronological order. There may be some seasons that we breeze past rather quickly and other times where we need to slow down and get detailed, especially when things get weird due to time travel. But hey, if you're ready to get started, say it with us, folks: "It's Morphin time!"

The story of the Power Rangers starts in ancient times

If you started telling the story of Power Rangers in chronological order, we'd have to go back 175 million years ago, to the supercontinent Pangaea. Here, a wandering interstellar warrior named the Sentinel Knight touched down on Earth, running from two evil alien brothers who were chasing him, Flurious and Moltor. Once he arrived, the Sentinel Knight hid his precious cargo — five magic gems called the Corona Aurora — all around Pangaea and then fled.

Around 150 million years ago, the experimental Zord known as the Quantasaurus Rex arrived, accidentally sent back in time from about 3000 CE by Time Force, the Power Rangers organization of the future. Shortly afterwards, a pair of Rangers from the year 2001 showed up and recovered the Q-Rex, bringing it back to their own time.

Then, about 65 million years ago, prehistory's most famous meteor landed on Earth and killed the dinosaurs. Inside that meteor were the Dino Gems, which would become the source of our heroes' abilities in Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

In slightly less ancient times ...

Moving into early human history (about 10,000 years ago), the space witch Rita Repulsa and the wise sage Zordon of Eltar battled for control of Earth. After a magic duel gone wrong, Zordon was trapped in a time warp, becoming that iconic floating head in a tube we all know and love, but in his last moments, he sealed Rita away, trapping her inside a space dumpster.

Around that same time, an evil dragon named Dai Shi was similarly sealed away, in his case by a group called the Order of the Claw. Then, 5,000 years ago, a demon queen named Bansheera was trapped inside a magic sarcophagus by an unnamed benevolent wizard. Noticing a pattern yet? Apparently, back in the day, sealing up evil monsters was the standard way of getting rid of them. Effective, but as we'll come to see, not sustainable.

Then, 3,000 years ago, a creature known as Master Org attacked the kingdom of Animaria. To defend Animaria, the ancient warrior Merrick put on a mysterious cursed wolf mask and used its powers to slay Master Org. However, in doing so, he transformed into the violent wolf monster Zen-Aku. Perhaps predictably, Merrick's fellow ancient warriors sealed him away in a big stone coffin.

What happened in the past few centuries

So when we are we getting to modern times? Well, we're almost there. Just a few hundred more years until we hit the present. 

At some unspecified time in feudal Japan, a group of evil spirits called Nighloks were defeated by a group of samurai, whose descendants would one day become the heroes of Power Rangers Samurai. Then in 1775, Angel Grove was founded. This city would serve as the battleground for most of the Rangers' conflicts during the show's first six seasons. (Side note: Angel Grove was founded by the British, which is odd since most signs point towards the city being in California.)

Shortly after this, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers themselves show up in colonial Angel Grove, sent back in time by the Wizard of Deception. Though they soon manage to return to their present, one of their allies, Tom Oliver — the formerly evil clone of the original Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver — decides to stay behind and live in this time period. We're shocked that nothing has been done with this in any of the later seasons. It's such a cool and weird dangling thread.

But this isn't the only time shenanigans the Mighty Morphin Rangers get themselves into. Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger, also spends an episode of the show stuck back in time in the 1880s, when Angel Grove was an Old West town, before finding her way back home.

The '80s were crazy for the Power Rangers

In 1982, a group of three scientists, Richard Evans, Elizabeth Evans, and Viktor Adler — along with the Evans' newborn son, Cole — searched the Amazon rainforest for evidence of the lost kingdom of Animaria. In the process, Adler found what remained of the once-terrifying Master Org — a pile of strange magic seeds. Seeking revenge against Elizabeth Evans for rejecting his romantic advances, Adler ate the seeds and became the new Master Org. He then killed Richard and Elizabeth in a jealous rage, but he was unable to find baby Cole. Cole was left behind in the Amazon, but eventually, he was taken in an raised by an isolated tribe.

In 1983, the young ninja Kiya, a student at the Wind Ninja Academy, attempted to steal a magic pendant, but he was stopped by Cam, the Green Ranger from Power Rangers Ninja Storm who has traveled back in time. Because of this, Kiya was banished, but he swore revenge against the Wind Ninjas and renamed himself Lothor.

That same year, a child named Karone was kidnapped from her home planet of KO-35 by the servants of the United Alliance of Evil, who brainwashed her and raised her to be Astronema, the evil queen of space (and the main antagonist of Power Rangers in Space). And finally, in 1986, an alliance of wizards drove back an army of undead that were trying to take over the world, and they magically sealed that army away beneath the earth.

The Zordon era

We've finally arrived at the first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, "Day of the Dumpster," wherein a pair of astronauts inadvertently set Rita Repulsa loose, and she declares that after 10,000 years, she's free, and it's time to conquer Earth! In response, Zordon and Alpha 5 recruit a team of teenagers — with attitude, of course — to be the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

This kicks off a relatively unbroken saga that spans the next six seasons of the show which has become known, in retrospect, as the Zordon era. There's a new main villain each season. First, there's Rita Repulsa, then Lord Zedd, Master Vile, the Machine Empire, Divatox, and finally, Astronema.

To keep up with these different threats, the Rangers also receive new abilities and new Zords every season. They get dinosaur powers, thunder powers, ninja powers, crystal powers, car powers, and finally, space powers. Rangers also come and go. By the end of the sixth season, there have been 15 different teens who've donned spandex to defend Angel Grove. And yes, during this time, the aforementioned time shenanigans occur. Tommy's clone, "Tom," is created and sent back in time, and Kimberly takes a trip to and then returns from the Old West.

The Z-Wave changes the Power Rangers' story

Now comes perhaps the single most important event in the Power Rangers history — the Z-Wave. 

At the climax of Power Rangers in Space, the entire universe is in peril. The United Alliance of Evil, a coalition of the most deadly villains from across the show's first six seasons, are on the verge of conquering the universe. Zordon, mentor of the Power Rangers, tells the Red Ranger Andros that their only hope lies in destroying the glass energy tube that contains Zordon's essence, which will kill Zordon but also potentially save the universe. Andros reluctantly agrees and unleashes a surge of good magic across the universe that has come to be known as the Z-Wave.

The Z-Wave single-handedly neutralizes the threat of all the major villains participating in that conflict. Some of them (like the Machine Empire) are reduced to dust, while others (Zedd, Rita, and Divatox) just have the evil within them purged, and they're transformed into normal humans. Among the many heels who turn face after this is Astronema, who's reunited with her brother, Andros, and changes her name back to Karone.

The dawn of the post-Zordon era

After Power Rangers in Space comes a succession of seasons that are relatively self-contained, the first of which is Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. Lost Galaxy tells the story of the colony spaceship Terra Venture, which leaves Angel Grove in search of new habitable worlds. As Terra Venture travels the cosmos, it's periodically attacked by the forces of the evil alien warlord Scorpius. A new group of teens take on the mantle of the Power Rangers in order to defend their wandering home.

One notable thing about this season is that it's the first time that we see a Power Ranger killed in action, with the death of the Pink Ranger Kendrix. Equally unprecedented, her powers are then transferred to Karone, who's now seeking redemption for her time as Astronema.

The next season, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, opens on a group of men cracking open the magic sarcophagus that Queen Bansheera and her demon minions were trapped inside. Now free, the demons return to the city of Mariner Bay, the site of their former palace, with the goal of destroying the city and rebuilding their home. However, an organization called Lightspeed has been secretly developing Power Ranger technology in case the demons ever returned. They recruit a new team of Rangers, charged with keeping Mariner Bay safe.

It's time for Time Force

Next comes Power Rangers Time Force. Unable to conquer the distant future of 3000 CE, the evil mutant Ransik travels back to the year 2001 to get a fresh start. However, a team of four 31st-century Power Rangers follow Ransik back in time, eager to get revenge for the death of their teammate, Alex, who was apparently slain by Ransik. Upon their arrival, Time Force meets a 21st-century native named Wes, who may or may not be a distant ancestor of Alex. Short on manpower, they accept this untrained rookie onto their team as their new Red Ranger.

At one point in the season, Wes' estranged and hot-headed friend, Eric, gets his hands on an experimental Morpher that transforms him into the frighteningly powerful Quantum Ranger. Shortly after, they briefly set aside their feud in order to travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs to recover the Quantum Ranger's experimental lost Zord, the Q-Rex, in an attempt to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

Wild Force and 'Forever Red'

After Time Force comes Power Rangers Wild Force, which features a group of Rangers endowed with the animal-themed powers of the lost kingdom of Animaria to fight the mysterious Master Org (secretly the disgraced scientist Viktor Adler). Joining the team in the first episode is the previously mentioned Cole Evans, whose parents were killed by Adler when Cole was just a baby and who's grown to adulthood after two decades in the Amazon rainforest. Midway through the season, the evil Org Zen-Aku is resurrected, and the Rangers then defeat him and purify him of his curse, returning him to his former self as the ancient warrior Merrick.

During this season, we also get the landmark crossover episode "Forever Red," in which a team of ten Red Rangers, assembled from across the show's first ten seasons, band together to defeat Venjix, the last remaining general of the Machine Empire.

The Power Rangers enter the Disney era

Midway through production on Wild Force, Power Rangers was bought by Disney, and after that season, production moved to New Zealand. What follows is typically known as the Disney era, and it kicks off with Power Rangers Ninja Storm, which tells the story of three students at a secret ninja academy who protect the town of Blue Bay Harbor from Lothor, an evil space ninja. After this comes Power Rangers Dino Thunder, another dinosaur-themed season that features the original Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver, returning as the team's mentor.

Power Rangers Mystic Force follows a group of wizard-themed Rangers who battle an undead army that was magically imprisoned during the 1980s but has now been released. Interestingly, the season features a now-good version of the once-evil Rita Repulsa, now renamed the Mystic Mother after having been purified by the Z-Wave. She was even portrayed by Machiko Soga, Rita's original actress. Then comes Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, a globe-spanning treasure hunt for the gems of the Corona Aurora. Notably, this season features a new villain named Thrax, the previously unmentioned son of Zedd and Rita, who avoided the Z-Wave and thus remained evil.

The final season of the Disney era is Power Rangers Jungle Fury, in which a group of kung fu masters who work at a pizzeria protect the town of Ocean Bluff from the evil dragon spirit Dai Shi. Yes, it's as wonderfully silly as it sounds.

Moving into the Nickelodeon era

In 2010, Power Rangers was sold again, this time to Saban Brands. From here on, the show began broadcasting on Nickelodeon, moving us into what's now known as the Nickelodeon era. A major change introduced during this era is that Power Rangers now spends two seasons on each team, instead of introducing a new team of heroes every year.

The first season of this era is Power Rangers Samurai, which follows a team of samurai-themed Rangers who battle a horde of evil spirits known as Nighloks. The follow-up season that concludes their story is Power Rangers Super Samurai. This also established a naming convention for follow-up seasons during the Nickelodeon era, adding "Super" to the name of the previous season.

Next comes Power Rangers Megaforce and Super Megaforce. This nostalgia-focused pair of seasons tells the story of a group of rangers who, in addition to having their own powers, can temporarily transform into Rangers from previous generations that share a color with them. This season culminates with crossover event "Legendary Battle," which features dozens of former Rangers returning to help out the current team in their final battle.

Then comes Power Rangers Ninja Steel and Super Ninja Steel, in which a group of ninja-themed heroes battle an evil game show producer from space named Galvanax. Finally, in 2019 and 2020, we have Power Rangers Beast Morphers, in which a team of animal-themed heroes protect the Morphin Grid itself from an evil computer program named Evox.

The many futures of the Power Rangers timeline

Though it premiered in our world in 2005, Power Rangers SPD is set in the once-distant future of 2025 — which is becoming increasingly less distant. It follows the exploits of the Space Patrol Delta, a police force that keeps the peace in a prosperous future Earth, which has become a haven for alien species from all across the galaxy.

The furthest into the future we've seen so far is the year 3000, the era of Time Force, but the ideal utopian future we mentioned earlier isn't the only version of the year 3000 that exists. Midway through Power Rangers Time Force, Alex, the original Time Force Red Ranger, arrives in 2001, despite his apparent death at the hands of Ransik. He claims the future has changed due to the Rangers' actions, and it's a much darker world than the one they came from originally, as it's a dystopia ruled by Ransik.

Though it's somewhat ambiguous, many interpret Alex's apparent resurrection as a byproduct of the changing time stream. Due to the Rangers' meddling in the past, Alex's fateful showdown with Ransik never occurred. Fortunately, after meeting with Alex and heeding his warnings, the Rangers are able to prevent that dark future from coming to pass, instead restoring a new, third version of the year 3,000, just as prosperous as the first time around, albeit with a few differences, such as Alex remaining alive.

The world of Power Rangers is full of alternate timelines

Even in its darkest possible future, nothing in Time Force compares to the hellish setting of 2009's Power Rangers RPM. This Terminator-meets-Mad Max season takes place on a version of Earth where an evil computer virus named Venjix has taken over the world, and most of humanity has been either killed or enslaved. The only remaining free city on Earth is Corinth, a high-tech metropolis protected by a team of Power Rangers who are searching for a way to destroy Venjix for good.

However, this isn't the only alternate Power Rangers timeline. Power Rangers Dino Charge and Power Rangers Dino Super Charge, which aired from 2015 to 2016, didn't seemingly start off in an alternate reality, but they certainly ended in one. At the climax of Dino Super Charge, the heroes end up preventing the extinction of the dinosaurs, and they return to a version of the modern world where humans and dinosaurs live side by side.

But perhaps the most memorable alternate timeline of all came not from the show itself but from the comic books. The "Shattered Grid" storyline introduces an alternate version of Mighty Morphin era Angel Grove, in which the Green Ranger Tommy was never cured of the evil curse that Rita put him under, and he instead grew into a terrible, power hungry tyrant who defeated the Power Rangers and conquered the world.