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Weekly Discussion Post: Identity Crisis
by pockythoughts (pockythoughts)

Hey, everyone! It's...Thursday? Time for the weekly discussion post? "But Pocky," you may be asking yourselves. "Aren't weekly discussion posts usually on Tuesdays?" And the answer is yes. Until now. Long story short, I decided to move days for the purposes of improved comm advertising and/or my own sanity. So expect to start firing up your theorizers on Thursdays from now on, and as always, feel free to post your own content at any time!

Moving on to something more relevant, tonight's topic is Ranger identities! Secret vs. public - which do you prefer? Which would you rather be, if you were a Ranger? What are the pros and cons of each for the Rangers involved? What do public-identity Rangers think of their counterparts with secret identities, and vice versa? And what happens to the lives of Rangers when their identities become public?


Posted by: Chimera (y2jdingo)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
flynn aka braveheart

The only public teams I like as public teams are Lightspeed, SPD & RPM.

In Lightspeed & SPD, they're very much just the pointy end of a long defensive sword, with every technician at Lightspeed working to have these five/six people able to do what they do. It's very parallel to an air force team - main pilots, but the pilots wouldn't get off the ground if support crew didn't do their jobs. In their day to day lives under the sea (I can't remember what the base is called, or that they all definitively moved down there) the people they will see are people who look at the Ranger project as a project. They aren't likely to go celebrity-star-struck over the Rangers when the Rangers are simply using technology developed by a team they work in - no mystic origins, nothing. The outside world, though - going off the LR/LG teamup episode with the little girl - do have that starstruck quality about them, which I think would come in on all teams bar three (SPD, future Time Force & RPM) and would interfere with their lives something chronic.

RPM is Lightspeed, distilled. Civilians look at them like they are just a level higher than the army or police, because they basically are. When the world goes to heck in a handbasket, I don't know how much fangirling/-boying you can do over a team of people who are basically your first line of defence.

Overdrive as (the only? other) public team makes very little sense. What positives they might get as celebrities (some relaxation around rules by those in power who can use discretion...I can't think of any others) gets majorly wiped out when Will's entire profession revolves around going unnoticed. Recruiting a thief becomes pointless when everyone in the area know he's a thief.

The fanon around the Space Rangers post-Countdown being the media liasons for every team after them is pretty amazing, actually. Taking the brunt of the media exposure for those private teams and such.

Posted by: Akino Ame (akino_ame)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)

It's pretty complicated, but after watching another of my fandoms go through this question in canon, I think I may have to favor secret identities--except in certain circumstances.

The advantage of a secret identity is maintaining some level of sanity in your life. You don't have to worry as much about fans or about critics. Sure, this may happen for you while in costume, but otherwise, you can live a normal life. And for teenagers with attitude, this is a really important thing. You have that chance to decide who you're going to be without having to worry about the pressure of being who everyone wants you to be. To some extent, at least. Though do I think there are times the Rangers probably should have told their parents or someone who could cover for them or help them? Yes. Expanding their support system probably would have helped a lot of them.

There are some times when you really can't be bothered with secret identities, and that's when the Rangers are less superheroes and more soldiers. Time Force in 3000, Lightspeed, SPD, and RPM. And what I wish had happened with Lost Galaxy, given how it really would have saved a lot of trouble for Kai and especially Mike when they don't have to come up with excuses to Commander Stanton about why they didn't show up to work today. Time Force (in 3000 only--they need secret identities in 2001 due to wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff) and SPD are police agencies who just happen to be able to morph. Lightspeed is very militaristically run, and when they're based in just Mariner Bay, it helps for the city to know who's protecting them from the supernatural menace. And in RPM (and LG, though they decided to try to maintain secret identities for some reason), it makes no sense to try to keep up a secret identity when you're in a very closed environment where everyone's the last survivors of humanity. The Rangers there have no personal lives to maintain; not only do they need to protect what's left of humanity, it's also really low on the priority list to continue your education or keep up with social obligations.

Posted by: prgirlsrock (prgirlsrock)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)

Personally I prefer private. The angst over people finding out and realizing how oblivious people are is kind of fun :)

Public rangers worked fine in LR and RPM but in OO it was annoying. The whole being interviewed and on TV felt silly to me.

Posted by: Khandri, the Newtype Wannabe (khandreia)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)

To be honest, I more or less agree with everyone else so far. I prefer the "secret identity" thing more, but for the more military/police-type teams (Time Force, Lightspeed, SPD, RPM), it works out better to be public. For the latter, it's just part of the job they signed on/were recruited/hired to do (unless they're the handful who weren't actually brought onto those teams that way). They know what they're getting into.

With keeping one's identity a secret though...while there would be the angst in hiding a part of yourself from everyone, it would still be a way to maintain anonymity and keep the media from hounding you at every turn. As someone who really doesn't like being around people much, that works better for my personality. The ability to be something other than just your normal self for a short time without anyone knowing it also appeals. I suppose it's like being on the internet; what you present yourself as online (or the character you play in your MMORPG of choice) can often be quite different from your real-world self. In a way, it allows for some self-exploration as well.

I sometimes like to think that after the Space team went public, a few others prior to them decided to also go public, since they were already done with their Ranger days, and thus had nothing to lose. Not all of them, of course, but some chose to. (I couldn't tell you who, though--no ideas have really come to me.) And then for any who may have become famous without divulging their past...I could somehow see some particularly dickish media types trying to dig it up and expose them without their permission.

Regarding Overdrive being a public-identity team...yeah, what was up with that? It didn't make any sense or pose any relevance to the ongoing story (such that it was).

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