For nearly two and a half decades, fans have been shouting “It’s Morphin Time!” in celebration of the ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” franchise. After twenty-four years, the franchise seems to be going as strong as ever with a new season of the hit television show plus the recently released film series reboot all taking the world by storm! As much as people have been loving the new takes on this classic brand, the original ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ seasons still seem to be getting the most love from fans.
Recently at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con 2017, we were able to catch up with one of the series stars from the original ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’, Karan Ashley! Karan joined the show way back in Season Two as Aisha Campbell, also known as the second Yellow Ranger, following the departure of original Yellow Ranger Thuy Trang. In our exclusive interview, Karan talks about her time on the series, what it means to her now, and tells us a bit about her upcoming action film ‘The Order’! Check out our full exclusive interview below!
Karan Ashley: No! I think it’s so hilarious, because back in the day we used to go out, and our show is cute and fun, but it’s very cheesy and I just figured that in like ten years we will look back and say “oh my gosh, this is how I got my start” and it’ll be something you fondly think about. But absolutely not! You absolutely never go into it thinking something is going to last forever, and it just seems like it’s never going away! People still love it!
SF: How has being a part of the ‘Power Rangers’ effected your life now?
KA: You know what? It effects my life because it’s meant so much to so many people, and I think that is that part that we didn’t anticipate. We thought we were making a cute show, we thought “oh it’s superheroes” and people will grow up and look back like “oh I used to love that”, but they look back and it’s still a part of their lives! People cosplay, people do original art, people have become martial artists now and they’ll tell us “I became a soldier and I wanted to become a hero and you guys inspired me to do that”! It’s just crazy how impactful the show was. It’s amazing, where we thought we were just living out our dreams, we were actually helping a whole generation figure out their life, and that’s crazy! It’s unheard of.
SF: When you joined the show, there had already been a Yellow Ranger for a season and a half before you. What was it like coming into a show and taking over such an important role on the series with an previously established ensemble cast?
KA: Well the show was a hit show when I came on, and I think in the beginning when I found out that we were actually going to be taking their places I said “whoa hold on, these guys are super popular”! I mean, it isn’t like they were the three least popular ones, I mean none of them are the “unpopular ones” really! They were all equally as popular, so it was like “wow”! But I think the excitement of getting my big break and the excitement of being on a television show helped to make those nerves go away. Luckily I think that kicked in pretty quick and I just thought “I’m not going to try and be Trini, Aisha is going to be someone completely different and do her own thing” and luckily I stuck to that and it worked. Kids accepted that. But in the beginning it was definitely a sense of “Ahh! Trini is so popular what am I going to do!” (laughing).
SF: Of all your character’s Zords, which was your favorite?
KA: Well the first thing I ever said was “Sabertooth Tiger”! So that has something special in my heart. She (Thuy Trang, Trini) said it, and I said it. But then the Bear was all my own, so when we did the movie, that was all me! Nobody else had it, and it was all mine. So probably the Bear if I had to pick one.
SF: Definitely a solid choice! Speaking of the ‘Power Rangers’ movie, have you seen the new ‘Power Rangers’ movie yet? What are your thoughts on the film?
KA: I have! I liked it! I know a lot of people have given me mixed reviews, but I went in and saw it as a whole new movie! I didn’t go in and say “oh this is the movie I did twenty years ago” because I just went in thinking “I’m going to see the new ‘Power Rangers’ movie”! I had no expectations, and it was great!
SF: We’re glad to hear it! While we’re on the subject of movies still, what can you tell us about your upcoming film project “The Order”?
KA: Yes! Well ‘The Order’ is a really cool project, it’s an action film, and it’s funny because we created this action movie and it was like “wouldn’t it be cool for all of us to work together?” because it has nothing to do with ‘Power Rangers’, and the characters aren’t even associated in any way, some people are good and some people are bad, but really the motivation was working with everyone! It was like “well we do comic cons all the time together, why aren’t we working on something together?” you know? It’s too many talented people for us to not! It’s just an action movie that we’re putting together and it’s going to be really cool! You’ll see us fight each other!
SF: And you’re actually one of the writers on this project with fellow ‘Power Rangers’ alumni David Fielding (Zordon!), how did this project come about with you two and what was the writing process like?
KA: Modern technology is our friend! We were literally…well we call it “ping-ponging” because I would work on it and email it to him, then he would work on it and email it to me, and we would have video chats and discuss it, break it down and rip it apart! Luckily the two of us went into it with no ego, so we were like “lets rip this thing to shreds, and hopefully we’ll have a good script when we’re done”! And I think we did a really good job! Then we talked twenty former ‘Power Rangers’ cast members into doing the movie, and that means it’s good enough to get them! And they’re pretty savvy, so we felt pretty proud of it!
SF: Can you tell us a little about your character from “The Order”?
KA: I will say this, Alyssa is completely opposite of Aisha. So where Aisha would smile, Alyssa is not going to. I think it’s just a great opportunity for me to play a totally different character and not be so close to my own personality.
SF: Are there any other projects you have coming up you can tell us about? What can Karan Ashley fans expect to see next?
KA: Well, I’m eat, sleep, and breathing ‘The Order’! So probably for the whole year of 2017, although I have a couple other things I’m working on. But right now? ‘The Order’! We’ve got to get this movie finished!
SF: And one last question, which is always one of our favorites to ask, if you had one thing to tell your fans, what would it be?
KA: I would say that you’ve got to live your life doing what you love. If you’re able to do that, which- and sometimes you have to make some hard decisions but you’ve got to stick to it, but you’ll never really work a day in your life. It’s like… life is too short, you don’t know what’s going to happen, you’re going to have ups and you’re going to have downs. But if you’re doing what you love, it’s just easier. It’s easier to deal with. It’s easier, you’re happier, and you laugh a lot more! I’d tell them that I don’t care what it is, you just need to do what you love.
Be sure to follow Karan Ashley on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date on all of her upcoming projects! Stay tuned to ScienceFiction.com for more updates on both ‘The Order‘ and the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise!
Jordan is a Staff Writer & our resident Toy Columnist here at ScienceFiction! Journalist, Musician, Toy Collector, and Overall Awesome Guy! For more on Jordan’s thoughts, toys, and wacky adventures, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.