The Death of the Strongest Power Ranger's Most Powerful Weapon, Explained

Ever since bursting onto the scene nearly three decades ago, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have contributed some of the most iconic figures of all time to the annals of pop culture. Apart from the teenage heroes themselves, there is the myriad of colorful enemies and allies who have come into the Rangers' lives over the years. Of them all, few stand out in quite the way that Saba does. Then again, it is difficult, if not impossible, to take the place of a living weapon, especially a talking, tiger-headed sword. Strange as it might be, Saba's story is just as enthralling as everything else about him, even if it doesn't always have a particularly pleasant ending.

The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series from 1993 introduced the world to the high-kicking phenomenon that is Tommy Oliver. As the Green Ranger, Tommy famously menaced the titular heroes before being freed from Rita Repulsa's mind control and joining the Rangers in striking back at the villain. Of course, Rita was far from the worst thing the Rangers had to worry about, and soon enough Lord Zedd stepped into the spotlight as the latest, greatest threat to the universe.

It wasn't long before Zedd left the Green Ranger all but destroyed entirely, forcing Zordon to create an even more powerful Ranger to combat Zedd's superior forces. With that, the first White Ranger was born during the 1994 two-part episode "White Light," though it wasn't the Ranger himself who captivated the show's young audience. Instead, it was Tommy's new blade that '90s kids found themselves enamored with, and for good reason. Saba wasn't just the coolest weapon in the Rangers' arsenal, he was quickly one of the most memorable characters in the franchise's history.

RELATED: Power Rangers’ Greatest Romance Was Between Tommy and Kimberly’s Replacement

Saba, whose name itself was a play on Saban Entertainment, acted as just as much of a partner to Tommy Oliver as he did a sidearm, and even something of a mentor at times. Voiced by esteemed Power Rangers producer Tony Oliver (who happened to be Tommy Oliver's namesake), Saba became an indelible part of the White Ranger's exploits, even acting as the means by which Tommy controlled the White Tigerzord in battle. As fiercely loyal as he is direct, Saba has never shied away from a fight, whether that means by Tommy's side or on his own via levitation. Still, not every battle was one that Saba could win, and the Boom! Studios timeline has been far from the glory days Saba experienced on the silver screen.

The Saba of the comics, first introduced back in 2017's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando, Hendry Prasetya and Corin Howell, wasn't so removed from his live action counterpart, even if their stories took wildly different turns.

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Initially, the Boom! Studios Saba was unearthed by Tommy Oliver and Billy Cranston on the world of Lord Drakkon. While Saba had been intended for Jason, Drakkon's interference in that process ensured that his world would never know a White Ranger. Saba's discovery alone was shocking enough to the two unwitting Rangers, but once he explained to them just who Drakkon was, it became clear that the history of this other reality had been irreparably altered compared to that of the heroes' own.

With Saba's help, the Rangers were able to seek out the Coinless resistance and lead the charge against Lord Drakkon, ultimately unseating the tyrant from his throne. Unfortunately, seeing Drakkon imprisoned within Promethea wasn't enough for Saba, who decided to take matters into his own proverbial hands, only for his attempted assassination of the villain to lead to Saba's own head being snapped off of his hilt. Since then, Drakkon has kept Saba's remains close, seemingly hearing that gravely voice whispering to him from time to time in one of the darkest ends imaginable for such an iconic character.

RELATED: Power Rangers: The Blue Ranger's Secrets Might Have Saved the World

Thankfully, there is still the Sword of the Light, the Saba which the primary Tommy Oliver of the comics has come to possess, though that version of Saba has proven itself to be nowhere near as friendly nor as talkative as any of its predecessors. Even in the more gritty and grounded world of Boom! Studios take on the franchise, it's hard to imagine that any fans could have seen Saba's death coming from very far away.

If nothing else, the destruction of Saba cemented the fact that even the most beloved characters aren't safe on the comic book page, no matter how desperately they would like to be.

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John Dodge (1151 Articles Published)

John Dodge has been an avid consumer of comic books and nerd culture for as long as he can remember. An expert on competitive gaming and obscure kids shows from the 80's and 90's, John has far too many opinions about Beetleborgs for someone in their thirties. You can find him occasionally discussing them over on Twitter at @JohnJDodge.

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