Lord Zedd

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Lord Zedd
Zedd2.jpg
Series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Power Rangers Zeo
Power Rangers in Space
First appearance The Mutiny, Part I (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Last appearance Countdown to Destruction, Part 2 (Power Rangers in Space)
Status Purified into Human, once was evil
Homeworld Unknown
Zords Serpentera
Portrayed by Ed Neil
Mark Ginther (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
Robert Axelrod (voice, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers)
Steven Blum (voice, Power Rangers: Super Legends)

Lord Zedd is the primary antagonist in the TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He was introduced at the beginning of the show's second season as a new antagonist. As opposed to the previous villain Rita Repulsa, Zedd was a character made specifically for Power Rangers without any previous counterpart in the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. He was such a frightening and nightmarish character when first introduced that in several episodes after his introduction, parents of younger viewers actually complained that he was "too evil" for the show.[1] This resulted in Zedd's being toned down immensely and soon after making the character (and his plans and monsters) more comedic. Although less iconic than Rita, Lord Zedd remains one of the more popular Power Rangers villains, particularly amongst older fans who favor the character's grittier early appearances.

Character history[edit]

Before Mighty Morphin Power Rangers[edit]

Lord Zedd was the self-proclaimed, all-powerful "Emperor of Evil" and "sworn enemy of all that is good and decent". Not much is known of his life before attacking the Earth, but several details emerged:

  • Over a period of time, he conquered a large portion of space. His distant conquests occupied his attention away from Earth for centuries at a time, which was why he ordered his subordinate (and future wife), Rita Repulsa, to conquer Earth.
  • He developed an intense rivalry with Count Dregon, the evil uncle of the Masked Rider, at some point in the past. (Dregon was introduced in third season at the same time as the Masked Rider, but never appeared again in the series.)
  • The moon palace that he occupied while attacking Earth was not built by him or his subordinates, but his evil did corrupt it.
  • He attempted to obtain the Zeo Crystal, but the force field surrounding it prevented him from doing so. It also resulted in his skinless appearance, as the force field was designed to repel evil.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers[edit]

At the beginning of the second season, Lord Zedd arrived on the moon to resume command. Angered by Rita's failure to complete her mission, he demanded answers to which she tried to explain about Zordon's presence. Though seeing him as "the groveling one," Lord Zedd knew Goldar was loyal, and restored his wings. As for Rita, Zedd found that not only Zordon had returned, but also the six Power Rangers stood against her were "infants" and became enraged that Rita "was defeated by children!!" (As often shown throughout the series, whenever really angry, he would glow bright red.) He stripped Rita of her powers and imprisoned her within a small "Space Dumpster." After sending her into space, Zedd unleashed his Z-Putties on the Rangers. Despite being offered to create monsters for him, Zedd ignored Finster, seeing him as nothing more than Rita's loyal henchman. He created his first monster: Pirantishead, who took command of the Tyrannosaurus Zord and Dragonzord after freezing the other four Dinozords. Zordon – certain Zedd would one day threaten Earth directly – knew the Rangers would be outmatched without new Zords. After some difficulty, the five Rangers were able to acquire their Thunderzords and destroy Pirantishead, while Tommy Oliver retained the Dragonzord. Though enraged by this defeat, Zedd vowed to never give up.

Like Pirantishead, Lord Zedd's monsters were created from objects on Earth with the power of his Z-Staff. Rather than using his staff to enlarge monsters (as Rita had done), he would make a grenade appear in his hand, which he would throw down to Earth. The monster (or monsters) would then catch the grenade, remove its pin and smash it to the ground. When it exploded, a vent of steam would make the monster grow.

After several defeats, Lord Zedd's attacks on Earth gradually became more violent and deadly. He focused particular attention on Tommy, who he saw as Rita's biggest failure in giving him the dragon coin. The Green Ranger's powers had already been becoming progressively weaker, but Zedd's efforts enhanced the process. Eventually, he used Turbanshell and the Green Crystal to drain all of the Green Ranger powers. To that end, he created a team of evil Power Rangers (the Dark Rangers), de-powered the real Rangers, and sealed off the Command Center. However, Tommy shattered the crystal – restoring everything to normal. Turbanshell was destroyed soon after, too, but Zedd had nonetheless succeeded in finally draining the Green Ranger of power. He later planned to make Tommy his successor by brainwashing him, but Zordon managed to get to Tommy first, making him the new White Ranger. Zedd had used Scorpina once in an attempt to brainwash Adam against the rangers and presumably destroyed her for her failure. He also once planned on turning Kimberly Hart into his queen after noticing her beauty and tenacity. Zedd ordered Goldar to dress her up in Rita's clothing and teach her how to be a proper consort. In the end, he failed to turn Kimberly over to his side as she proved to be much smarter and intuitive in doing a convincing Rita impersonation to buy her friends time to save her.

Throughout this, Lord Zedd discovered that the Rangers were not the "mere infants" and "children" he'd initially thought. Just like Rita, he couldn't defeat them. Zedd took matters into his own hands and brought out his personal Zord, Serpentera. This serpentine Zord was so massive that it could literally crush the Ranger's Zords underfoot (with the exception of Carrier Zord, Tor) and had the power to destroy whole planets. However, Serpentera's distinctive flaw was that it used up energy so quickly that it could only be used for short periods of time. For example, it used most of its power destroying the Deserted Planet (in a failed attempt by Zedd to destroy the Rangers) and could barely function upon returning to Earth. Zedd continually attempted to find an infinite power source for Serpentera, but he always failed.

Soon it came time for Zedd's 100-year recharge to fully restore his evil energies. It was during this slumber that Rita returned to the palace. With Finster's help, she regained her size and poured a love potion into the machine that Zedd was attached to. When Zedd awoke, he instantly fell madly in love with Rita and proposed. She readily accepted it, causing Goldar to be suspicious of Zedd's sudden change of feelings for Rita. While Zedd and Rita became far less serious and lighter figures after their marriage in The Wedding episode, they were still formidable opponents and the Rangers were now struggling to defeat both their foes combined. Zedd and Rita used multiple attempts involving clones of the Rangers and time-travel. Starting with the third season episode Ninja Quest and continuing into Zeo, monsters were made to grow by Rita and Zedd's crossing their staves and sending lightning down to Earth.

When Rita's younger brother, Rito Revolto, arrived to offer the couple belated congratulations and was seen playing with his Z staff, Lord Zedd was infuriated by his presence. The skeleton warrior was extremely stupid, even constantly referring to Zedd as "Ed", causing him to yell at Rito in getting his name right. Rito brought Tenga Warriors, and destroyed the Thunderzords, but after this victory, he couldn't do much of anything right. The truth about Rita's love potion eventually came out in large part because Finster accidentally mentioned it to Rito, who offhandedly mentioned it to Goldar, who ordered Finister to create an antidote and then gave it to Zedd. Even though the antidote worked, to everyone's surprise, Zedd truly loved Rita.

Late in the third season, Lord Zedd captured the Falconzord and Ninjor, and acquired the ancient zords (later called Shogunzords). By holding a powerless Kimberly hostage, he hoped to force the other Rangers to pilot the zords (which were augmented by the Falconzord's technology and powered by Ninjor) in his service. When Tommy attempted to rescue her, Zedd personally battled him (the only time he ever fought a Ranger in hand-to-hand combat). The battle ended when Tommy used Saba to shatter Zedd's Z-Staff, revealing Zedd's pet boa constrictor and forcing him to retreat. Billy had also managed to give the Rangers control of the Shogunzords.

When Rita's father, Master Vile, arrived on the moon in his quest for the Zeo Crystal, Lord Zedd was pushed aside. Zedd had no respect for the older villain and vice-versa. (Master Vile even asked Rita, "You couldn't marry someone who had a skull?") He was always glum at the prospects of Vile succeeding, but also always ready to upstage him whenever possible (such as when making Dischordia grow). When Vile unveiled his plan to use the Orb of Doom to reverse the Rangers' ages, Zedd mockingly pointed out, "I hate to be the one to break the news to you, 'Dad,' but we tried this once before and it didn't work then, either!", which Goldar readily agreed with. Much to Zedd's annoyance, however, the plan succeeded. He and Rita then take advantage of situation by growing themselves, along with Rito and Goldar into giants to destroy Angel Grove.

Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers[edit]

The Rangers had been turned to children due to Master Vile's Orb of Doom, and the older villain intended for an army of monsters to take over Earth. The Aquitian Rangers stopped his plans, and he left in annoyance. Lord Zedd was overjoyed to be rid of his father-in-law, even to the point of dancing and kissing Goldar. He resumed his own efforts to conquer Earth, which was more vulnerable than ever with the Rangers' still being regressed in age. Zedd and Rita destroyed the Ninja Power Coins early on, after Billy had been restored to his normal age, but before the others had been restored. Zedd found a map of a series of underground tunnels underneath the Command Center, pointing out a weak point. Aware of the Rangers' quest for the Zeo subcrystals, he and Rita ordered Goldar and Rito to plant an implosion device and steal the Zeo Crystal. They appeared to have succeeded, as Rito and Goldar stole the Zeo Crystal, and the implosion device went off, destroying the Command Center.

Power Rangers: Zeo[edit]

During Zedd and Rita's victory celebration, the Machine Empire arrived and attacked. Zedd, Rita, and company were forced to flee in Serpentera, to move in with Master Vile(a decision that both he and Vile are both against). Expressing massive humiliation, Zedd vowed to one day return and rule the galaxy.

Zedd eventually secretly returned to the Moon with Rita and Finster in a motorhome base. He and Rita restored Goldar and Rito's memories (plus their swords and the former's wings) and brought them to the moon. After King Mondo was defeated by the Super Zeo Megazord, Zedd and Rita began their efforts to become the top villains again. Their most notable plan was attempting to take control of the Machine Empire via a puppet ruler, Louie Kaboom. Though Kaboom ultimately took over, Rito lost Kaboom's remote control, which meant that Zedd and Rita's group could no longer control Kaboom. Kaboom was later defeated by the Rangers after Prince Gasket arrived. Gasket later brainwashed and forced Tommy to battle Jason in an arena, which Zedd and company were at first entertained by. However, Zedd quickly realized that if the Rangers were indeed destroyed, the Machine Empire would conquer Earth and leave them with nothing but exile. He had Finster help the Zeo Rangers, sending them to the arena to help overcome Gasket's plot. Zedd loathed the idea of helping his most hated enemies, but he loathed the idea of the Machine Empire's winning even more.

When the Gold Ranger powers began to leave Jason, Lord Zedd and Rita made an attempt to claim them. This led to a face-to-face confrontation with the rebuilt King Mondo, which ultimately saw the Cogs and Tengas battling to a stalemate. Faced with a standoff, Zedd pretended to give up and leave, but he had a plan. After Mondo lost a battle to the Rangers, Zedd and Rita met up with the Royal House of Gadgetry on the Moon. Zedd and Rita pretended to have given up and proceeded to make a faux truce with them, symbolized with a present. The present was a bomb, which destroyed the Royal House of Gadgetry. Zedd laughingly proclaimed, "We're back!" as King Mondo swears revenge on both him and Rita.

In between his exile and return, Zedd also briefly appeared alongside Rita in Adam's dream in "It Came From Angel Grove."

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie[edit]

Rita and Zedd made a small cameo appearance in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. Divatox calls them in the middle of the night to ask them how to destroy the Rangers. In a comical scene, Rita held the phone to a snoring Zedd, saying that if she knew how to stop the Rangers she wouldn't have to listen to that, and then told Divatox her advice was to run.

Power Rangers: Turbo[edit]

Lord Zedd and company were not shown attacking the Earth during this season. Their apparent disappearance was never explained or even referred to on-screen, though assumed that they were raising their son, Thrax at the time. Zedd, however, was shown alongside Rita and the other leading villains in the Millennium Message, which warned of a universal conquest by evil and predicted only one force could stop them.

Power Rangers in Space[edit]

Later, Zedd and Rita attended Dark Specter's conference on the Cimmerian Planet. Although they were distraught when they heard that Divatox had supposedly destroyed the Rangers, Zedd toasted to Dark Specter's eventual takeover of the universe. He attacked Andros with his staff, but the attempt was easily deflected by the Spiral Saber.

Towards the end of the season, Zedd and Rita joined the overall attack throughout the universe. Though Zedd felt his plans were preferable to Astronema's, he was fearful of Dark Specter and followed orders. Rita and Zedd invaded the Vica Galaxy and quickly conquered it, defeating and capturing the Gold Ranger in the process. Zedd gleefully exclaimed before it was over, "It's great to be back in the game!"

When Zordon's energy wave washed over them and their army, Zedd was turned into a normal human being, apparently free of his evil persona and horrific appearance. His feelings for Rita remained, however, and the pair danced in celebration as the bemused Gold Ranger looked on.

Power Rangers Wild Force[edit]

Later, in Forever Red Zedd's old Zord Serpentera was unearthed by the remnants of the Machine Empire on the moon (how it got there was never explained) and was reactivated in an attempt to destroy Earth, but was finally destroyed by the Red Wild Force Ranger with his Wild Force Rider. It's mentioned that the Zeo rangers thwarted Zedd's final gambit against them with a more powerful Serpentera (an unseen encounter between the end of Zeo and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie). This would imply that Zedd finally gave up on trying to beat the Power Rangers, since even his forces were not enough after years of trying and failing.

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive[edit]

In the anniversary team-up episode Once a Ranger, it is revealed that Zedd had a son with Rita at an unspecified time. The son, Thrax, had been sealed in a space dumpster by the Sentinel Knight. Thrax ultimately returned to seek revenge. Lord Zedd himself did not appear, but his change to the side of good was mentioned by Thrax, who also called him (along with his mother) weak for making such a decision. He vowed to restore their evil legacy and is seen using the staff that belonged to his father.[2]

In other media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Lord Zedd appeared as the main antagonist in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics. In the Power Rangers: Zeo comic set during their exile, Lord Zedd and Rita attempted to use the Ninja Power Coins energy for an evil plot – leading to conflict with the Zeo Rangers and the Machine Empire. (This storyline went unresolved, however.)

Power Rangers: Super Legends[edit]

Lord Zedd appeared as a boss in the 15th anniversary video game for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2 and PC, this marks the first time Zedd has been featured in a game since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition.

The home console versions of the game describes Zedd as having found a way of manipulating the time line in an attempt to eliminate the Rangers from history. His return to his original form is revealed that when he was purified, Zedd became an archaeologist and discovered a relic known as the Time Crystal. Despite the second chance he has received from Zordon's sacrifice, Zedd mourns the loss of his great power and influence through tyranny. Not being able to resist the temptation of looking back to whom he once was, Zedd observed his own past, but when his past self reached out to his future, he was able to corrupt the purified version of Zedd and restored his powers and original appearance. The game doesn't mention what happened to Rita, though given her status as the Mystic Mother and the current Empress of Good Magic, it can be assumed that she left him after his return to evil.

With the Time Crystal at his disposal, Zedd plays havoc with the timeline, and it takes a combined effort of various Rangers from the past, present, and future to defeat him. Zedd attempts to escape, but accidentally drops the Time Crystal when fleeing to a void outside of time. The Omega Ranger admits to his fellow Rangers that it may take Zedd eons to escape.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Power Rangers Super Legends: Lord Zedd Figure Review". www.infinitehollywood.com. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  2. ^ "Japanese magazine scan on Lord Zedd's Son in team up episode". Retrieved 2007-05-09.