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|This article is about a/an episode in Power Rangers Ninja Storm.|
Prelude to a Storm is the premiere episode of the eleventh incarnation of Power Rangers, Power Rangers Ninja Storm. It debuted on February 15, 2003.
When an exiled evil ninja master returns to Earth to take control, three misfit students from the Wind Ninja Academy are given Morphers to become Power Rangers and defend the planet.
The episode opens up with a view of the three main protagonists (and later on, Wind Rangers), Shane, Tori, and Dustin spending time on their respective extreme sports (skateboarding, surfing, and motocross).
Tori is then seen packing up her surfboard (struggling to put her watch on in the process), getting into her van to pick up Shane and Dustin for ninja training. Unfortunately, they end up running late; Tori is complaining about how the guys "manage to be late every single time". Shane and Dustin then launch into an explanation about their personalities, Dustin dubbing their female friend as the "logical one", then comparing the three of them to Power Rangers, to which Tori scoffs at, telling Dustin that he needs to "lay off the comic books".
The three teenagers reach a remote location in the woods, and after walking through the forest for a while, they sense danger, as a black blur has whizzed by them. A group of air, water, and earth ninjas comes out of nowhere and attack them. The teens reveal their own ninja uniforms, and strike back. A few failed ninja moves later, they are beaten. Their sensei appears, and berates them for their lack of commitment to the art. Humiliated, they dejectedly enter a portal in the waterfall and emerge at the Wind Ninja Academy.
The sensei's son, Cam, doesn't understand what Sensei Watanabe "sees in those three". Later, a strange, purplish haze appears in the sky, causing the sensei to believe that danger is approaching.
The next day, we see Shane, Tori, and Dustin hanging out at Storm Chargers (Shane and Tori are watching a small TV in the middle of the room, while Dustin is working), and an alarm lets Dustin know it is time to head to class. Shane and Tori follow him to the van, but on their way to the Wind Ninja Academy, they catch sight of an elderly couple having a bit of trouble with their car. While Shane protests, Tori and Dustin ignore him to help the couple, with Dustin claiming that it would only take a minute or two. Evidently, it took a lot more than a minute or two, because by the time they got back into the van, they were running late...again.
At the Wind Ninja Academy, an evil force has descended upon the school: Lothor and his evil minions. He unleashes the Kelzaks on the ninja students, who try to fight them, but the Kelzaks prove to be too much. The ninja students are captured into a jar, courtesy of Choobo, who unleashes energy spheres that capture said ninja students.
Lothor takes on Sensei Watanabe, one on one. It is later revealed that when their energies collided, something mysterious happened, and Sensei got turned into a guinea pig.
The teens arrive just in time to see the ninja academy sucked up into the sky, and so, their late arrival has had a silver lining: they are the only three students left of the Wind Ninja Academy. As Lothor gloats over his victory in his overhanging ship in outer space, he learns that three students have remained. He sends his forces down to intercept and capture them.
The trio finds Cam trapped in the rubble, and as they are helping him out from under the rocks, lasers begin flying down, exploding behind them. As Lothor's forces attack, they run for cover. Cam takes them to a secret, high-tech underground dojo, much to their surprise. As they stare in awe at their surroundings, a small cart wheels in, carrying their sensei, who has been temporarily transformed into a guinea pig in his battle with Lothor.
Sensei instructs Cam to give the students the Wind Morphers, and soon afterwards, the computer at the head of Ninja Ops beeps, alerting them to an attack at the quarry. The trio go outside to try out their new Morphers on Lothor's army. Quite sadly, Shane and Tori can't quite get the morphing call right, but Dustin tells them to "watch the master". With the call of "Ninja Storm, Ranger Form!", the three are transformed into Power Rangers. Shane takes to the air and slashes away at the Kelzaks with his sword, successfully beating a hoard of them to the ground. Tori runs across water and blasts some Kelzaks from a distance, commenting that their swords are also a handy laser blaster. Dustin hits the underground and blasts some Kelzaks off their feet. Together, they use their power weapons against the main monster, and combine them into the Storm Striker. The monster is successfully destroyed, and the Rangers celebrate, not being able to believe what just happened. Back at Ninja Ops, Sensei tells the Rangers that their battle has only begun.
- Pua Magasiva as Shane Clarke (Red Wind Ranger)
- Sally Martin as Tori Hanson (Blue Wind Ranger)
- Glenn McMillan as Dustin Brooks (Yellow Wind Ranger)
- Jason Chan as Cameron Watanabe
- Grant McFarland as Sensei Kanoi Watanabe
- Megan Nicol as Kelly Halloway
- Grant McFarland as Lothor
- Peter Rowley as Zurgane (voice)
- Bruce Hopkins as Choobo (voice)
- Katrina Devine as Marah
- Katrina Browne as Kapri
- Craig Parker as Blue Face (voice)
- Prelude to a Storm is the first Power Rangers episode (and its series, Ninja Storm) to be entirely produced by Disney and filmed in New Zealand.
- Douglas Sloan and Ann Knapp Austen return to Power Rangers for this season and Dino Thunder for the first time since the end of the first half of Turbo.
- Prelude to a Storm marks the appearance of the first ever female Blue Ranger in the franchise.
- It is also the first appearance of the Wind Power Weapons.
- There are hints in this episode that the Power Rangers were fictional previously, when Dustin talks about them, Tori tells him to "lay off the comic books", and when the trio are presented with the Wind Morphers, Dustin says that he knew that Power Rangers were real. However, the concept that the Power Rangers from previous series were fictional was scrapped the next season.
- This makes for the second time that the Power Rangers were referred to as comic book characters, with the first time being Shell Shocked (In Space) by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- Prelude to a Storm is the only time that Shane and Dustin are seen helmetless and the first time Tori is seen helmetless. She is not seen helmetless again until "Once a Ranger".