Nuevo Culture

First Latino Power Ranger Steve Cardenas Returns in Netflix Movie Special

The Power Rangers are reuniting for a 30th-anniversary special on Netflix, and actor and martial artist Steve Cardenas is part of the festivities.

According to Variety, the 55-minute special, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, sees Cardenas, the second person to play the Red Ranger in the franchise and the first Latino Power Ranger, team up with a mix of other actors who played Power Rangers throughout the years, including David Yost (Blue Ranger), Walter E. Jones (Black Ranger), Catherine Sutherland (Pink Ranger), and Karan Ashley (Yellow Ranger) to fight Rita Repulsa (Barbara Goodson).

When Cardenas, who is part Puerto Rican, wasn’t in his Red Ranger outfit in the original series, his character’s name was Rocky DeSantos. Rocky visited the fictional city of Angel Grove where the Power Rangers were based to compete in a martial arts tournament but is targeted by one of the original villains of the franchise, Lord Zedd. Later, the powers of the Red Ranger are transferred to him, and he is made second in command of the team.

“Thirty years in the making,” Cardenas wrote on his social media. “Get ready! April 19, the Power is back on! Go Go!”

The original TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered in 1993 on Fox Kids. It was based on a Japanese show called Super Sentai. The show ended its run three years later but spawned over two dozen spin-off series over the next three decades, including Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers RPM, and the latest show, Power Rangers Dino Fury. After the original series ended, Cardenas returned to reprise his role in Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers and then became the Blue Zeo Ranger in the third installment of the show, Power Rangers Zeo.

In the first trailer, it is revealed that Rita has killed the original Yellow Ranger, Trini (Thuy Trang). Trang died in a car accident in 2001 at the age of 27. Cardenas can be seen getting beamed into the Command Center after Rita threatens to use a time portal to kill the Rangers in the movie special. “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger,” the team says.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always premieres on Netflix on April 19, 2023.