Whether or not Rita Repulsa, the sworn enemy of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, deserves a solo movie is all dependent on who they decide to use as a template for the character. If anyone reading this remembers the original show then you’ll know that she favored a very different look during the show, from when she was evil to the moment that she turned into Mystic Mother. Of course the show managed to become cornier and cheesier the longer it went on, but it was for kids so it was completely understandable. But if you factor in the switch from the original Rita to that portrayed by Elizabeth Banks in the reboot then you can see how the look went from cheesy to straight up nightmare material.
Let’s take a look at the difference.
She was just flat out nasty as herself, power-hungry, insane, and always bent on destroying the earth. She was horrible to her subordinates and had a serious hate on for the Power Rangers but as much as it might have been explained it was never fully clear on the show since it focused more on the fighting and the rather corny dialogue that can only be seen as great in a kids’ show. Not to knock it, I watched this show along with a lot of kids, but upon growing up you can’t help but cringe and wonder what it is about being a kid that makes this show so popular. It’s obvious to see really but it’s still something that makes you wonder at how so many plot holes get by so many. Rita was quite honestly the minor threat to the Rangers, since she was a subordinate to Lord Zedd, who finally came to the show at one point and took over matters. At that point she almost seemed to fade in power a bit, as though her avarice wasn’t enough to match Zedd’s.
Imagine Rita going good. It’s kind of hard isn’t it? She did however turn to the good side for a while as Mystic Mother and became a beacon against the darkness. She wasn’t any less annoying however as her voice didn’t change and she was still a bit too fond of her own authority, but she didn’t fight the Rangers any longer. It was kind of a hard switch to deal with since kids had been able to hate on Rita so easily before and now she was supposed to be one of the good guys. Some people enjoyed it since she was another ally that had a lot of power and could be useful, but it’s a safe bet that a lot of fans don’t remember this transition so well.
This version of Rita made a lot more sense. Apparently the movie wasn’t what fans really wanted, but keep in mind that it was a reboot, not a remake, and as such it wasn’t bound to follow the source material word for word and idea for idea. With Rita however they did make her more interesting since not only was she still possessed of a serious hatred for the Rangers, but she also used to be one of them. Her role as the Green Ranger gave her the kind of power she needed to be lethal, and the fallout between her and the other Rangers makes it far more personal than it ever got in the show, as it becomes more of a grudge match between her and those that now wield the power of her former teammates. And what’s more, with Zordon leading them it becomes a true rivalry that can have extremely explosive moments.
So back to Rita getting her own solo movie. Right now the rebooted version seems like it would be the best idea to bring forward since there is a great chance for a prequel that could be about Rita and how she came to be the green ranger, as well as how she came to betray her group. The idea of her being one the good guys doesn’t seem like it would be the best idea to explore, but instead it would seem fitting to make her an antihero of sorts, someone that marched to her own beat but could at least work with a team well enough to create a cohesive unit. Rita doesn’t really seem the type to be a part of a team for all that long as her desire for power is just too great and drives her to be far too impulsive. But making a prequel that shows how she came to be this way would be something unique and awesome, and could go a long way towards appeasing new and old fans alike.
Besides, a lot of people tend to like origin stories so long as they’re done correctly.