Article By: Alex J. Rosolowsky
At Power Morphicon 2, Tony Oliver told fans to quote “expect some big surprises,” the first of which may have just been revealed. According to Henshin Justice Unlimited, Wikipedia, and Rangercrew, Rene Naufahu will be returning to the Power Rangers franchise. Mr. Naufahu previously appeared on Power Rangers S.P.D. as the super villain Emperor Gruumm.
According to a confirmed cast listing, Mr. Naufahu will play the team’s mentor in Power Rangers Samurai. Also of note is a tentative name for the mentor himself, Takeru, which is a nod to Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the series from which Power Rangers Samurai will be adapted.
It’s worth noting however, that this is not the first time that a recurring cast member from a previous season returned to play a different character. Barnie Duncan, “Piggy,” on Power Rangers S.P.D. went on to play record store owner “Toby” one season later on Power Rangers Mystic Force. Kelson Henderson’s first recurring role in the series was “Boom,” also of Power Rangers S.P.D. Mr. Henderson would go on to play the additional recurring roles of Power Rangers Mystic Force‘s “Phineas,” and Power Rangers Operation Overdrive‘s misguided Yeti, “Norg.” Similarly, Katrine Divine first appeared in Power Rangers Ninja Storm as the villian “Marah,” and returned the next season as “Cassidy,” on Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Mr. Naufahu’s return will mark the first time that one season’s super villain will be returning as another season’s mentor.
Outside of his role on Power Rangers, Mr. Naufahu’s previous acting credits include the role of the “Zion Gate Operator” in The Matrix Trilogy, and “Paramedic Sam Aleni” in the New Zealand soap opera, Shortland Street, among others. In addition to acting, Mr. Naufahu also co-wrote and directed the 13-episode drama series The Market.
Finally, while Mr. Naufahu’s return to Power Rangers has been confirmed, it should be reiterated that “Takeru” is a tentative name for his character, is unconfirmed, and may or may not change before the series premieres. Nevertheless, The Power Rangers Samurai Times is publishing the story given the potential significance of the character’s name, and the significance of the return of Mr. Naufahu.
UPDATE: The promo that was shown on NickToons and Yahoo! Kids effectively confirms that Mr. Naufahu will definitely be returning; whether or not his character will indeed be named Takeru is still unknown. This story will be updated if and when additional information becomes available.