the-mighty-morphin-power-rangers

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So, not only did this thought occur to me the other day, I’ve also seen a few people make similar comments on Facebook: Why is Hela from Thor Ragnarok a far better updating of Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers than Lionsgate’s Rita in Power Rangers 2017? Let’s break it down.

DESIGN:

Rita Repulsa 1993:

  • Pointy hat.
  • Pointy collar on neck.
  • Gown.
  • Intricate pattern/design on gown.
  • Magic wand.
  • Overall regal/queen/witch vibe.

Rita Repulsa 2017:

  • No hat of any kind.
  • No collar of any kind.
  • Tight body suit (that looks like it’s literally falling apart) instead of gown.
  • Solid green color; no pattern or design of any kind.
  • She has a weird whip thing wrapped around her for some reason? It’s never used in the movie?
  • Magic wand.

Hela:

  • Pointy hat.
  • Pointy shoulders on suit reminiscent of Rita ‘93’s pointy collar.
  • Tight body suit instead of a gown, but the cape helps evoke the same sort of image.
  • Intricate pattern/design on body suit.
  • No magic wand.
  • Overall regal/queen/goddess vibe.

The clear winner here is Hela. There are just so many elements of Rita’s design that Rita '17 didn’t even try to include it’s almost shameful. Hela is a much more admirable attempt at taking Rita’s goofy outfit and updating it for a big budget superhero blockbuster while keeping it at least somewhat faithful to the original. The only advantage Rita '17 has over Hela is the fact that she has a magic wand, while Hela only has her shooty blades (though she could probably make a staff of some kind for herself, since she created the axe for Skurge). But, of course, design isn’t everything. What about personality? How she acts is just as important, if not more so. Let’s take another look.

PERSONALITY:

Rita Repulsa 1993:

  • Loud, obnoxious, full of herself, over the top.
  • Not above a joke at the hero’s expense.
  • Wants to conquer the universe because she comes from a family of villains. And because she wants to.
  • Not above sending a lightning blast at the Rangers or Zords, or growing to giant size to smash the city (i.e. getting her hands dirty).
  • Clearly loves being evil.

Rita Repulsa 2017:

  • Raises her voice like once (”CRUSH THEM!”).
  • Wants the Zeo Crystal because… She wants power? It’s never really said. They were probably waiting until the sequel to get into that.
  • Willing to get her hands dirty but only while the Rangers don’t actually have their powers yet.
  • Weird creepy twitchy hobo lady.
  • Clearly loves licking teenage girls.

Hela:

  • Full of herself, over the top.
  • Not above a joke at the hero’s expense.
  • Wants to conquer the universe because she believes it is her birthright. And because she wants to.
  • Not above leading her troops into battle, battling Thor personally, or attacking Surtur head on (i.e. getting her hands dirty).
  • Clearly loves being evil.

Again, the clear winner is Hela. While she is relatively subdued compared to Rita '93, she is far more what a modernized movie Rita should be than Rita '17, who was just… weird and creepy, but not creepy in a good, villainous way, more like that one guy you see on the bus and so you move to a different seat. Hela is far more out there with herself, such as her speech to Hogun and the Asgardian soldiers, or her conversation with Skurge (”Tell me about yourself… No, stop, I don’t care.”). Let’s see… Are there any other comparisons to make?

MISCELLANEOUS:

Rita Repulsa 1993:

  • Casts magic spells of varying purposes.
  • Can create her own monsters.
  • Was imprisoned by a wizard for her evil ways after a long struggle.
  • Was a known scourge of the universe before her imprisonment.
  • Has a group of followers to help further her evil cause.

Rita Repulsa 2017:

  • Can create her own monsters.
  • Was knocked into the ocean when Zordon killed himself (?).
  • Was a Power Ranger along with Zordon until [redacted].
  • Has no followers whatsoever aside from the mindless monsters she creates.

Hela:

  • Casts magic spells of varying purposes.
  • Can create her own monsters.
  • Was imprisoned by a god for her evil ways after a long struggle.
  • Was a known scourge of the universe before her imprisonment.
  • Has a group of followers to help further her evil cause.

So… yeah. I rest my case. Did Lionsgate even know what character they were adapting?