If you were between the ages of three and fifteen in the mid 90s, then you were a Power Rangers fan. If you were older than that, then you were at least aware of the phenomenon that hit the world out of nowhere. Five teenagers–“with attitude”–were given the power to transform into a fighting force that would save the world countless times from the likes of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd.
This team of teenagers with attitude was made up of Jason, the Red Ranger; Billy, the Blue Ranger; Trini, the Yellow Ranger; and Kimberly, the Pink Ranger... and then there was Zack, the Black Power Ranger. At Lexington Comic and Toy Convention last weekend, we had the chance to sit in on a couple of Q&A’s with the original Black Power Ranger, Walter Jones. We also had the pleasure of an on-camera one-on-one chat with the man himself where we talk about what he’s doing now, his upcoming movies, as well as his time on Space Cases with Jewel Staite (Firefly)…and of course Power Rangers! Walter tells us what it takes to become a Power Ranger and how he invented Hip Hop Kido! For all the morphenomenal details, you’ll just have to watch our video interview below–stay tuned until the end for a special treat!
As you’ll be able to tell from the noise level in the video, we (and everyone else) were having a blast at Lexington Comic and Toy Convention, so thank you to Lexington Comic Con for putting us all in the same room as our childhood heroes.
Off camera, the Original Black Power Ranger put a debacle to rest–a debacle that’s been a hot topic of discussion since the show was on the air: Was casting the African-American actor in the role of “the Black Ranger” (as opposed to the Red Ranger or the Blue…) a racist decision? Walter informed us that not only was it not racist, but that it wasn’t even a conscious decision; he went on to tell us that it wasn’t until the Yellow Ranger was recast with Thuy Trang that anyone even considered the idea. He joked (or maybe he wasn’t joking?) that this was the reason their replacements were switched, the African-American actress as the Yellow Ranger and the Asian actor as the Black Ranger.
Whatever the thought process was, Walter’s portrayal of Zack Taylor was cool. He was beyond cool… He was fight-putties-with-dance-moves cool. Zack used a form of martial arts, which he created himself, dubbed “Hip Hop Kido”; however, Walter admits that it might not be the most effective form of martial arts outside of Angel Grove. But it looked as cool as it sounded and usually called for the show’s soundtrack to feature heavy beats and funky guitar lines. Zack always had the coolest clothes; while everyone else wore monotone shirts that matched the color of their ranger, Zack wore colorful shirts, hats, and pants. He laughed more than anyone else, and when he entered the scene, the awesome level went way up.
Not to mention that he had one of the most unresolved storylines of all time… Throughout Walter Jones’ time on the show, his character, Zack Taylor, tried time and time again to woo the girl who stole his heart, Angela. Even now, when asked about his character, Walter Jones mentions Zack and Angela’s unrequited love. Who knows, maybe they would have hooked up if Zack and friends hadn’t been “sent off to the peace conference” indefinitely; he jokes that here some 20 years later, he’s still there.
Well, that’s enough awesome for one article. Now to you, Nerdy Minds… Who was your favorite Power Ranger? Did you, too, spend your childhood trying to learn Hip Hop Kido? …not that we did. Okay, maybe we did. Feel free to also check out our interview with the Blue Turbo Ranger by clicking here and our interview with the voice of Goldar by clicking here! A special thanks to Lexington Comic & Toy Con for having Walter Jones and Nerdy Minds Magazine in the same place at the same time. Be sure to send a tweet to Walter and Lexington Comic Con to let them know you enjoyed the interview! Want even more interviews with your favorite celebs? Click here to be taken to our interviews section!