Although Thuy Trang died in 2001, and Jason David Frank passed last year, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always 30th anniversary special did not forget them. The death of Trang’s character, Trini Kwan, happens early in the special and the emotional fallout from that provides a throughline for the story. And although the special was filmed before Frank died, his passing was also noted at the very end of the episode.
Before the credits play on the special. a clip from the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was shown in which Amy Jo Johnson’s Kimberly Hart sings a song, “Down the Line,” with Walter Emanuel Jones’ Zack Taylor as a way to comfort Tommy Oliver (Frank) after he had lost his Green Ranger powers. This scene was used as a way to pay tribute to both Frank and Trang.
“I think it was very poignant,” said Jones while speaking with EW. “In that [season 2] episode, we were saying goodbye to Tommy, and it was a moment that we were all sharing. And to be able to take that piece of history and apply it to current day history…. I was happy that we had that as a way to say goodbye in a most honorable way — and to get to share our grief.”
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“It was really difficult for me to watch it and to think about it and have the realization that both Jason and Thuy are gone,” added Yost, who co-headlined Once & Always with Jones. “As a cast, we were like brothers and sisters, we all got along. You know, we would fight every now and then, but we were a team and a family. I’m just so glad we got to honor Thuy and David in this way.”
Although Johnson declined to appear in the special, she shared her endorsement of the tribute on her Twitter account.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think about the special’s tribute to Trang and Frank? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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