Monday, March 15, 2021

Character Spotlight: Tommy Oliver

Happy St. Patrick’s Day this week! In honor of this holiday, I wanted to spotlight a character whose name will always be associated with the color green for many of us who grew up in the 90s. So here’s to Tommy Oliver, the original green Power Ranger. Though he started out as green, he’s had quite a few powers. We’re going to visit each of them today.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

We got our first glimpse of Tommy as he arrived in Angel Grove as a possible martial arts rival for Jason. But it wasn't long before Rita corrupted him with the evil of the Green Power Coin. However, even as the Green Ranger, he was still defeated and he joined the heroes. Those powers eventually faded, but it wasn't long before he came back with the White Ranger powers.

So as the White Ranger, he traded out Dragonzord powers for White Tiger powers. As time went on he developed a romance with Kimberly and, along with the other Rangers, they got Ninja Ranger powers to trump their dino powers. But all good things must come to an end, as Kimberly passed on her powers to Kat and the remaining Rangers got turned into little kids.

If you want to see more about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, check out this blog post.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

While not in the same continuity as the television series, Tommy appeared as the White Ranger, leading the Power Rangers against Ivan Ooze. Just like in the main continuity, they gained their Ninja Ranger powers. With their new powers and their new zords, the six Power Rangers took down Ivan Ooze and saved the parents of Angel Grove from an untimely death.

Power Rangers Zeo

After the Zeo Crystal turned him into the Red Ranger, Tommy continued to lead the team, this time against the Machine Empire. After a long-distance break up with Kimberly, he started dating Kat. During this time period, he also reunited with his long lost brother, David, as they had been adopted by different families. Later, after the Gold Ranger needed a replacement, it was Tommy who recruited Jason to return as a Power Ranger. In the end, the Rangers defeated the Machine Empire.

If you want to see more about Power Rangers Zeo, check out this blog post.

Power Rangers Turbo

But it wasn't long before more evil showed up. Tommy led the new Turbo Rangers to take on Divatox. These new powers and new Turbo Zords led Tommy to an interest in cars and mechanics (which probably affected some of his choices in grad school, which we’ll see later). Eventually, as he moved on after high school, Tommy chose TJ as his replacement for the Red Ranger. 

If you want to see more about Power Rangers Turbo, check out this blog post.

Power Rangers Wild Force

After his time as a full-time Ranger, Tommy eventually received a doctorate in paleontology and found three Dino Gems (to be discussed later). Throughout this time he seemed to stay in contact with other Rangers, as Andros (the Red Space Ranger) recruited him and eight other Red Rangers to fight off the remains of the Machine Empire on the moon. 

Power Rangers Dino Thunder

Years into Ranger retirement, Tommy became a science teacher, where he inadvertently met, recruited, and mentored three new Power Rangers. But after finding the Black Dino Gem, he gained the power of invisibility and became the Black Dino Thunder Ranger. During his tenure as a Dino Thunder Ranger, Tommy had issues after issue with his morpher and Dino Gem. But despite his issues he still teamed up with each the Ninja Storm and SPD Power Rangers. And naturally by the time their foe Mesagog was defeated, the Dino Thunder Powers were gone.

Power Rangers Super Megaforce

During the years that follow, Tommy must have been working on his Master Morpher (later shown in Super Ninja Steel). As the alien armada attacked Earth and countless Rangers came to the aid of the Megaforce Rangers, Tommy utilized both White Ranger and Green Ranger powers to fight the alien fleet. 

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel

Only a couple years after the alien armada attacked, dark forces attempted to abduct Tommy, along with several other veteran Rangers. Tommy was able to evade capture and he used the Black Dino Thunder powers, the Green and White Mighty Morphin powers, and the Red Zeo powers to help save the other rangers.

The Future???

Tommy’s future is a bit fuzzy in Ranger canon. There’s a Zeo episode “A Season to Remember”, which is basically a giant flashback to the Zeo era. In the “present day”, he’s married to Kat with children and grandchildren. By the time he appears in Super Ninja Steel, he has at least one child, a son named JJ. In the comics (which may or may not be canon with the TV show), JJ becomes an SPD Ranger in the future and his mother is Kat. Does this mean Kat and Tommy are married in the show?

It’s hard to say where things will go with Tommy in the future of Power Rangers. Jason David Frank, who has portrayed him since day one, is loyal to his fans. I’ve met him and he’s super friendly. Always wants the best experience for the fans he meets. If you ever have a chance to meet JDF at a convention, he’s well worth the money. He's easily one of my favorite celebrities that I've met. As far as the character, it’s not in Tommy’s nature to leave others hanging. If the Rangers ever need him, you can bet he’ll be there. In my mind he’s just like a loyal Gryffindor who will always do what’s right. 

Salt Lake FanX September 2016

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