This article contains spoilers for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always.
When Power Rangers reached its fourth season in 1996, Power Rangers Zeo, Billy the Blue Ranger, played by David Yost, was the last of the original five Rangers to still be in the cast. Relegated to being the Rangers’ tech support, Billy was written out of the series in the most convoluted way possible in the episode “Rangers of Two Worlds” after David Yost rightly walked off set after being constantly harassed regarding his sexuality. Billy was rapidly aged to an old man (so he could be played by another actor) then sent off to the alien planet of Aquitar where he could receive treatments. He had the chance to come back to Earth but decided to stay on Aquitar because he met an Aquitian named Cestria who he could “really relate to.”
Ever since then we never learned anything about what happened to Billy in the years between that episode and his return in the Netflix Power Rangers 30th anniversary special, Once and Always. Thankfully that special finally gave us some insight into what the fan favorite character has been up to.
While Billy stayed on Aquitar for at least some time, he eventually returned to Earth and started up his own company, Cranston Tech. There he developed all sorts of technology, some of which we can only assume had commercial potential since he was able to build a whole facility and fund secret operations. One such piece of technology was stealth tech, which he provided to former Rangers Adam and Aisha for use in their SPA (Space Patrol Alpha) missions.
Despite running a company, Billy also made several trips off planet. At the end of the special, new Yellow Ranger Minh mentions that her mom, “always said she missed you when you were in space.” Billy even gives us a peek into those travels when he offers to bring Minh a souvenir from Mirinoi, a planet that was prominently featured in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.
Some of these adventures seem to have been made with the goal of bringing Zordon, the Rangers’ now deceased mentor, back to life. A prominent plot line of the special has Billy attempting to reconstitute the remnants of Zordon that were scattered through space during the finale of Power Rangers in Space. This is a mission that held special significance for Billy, though we don’t get an idea of just how long he’s been at it or why. Does he need Zordon’s help to battle a new danger to the galaxy? Did he feel guilty for not preventing his death? It’s unclear but the special does end with a tease that Billy won’t give up finding him.
It should also be noted that, while the special doesn’t explain how Billy and the other Rangers got their Dino powers back after they were destroyed in season three of MMPR, it does at least lend more weight to Billy’s in-suit only return appearances in Power Rangers Super Megaforce and Power Rangers Beast Morphers. In those specials Billy appeared alongside his team to battle new threats and they make a little more sense because, if Billy has been traveling around the galaxy,it’s easy enough to assume he could have found a way to bring their Dino powers back.
Perhaps most importantly, Once and Always does mention Cestria! While fans had long speculated that Billy had become romantically involved with her, Once and Always neither confirms nor denies this. Instead, Adam merely tells him that Cestria missed him. That doesn’t mean they’re together romantically. Perhaps the “relating to” that Billy mentioned in Zeo was merely on a friendship level? It was a shrewd move to keep it vague, since fans have rightly pointed out that in MMPR Billy had a massive fear of fish so why would he, effectively, marry a fish person?
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always is now streaming on Netflix.