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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #1
Spoony Spoonerson
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Default Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

Season 3 is definitely my favourite series of PR for a few reasons, such as: plot, pacing, Ninjor, Zords and nostalgia. But while there's so many things I love about that season, one thing always stood out: the damned ninja powers. They were supposed to be this halfway hybrid between civilian and morphed, but on analysis there's pretty much no in-universe reason for them to exist. As for real life, I don't think we ever got a confirmation from anyone who worked on the show, fans have pretty much assumed two leading motives:

1. They Existed To Sell Toys: Okay, this is the most believable reason why Saban would invent another suit for the rangers to wear, as it's another toy to sell. Especially as this is the season that gave us Shark Cycles, Alien Rangers and THAT metallic armour, it's almost impossible not to imagine it was done with toys in mind. Even if the toys did have badass weapons they never got in the show, but I digress...

2: They Existed To Tone Down Violence: Another very likely reason. Season 3 opened with a very much toned down version of Lord Zedd along with a new comic relief villain to cement it, but easily copied hand-to-hand combat was always the most controversial aspect of the show back in the day. Season 3 removing a lot of the punches and kicks in favour of dispatching enemies with "wacky hijinks" could very easily be seen as a move to please the soccer moms.

There's another possible motive I've been thinking of, but I've not seen discussed:

3: They Existed to Save Money:

So go with me on this. By the time Season 3 rolled around, Saban had burned through most of the Sentai footage, forcing more and more of the show to be American-made. Saban is not known for their (his) generous spending. The previous year, half the cast walked out over disputes about how little they were earning against the insane hours they were working. By changing the pre-morph fights to be stunt guys in ninja suits, Saban cut the workload of the main cast, meaning they'd essentially get paid the same for the less hours they worked. I've no evidence to suggest it was intentional, but the way it was done made the American footage cheaper to produce, as well as minimising any further contract disputes. It's a win win. The only loser is the audience who loved the kickass fight scenes.

I'm sure in reality the reason was a combination of the above motives rather than just one, but it's an idea that's only just occurred to me.
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #2
WhiteMystechRanger
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

Yeah. The storyline and writing of of MMPR season 3 improved over season 2 at the expense of the martial arts action.

A lot of the combat of season 3 is closer to 3 Ninjas than Season 1 Zyuranger footage. In the actual suit footage filmed the Rangers seem almost incompetent at times.

Season 1 Kim would have murdered most of the Season 3 MotW with a shot of her Power Bow. An option never considered in fights, the Rangers even forgetting about their blade blasters.
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

They existed because they had them leftover from the movie. Same with the Tengas.
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #4
Titanium321
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoony Spoonerson View Post
They were supposed to be this halfway hybrid between civilian and morphed, but on analysis there's pretty much no in-universe reason for them to exist.
Well, there kind of is. The Ninja suit is the ninja power, the ranger suit is the full Ranger power. Can't use the ninja powers in the Ranger suit and vice versa. It was an extra layer of power and a bit of a test as to whether or not changing up the suits was plausible.

Quote:
1. They Existed To Sell Toys:
2: They Existed To Tone Down Violence:
3: They Existed to Save Money:
1, everything on that show exists to sell toys.

2, not really toning down as much as making it more cartoony through special effects. Effects heavy violence was somehow okay because it was less realistic to the 90s mom organizations.

3, this is half right, as it saved money on paying the actors to do their stunts and action scenes which had become a bit of an expense at that point. But it was still all original footage, which was expensive to make though it turns out that it's super easy to cheap out on paying people who's faces aren't on screen, especially if they work mainly stunts.

Don't forget 4 though. 4 was "it was in the movie" and easy to bring to the show without having to pay Fox for suits/rights.
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #5
Ankh Primo
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

I thought the in-universe reason was simple, that they couldn't fight Tengas unmorphed.

Granted, they could just morph, but why not play with your cool toys if you can? It was no different than the civilian powers of the Disney years which also would have been useless if the Rangers had just morphed first.
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #6
MK19
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

I think it was something that was created for the movie and they continued this into the series..
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Old 10/31/16, 02:02 AM   #7
Alitain
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankh Primo View Post
I thought the in-universe reason was simple, that they couldn't fight Tengas unmorphed.

Granted, they could just morph, but why not play with your cool toys if you can? It was no different than the civilian powers of the Disney years which also would have been useless if the Rangers had just morphed first.
And at least back in the day, there was always the deal with them no escalating things. They fought the grunts unmorphed because they could, instead of relying on their powers to waste time on them when they knew the monster was there.

Also at least in the beginning it was also the fact that it allowed the kids to see the american actors fighting the bad guys too, not just morphed suits. But when the direction started shifting by S3 we got the ninja suits as a kind of compromise. Not quite completely getting rid of the idea of them being able to beat the grunts without morphing, but allowed them to be masked for stunt filming purposes and with ninja powers it lessoned the 'violence' of the fighting. Now a days it feels like they followed the Sentai trend where the rangers morph to even just fight the grunts except for certain times.
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Old 11/01/16, 02:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

I'd heard it was something to do with cutting down imitations of violence by children- the ninja suits are a halfway-house morph that allows for grunt fights but reduces ease of imitation, because they're no longer just teenagers but magical superninjas. Hence why we also got no unmorphed fights in Zeo save very rare and brief occasions. Could be nonsense though.
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Old 11/01/16, 02:02 AM   #9
big smile
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

I don't think it had anything to do with violence because they went back to unmorphed fights in Turbo. It was probably just to sell more toys.
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Old 11/01/16, 02:02 AM   #10
Titanium321
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Default Re: Season 3 Ninja Suits Theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoony Spoonerson View Post
I don't mean to sound facetious, but what's "half-right" about point 3? I literally covered the same topics you did: it saved money on not having to pay the cast to be there, and it was cheaper with stunt guys. So why am I only half right?
It's half right because it saved money, but wasn't entirely about saving money as they still had to pay for original footage to fill that time. The other points matter more to the end reasoning is what I meant, it still saved some money but wasn't a very cost effective means of saving money.

You know, it may have just been more of an intimidation game to the remaining actors too. Saban tossing a "we can cut your screen time down even more" heck, that season was filled with gutting their screen time. Just a shady "keep them in line" move especially after the movie should have given them room to demand more money.
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