|This article is about a/an episode in Power Rangers in Space, the last installment in the Zordon Era.|
Countdown to Destruction is the two part season finale of Power Rangers In Space. Originally, the finale was meant to be the end of the Power Rangers franchise as a whole, marking a major turning point in any Power Rangers series to date. However, Saban chose to continue the franchise with Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and onward. "Countdown" marks the final appearance of almost every villain from the previous seasons and the last episode to feature Zordon as a major or minor character. This marks the end of the Zordon Era.
- "The time has come to complete my master plan, Astronema. Summon all of my evil forces. They must all unite to finally take over the universe."
- ―Dark Specter[src]
"Countdown to Destruction" saw the final stages of an all-out assault on the universe, orchestrated by Dark Specter and led by Astronema, appointed as his second-in-command. The main villains from all previous incarnations of Power Rangers were included and dealt with, giving closure to the six-year story arc that had started the franchise, and began the tradition of using new cast and characters with each subsequent incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise. The event also culminated with Andros destroying Zordon and began what had come to be called the "Post-Zordon" era of the Power Rangers franchise.
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- "You have a front row seat to the end of your era... and the beginning of mine."
- ―Astronema to Zordon[src]
Dark Specter reveals to Astronema that the time has finally come for the United Alliance of Evil to band together and conquer the universe. Astronema agrees and, after giving her Quantrons an encouraging speech about Evil winning this upcoming epic war, they depart in their Velocifighters, half heading for Earth, and the other half for KO-35. At the same time, King Mondo and Queen Machina receive Dark Specter's orders. Mondo tells the Machine Empire to prepare for the biggest battle the universe has ever seen. Divatox has already begun to attack and brags that she'll show Astronema evil. Although Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa initially argue with Astronema over her plan, they agree to follow her orders when they learn that Dark Specter has put her in charge.
Astronema mocks the imprisoned Zordon, whose energy tube has been steadily draining his energy and is now aboard the Dark Fortress. Zordon tries to convince her to stop the attack, but Astronema ignores him.
Scenes of battles are shown from various planets, and the forces of Evil are clearly winning: On Gratha, Divatox and her army beat the Alien Rangers of Aquitar into submission. On a planet in the Vica Galaxy, the lone Gold Zeo Ranger is overwhelmed by Rita and Zedd's forces. On the Phantom Ranger's Homeworld, the Machine Empire and General Havoc dominate the Phantom and the Blue Senturion. On KO-35, Quadrafighters and Cogs land and assault the rebels.
Zhane, the Silver Space Ranger, leaves KO-35 in order to get help from the other Space Rangers on Earth. He is attacked by Velocifighters during his journey, but is rescued by the Space Rangers aboard the Astro Megaship.
Zhane informs the Rangers of the attack on KO-35, but learns that this is only part of an all-out invasion of the universe. Carlos, the Black Space Ranger, then informs them that over a thousand Velocifighters are heading towards Earth. The Rangers immediately set a course for Earth.
Citizens of Angel Grove begin what appears as a normal day until Velocifighters attack, blasting the city building by building. A myriad of Quantrons and Piranhatrons land and begin capturing civilians. The Astro Megaship arrives in Earth's air-space, and while Zhane pilots it and engages the Velocifighters in the air, the other Rangers morph onto their Galaxy Gliders and travel through the planet's atmosphere to Angel Grove. Initially, the fight goes in their favor, but then, Darkonda joins the fight and attacks Ashley, the Yellow Ranger. Andros, the Red Ranger, saves her by activating his Red Battlized Ranger mode, but is shot down by Ecliptor. Then Ecliptor and Darkonda combine their energies and blast Andros and Ashley, who are forced to demorph simultaneously.
The other Rangers are doing just as badly. Zhane boards his personal Zord, the Mega Winger, but it gets badly damaged by an onslaught of Velocifighters and crashes into a building. Carlos, T.J. and Cassie are also forced to demorph and go into hiding as Quantrons round up the surviving citizens as prisoners.
Back on the Dark Fortress, Ecliptor shows Astronema the two newly-designed Super Torpedo prototypes, which, when perfected, can destroy an entire planet. Although the prototypes are intended to be used on Earth, Darkonda, who's on his last life, realizes that something the size of a planet can also be destroyed by the Super Torpedoes. Knowing this is his chance to take charge, he hijacks a Velocifighter with the Super Torpedoes attached. He fires one torpedo and scores a direct hit on Dark Specter, who slowly begins to disintegrate. Then Darkonda attempts to destroy the Dark Fortress with the other torpedo, but Dark Specter hasn't yet been finished. Roaring "Traitor!" he swallows the Velocifighter with Darkonda on board. Darkonda's last life is spent, and Dark Specter explodes, showering pieces of debris on the Earth below.
A holographic image of Ecliptor appears in the sky of all of the conquered planets, revealing that, in the wake of Dark Specter's destruction, Astronema has assumed power as the Queen of the Universe (to Divatox's horror). On the Dark Fortress, Zordon's energy is restored after Dark Specter's destruction. He pleads with Astronema to end the onslaught on the universe, but her programming prevents her from acting on his words. Astronema then declares to Zordon, "I'm not just Evil; I'm the Queen of Evil!" and orders Ecliptor to land the Dark Fortress on Earth.
- "Andros, listen to me. It is your duty as a Power Ranger to save the universe. Now is the time."
Continuing from where Part 1 left off, the Dark Fortress enters Earth's atmosphere and places itself over Angel Grove. Astronema and Ecliptor teleport down on top of a highrise building, where Astronema addresses the crowd of captive humans. She announces that the rest of the universe has surrendered and that the Power Rangers have failed to save them. She goes on to say that the Rangers are somewhere down here hiding. She demands that the Rangers be brought to her by tomorrow morning or she'll destroy the entire planet. Having issued her threat, Astronema teleports back to the Dark Fortress.
That night on Earth, the citizens of Angel Grove discuss the situation. Bulk and Skull defend the Rangers when a woman suggests that the Rangers have abandoned them. Meanwhile, the demorphed Rangers (including Zhane, who reveals that the Mega Winger is out of action and that the rebels of KO-35 have surrendered) try to formulate battle plans. Andros sneaks away, intending to confront his sister and get through to her. The other Rangers attempt to convince him that Karone is gone for good, and Ashley tries to persuade him to stay, but Andros insists he has to do this. He activates his Battlizer mode and flies away towards the Dark Fortress.
In the morning, Astronema berates the Rangers as cowards, and demands that the Rangers turn themselves over. Just as they are about to do so, Bulk himself steps forward and claims to be a Power Ranger ("I am the Blue Ranger!"). Skull follows suit ("I am the Black Ranger!"), as does Professor Phenomenus ("I am the Red Ranger!"), Adelle Ferguson ("You can call me the Pink Ranger!"), an old man ("And I'm The Silver Ranger!") and the woman ("I'm the Yellow Ranger!") then the rest of Angel Grove declares themselves to be Rangers. The real Rangers watch this and are both shocked and impressed. Astronema and Ecliptor, however, are angered by this act of defiance and begin firing on everyone, but then the real Rangers reveal themselves, morph, perform their roll call of colors (with Zhane telling Astronema that she's "gone too far"), and battle the Quantrons and Piranhatrons. Bulk and Skull rally the citizens and they join the battle. Realizing things are getting out of hand, Astronema and Ecliptor teleport back to the Dark Fortress.
Meanwhile, on the Dark Fortress, Andros creates a distraction and locks Ecliptor out of the control center. Searching for his sister, he instead discovers Zordon in the control center. Zordon tells him that to defeat the forces of Evil, Andros must shatter his energy tube and destroy him. Andros initially refuses, but Zordon convinces him there is no other way to save the universe. Andros raises his Spiral Saber and prepares to strike the final blow, but hesitates, unwilling to kill his mentor. Just then Astronema arrives and attacks Andros. He refuses to fight her and tries to get her to remember that they're brother and sister. Astronema, however, doesn't listen, and, due to the re-programming she got in Dark Specter's Revenge: Part 2, attacks him relentlessly and repeatedly. She even throws him through a mesh wall and prepares to finish him off with her Wrath Staff, sneering, "Goodbye, brother." At the last moment, Andros grabs his Spiral Saber and blocks the incoming attack. The energy bolt is deflected back and hits Astronema instead, killing her.
Andros is horrified, fearing that his sister is gone forever. Just then Ecliptor bursts in. Devastated that the Princess whom he considered a daughter is dead, he attacks Andros. The two battle furiously, until Zordon reminds Andros that he has to destroy the energy tube; telling Andros that it is his duty as a Power Ranger to save the universe, no matter the cost. Breaking away from the fight after striking Ecliptor down for the count, Andros does so, sending a wave of energy across the universe which wipes out or purifies all the invading Evil villains.
On Earth, everyone is happy except for Ashley, who suspects that Andros didn't make it. Just then, the Dark Fortress lands nearby and Andros emerges with a lifeless Astronema in his arms. He lays her down and starts to cry, when suddenly Astronema returns to life and reverts into Karone. She wakes up with no memory of her days as the reprogrammed Astronema, and Andros hugs her.
Some time later, the Rangers help the inhabitants of KO-35 rebuild their world and are about to board the Megaship, leaving for Earth. However, Andros, Zhane, and Karone plan to stay on KO-35, after Ashley tries unsuccessfully to persuade Andros to come with them.
The Rangers sadly board the Megaship, with Ashley the most devastated that she has lost Andros, when suddenly he appears with Zhane and Karone. He tells DECA to set a course for Earth. They go home, and with that, an era comes to an end.
Dark Specter's plan
Dark Specter's attack on the galaxy occurred simultaneously on many worlds. Many characters from previous seasons of Power Rangers were shown again, in battle.
- On a planet in the Vica Galaxy, the Gold Ranger battles Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa. They managed to capture him.
- On Gratha, Divatox battles the Alien Rangers, beating them back terribly.
- On the Phantom Ranger's home planet, the Phantom and Blue Senturion battle against the Machine Empire and General Havoc.
- On KO-35, Zhane and the rebels battle against Quadrafighters and Cogs sent by the Machine Empire. Zhane leaves to get help, but the rebels are eventually forced to surrender.
- On Earth, Astronema plans to destroy the planet using a Super-Torpedo which is stolen by Darkonda to use on Dark Specter. It is defended by the Space Rangers.
- Tracy Lynn Cruz as Ashley Hammond (Yellow Space Ranger)
- Patricia Ja Lee as Cassie Chan (Pink Space Ranger)
- Christopher Khayman Lee as Andros (Red Space Ranger)
- Justin Nimmo as Zhane (Silver Space Ranger)
- Roger Velasco as Carlos Vallerte (Black Space Ranger)
- Selwyn Ward as T.J. Johnson (Blue Space Ranger)
- Melody Perkins as Astronema
- Danny Stallcup as Ecliptor
- Walter Lang as Ecliptor (voice)
- Donene Kistler as Alpha 6
- Wendee Lee as Alpha 6 (voice)
- Julie Maddalena as D.E.C.A.
- David Fielding as Zordon (face)
- Christopher Cho as Dark Specter (voice)
- Hilary Shepard Turner as Divatox
- Carla Perez as Rita Repulsa
- Barbara Goodson as Rita Repulsa (voice)
- Ed Neil as Lord Zedd
- Robert Axelrod as Lord Zedd (voice)
- Danny Stallcup as Goldar
- Kerrigan Mahan as Goldar (voice)
- Kenny Graceson as Elgar
- Derek Stephen Prince as Elgar (voice)
- Steve Kramer as Darkonda (voice)
- Walter Lang as Rygog (voice)
- Scott Page-Pagter as Porto (voice)
- Brianne Siddall as Queen Machina (voice)
The known monsters in the episode were (see each List of Power Rangers Monsters pages for information):
- Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd's army consisted of:
- Blue Globbor (with Aquitian Ranger helmets)
- Jellyfish Warrior
- Pumpkin Rapper
- Psycho Blue's Monster Form
- Miss Chief
- Sting King
- The Craterite Conglomerate
- Wild Weeder
- Two-Headed Parrot
- Horror Bull #2
- Stag Beetle
- Termitus (wielding Mamamite's arm weapon)
- Psycho Red's Monster Form
- Admiral Abominator
- A recolored Pirantishead with Hate Master's hair (from "Fire in Your Tank")
- Kenovan-Ouster 35 (from "Survival of the Silver")
- A flat-topped bluish-white stitchy monster (from "Alien Rangers of Aquitar" Pt. 2)
- An unused Megaranger monster Mushroom Nezire
- An unused Megaranger monster Pig Nezire
- An unused B-Fighter Kabuto monster Isogilala (unused in Beetleborgs Metallix)
- Beetleborgs monsters Aqualungs, Kombat Knat, LottaMuggs, Porkasaurus, Cataclazmic, Torch Mouth, Ultra Vulture, and Changeling
- The Machine Empire and General Havoc's army consisted of:
- Both versions of Cogs
- Eye Guy
- Goo Fish
- Two-Headed Parrot
- Slippery Shark
- Psycho Red's Monster Form
- Owl Monster
- Crocotox Red
- A Waspicable look-a-like
- Voltage Hog
- Face Stealer
- Terror Tooth
- Stag Beetle
- Marvo the Meanie
- A black, hornless, and furry version of Robogoat (from "Fire in Your Tank")
- An unused Megaranger monster Mushroom Nezire
- Beetleborgs monsters Aqualungs, Kombat Knat, Triplesaurus Rex, and Unctuous
- Divatox's army consisted of:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Griller
- Psycho Blue's Monster Form
- Maniac Mechanic
- Admiral Abominator
- Tough Tusks
- Psycho Yellow's Monster Form
- A flat-topped bluish-white stitchy monster
- An unused Kakuranger monster Daidarabotchi
- An unused B-Fighter Kabuto monster Kapparapa (unused in Beetleborgs Metallix)
- An unused B-Fighter Kabuto monster Pineappler (unused in Beetleborgs Metallix)
- Beetleborgs monsters Furocious, Crimson Creep, and LottaMuggs
- This episode was originally meant to be three parts long, but Saban was forced to shorten it to two parts as requested by FOX, which meant they had to remove some scenes. Among the rumored cuts, the Phantom Ranger would finally reveal his secret identity to Cassie.
- Final appearance of Adelle Ferguson.
- Jerome Stone, Mr. Caplan and Ms. Appleby do not make appearances in any part of this episode, nor are they referenced during the Quantron fight at any point, not even by Bulk and Skull. They were actually written out of the show in the previous season without any onscreen explanation whatsoever.
- Originally all villains, except Astronema, were supposed to be reduced to sand and their evil essences were to be banished.
- Final appearances of the Phantom Ranger and the Blue Senturion.
- The final battle between Ecliptor and Andros is an homage to the ending of Super Sentai series Gosei Sentai Dairanger (which had its Zord fight scenes culled for use in the second season of Power Rangers), in which RyuuRanger (the Red Dairanger) duels with a villain one-on-one to the death, to resolve the season running conflict once and for all.
- Even though the Zeo Rangers, Justin, and Ninjor still retain their powers, they were nowhere to be seen nor are they mentioned.
- Part 1 marked the final appearance of the Mega Winger.
- The Mega Winger's battle against the Velocifighters in Part 1 was original (i.e., American) footage.
- The Space Rangers minus Zhane would later return to team up with the Lost Galaxy Rangers in "To the Tenth Power" and "The Power of Pink", Andros and TJ reappear in "Forever Red", and TJ and Cassie reappear again in "Legendary Battle".
- This marks the final unmorphed appearance of Zhane.
- Psycho Red and Psycho Blue's monster forms could be seen among the attacking armies.
- Two-Headed Parrot, Fearog, and Termitus could be seen as part of both Machine Empire's and Rita and Zedd's separate armies. The inclusion of the Two-Headed Parrot can be excused, however, as it is one of Finsters artificial clay creations, meaning it would be easy to mass produce this monster.
- Psycho Blue's monster form could be seen as part of both Rita and Zedd's and Divatox's separate armies.
- The Craterite Conglomerate was somehow among Rita and Zedd's army.
- The Rangers morphed wearing their Megaship uniforms. but were in civilian clothing upon demorphing.
- The Astro Megaship suddenly vanished from the episode following Zhane's departure from it, not reappearing until the penultimate scene on KO-35.
- Dark Specter was telling Astromena his plan when he was attacked by Darkonda, however she was then shown having to re-enter the room to see what was happening.
- Andros flew away to board the Dark Fortress in the evening, but seemingly didn't arrive until the following morning.
- Andros's Astro Blaster was far smaller than normal (clearly a use of the toy rather than the prop) in some scenes on the Dark Fortress.
- Rita was standing behind Lord Zedd as Zordon's energy wave approached their planet, however she was hit by it first.
- Upon seeing the Dark Fortress land, Cassie assumed Astronema had won despite having just witnessed her entire army turn to sand.
Although "Countdown to Destruction" was not originally released as a separate DVD, it was released in the compilation DVD, The Best of the Power Rangers: The Ultimate Rangers, which commemorated the 10-year Anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise. It has now been released on the Power Rangers in Space set by Shout! Factory.
- Ep. 50: Special Selection!! The Youkai Inn - Super Sentai counterpart in Kakuranger. See comparison page. (Bonker's costume}
- Ep. 32: Is It the End!? Desperate Situation, Galaxy Mega - Super Sentai counterpart in Megaranger. See comparison page. (Darkonda Destroyed)
- Ep. 50: Sublime! The Red-Hot Super Soldier Yugande - Super Sentai counterpart in Megaranger. See comparison page. (Ecliptor Destroyed)
- Final Ep.: Seize it! Our Diplomas - Super Sentai counterpart in Megaranger. See comparison page. (Final appearance of the Dark Fortress & Mega Winger)