Adi Shankar

Producer Adi Shankar says that ‘Star Wars’ is not as cool as ‘Power Rangers’.  The producer behind the “dark Power Rangers” (properly entitled ‘Power/Rangers’) video that took the internet by storm a few years ago, doesn’t think a Jedi can hold a lightsabre against a Megazord and he shared this philosophy at Power Morphicon a couple of weeks ago.

“I literally think Star Wars is not as cool as Power Rangers.  Power Rangers is not about good versus evil. It’s not and never has been. It’s the lens through which the stories are told to us, through the lens, the narrative lens, but really it’s about shades of gray, and it’s always been about shades of gray, and it’s about people working together to overcome those shades of gray, through a single point of view. That’s why the Power Rangers are super powerful. Star Wars is about good versus evil. I don’t know what the empire did wrong. I still have no idea. I still don’t know, they got up and they dress the same and then they (the rebels) kill them because they dress the same, like, I don’t understand it. Yeah they blew up a planet, but that’s a cheap reason to want to hate someone. The point is Power Rangers is way doper than Star Wars.”

He later elaborated to ComicBook.com and once more, didn’t pull any punches:

“Dude, I think Star Wars is f****** horrible.  I think Star Wars is a terrible franchise. It has terrible values. What are you teaching people with Star Wars, right? ‘Oh yeah, we’re the rebels and we’re just gonna blow up people who dress the same?’ Like it’s good versus evil? It’s terrible because there’s really very little evil out there. The evil is taught to us through a narrative, but the evil has a point of view, the evil has a perspective, and if you don’t get to know the perspective of the evil then how do you know you’re not evil?”

It’s everyone’s prerogative to like whatever they like and it’s perfectly fine to like ‘Power Rangers’ more than ‘Star Wars’ or any other property, but Shankar’s logic is… questionable.  For starters, the Power Rangers also “dress the same,” even though their uniforms are different colors.  But now, the Empire’s Stormtroopers come in different colors now too.

But perhaps even worse is the question of motivation.  The Power Rangers villains are simply evil.  They just want to amass power and take over the Earth.  That’s literally it.  And the Rangers stand against them, simply because they are good.  It’s the most black and white conflict on children’s television.  There are many animated shows that have richer, more nuanced motivations and mythologies.

I’m a Power Rangers fan and even I can’t tell myself there is more to this concept than that.  How do you feel?  Is ‘Star Wars’ as dumb as Shankar boils it down?

Just to jog your memory, here is Shankar’s ‘Power/Rangers’ video, directed by Joseph Kahn: