The costume designs and Zords we got in this year’s Power Rangers movie already looked pretty out there compared to the classic looks of the original show. But according to this movie concept art from Mauricio Ruiz, the suits and mech designs could’ve looked even more alien than what we eventually got.
Image: Mauricio Ruiz Design. All images used with permission of the artist.
This makes sense in some ways, given the movie presents the idea of the Power Rangers as a sort of intergalactic police squad (formerly lead by Zordon) before the power coins came to Earth, rather than a typical superhero origin story. But Ruiz has been uploading early designs for the Red Ranger that could’ve highlighted its alien origin even more than the final suits ultimately did. Some don’t even look particularly human.
Although most of these go far beyond the final designs in trying to make the Ranger suits look more like armour than spandex, a few of the traditional design elements are kept intact — the white diamond shape of the original Mighty Morphin’ suits is much more prominent in some of these than it was in the final design, for example.
Ruiz has also shared some intriguing concept art for some of the Zords as well, and weirdly enough, they take a much different tack than the alien designs that eventually made it into the movie. Ruiz’s takes on the Triceratops, Mastodon and Sabertooth Tiger Zords are still very sci-fi, but they’re much more mechanical and robotic than the smooth, pseudo-organic designs as seen in the final film. Instead, they share a chunkier, angular design more in line with the overall aesthetic of the original mechs from the show.
And hey, the Mastodon Zord actually could have looked a bit more like a Mastodon instead of a weird alien caterpillar!
It’s interesting to see just how much the movie designs ultimately diverged from these early concepts — in a way, they ended up flipping, with the suits going from alien wildness to something at least a little more armour-like, and the Zords going from traditional mecha to something much more out of this world. You can see more of Ruiz’s design work for the Power Rangers movie over at his Artstation page.