The Evil Principal is a major villain who appears in the Emo Rangers 2015 Anniversary Special. He was portrayed by Boise local Yurek Hansen.
Originally a space alien, the Principal took on a human form somehow. He arrived shortly before the Emo Rangers went into retirement - and was then careful to avoid triggering the Emo Sensors inside the Command Center. The Emo Rangers eventually moved on with their lives, and Captain Emohead bought back Emo 5 and upgraded him - and all the other Ranger powers and Fight Bots. With no active Rangers to stop him - and the fact that they were an entire continent away - the evil alien set to work scheming his way up the education ladder, and became the principal of Happy Valley High School near Boise. His evil alien assistant got a job as the school nurse there, where the two of them began altering the prescription drugs in stock at the school so that they could gradually turn students into members of their new Hoodie Patrol.
To keep the ruse going, the Principal began selling to clueless and orthonoid parents that the school was a "great and wonderful place" for students to learn and excel - provided they followed all the rules at all times. Kids who broke even the tiniest of the rules would be put on the drugs. And the more they took the drugs, the sooner they'd turn into Hoodie Patrollers. Unbeknownst to this villain, Captain Emohead decided years earlier that a secret room with a secret locker inside the school would be the best place to hide the Chronic Stoner powers - and all of the secrets of the Emo Rangers. Emo 5 would one day call him out on this, leading to Emohead admitting in retrospect that the idea was "pretty stupid."
Meanwhile, a young student named Mary Jane Greenfield was looking for a school she could go to that had the structure her mother believed would steer her into the best direction in life. Mary Jane was unhappy about having to move to the area and leave her old friends behind, but looked forward to starting over. However, she noticed immediately that something was off about Happy Valley High - it looked more like a prison than a school. The Principal sensed her displeasure, and added new rules on the fly so he could put her on drugs right away to ease his paranoia at her exposing him. As soon as she decides to take a selfie on school grounds, he adds a rule against it to the rule book. He then immediately announces to the entire school over a loudspeaker that she is to report to after-school detention.
He calls Mary Jane after classes into his office, then berates her with a tirade of straw allegations about the nature of her behavior. He proves overly fond of sexually harassing her with his remarks too, calling her a "floozy" who wants to "nosh off" on boys - when she has displayed none of these tendencies so far. He also confiscates her phone, much to her irritation. She notices his desk catching on fire when he speaks, but initially complies with his demands out of respect for her mother.
His continued methods of harassing her, however, drive her further and further into rebellion. She takes the secret locker key from the Mysterious Vagrant, and tries to hide her acceptance of it so that she cannot be seen with it. She initially tries to shoo him away, since he's not allowed on campus per the rules. But he insists on giving her the key. The Principal soon becomes aware of the Vagrant on campus, and announces his presence over the loudspeaker and calls for the Hoodies to hunt the vagrant down.
These antics lead to Mary Jane throwing the rest of her prescription pills down a toilet, and then smoking one of John's old joints from inside the secret locker. In short order, this fills her with all the secrets of the Emo Rangers - and she immediately wants to defend their past values by stopping the evil alien menace.
When the Principal sees how quickly Mary Jane is converted into the new Chronic Stoner Ranger, he panics and sends the Hoodie Patrol to kill her off. He believes covering up her murder will be easier than dealing with the Hoodies turning on him once they are recovered after she defeats them. Therefore, when she proves she can defeat them way too easily, the Principal panics and summons his giant robot to attack downtown Boise.
He tries to argue with Mary Jane, but his own impolite antics lead to her either not caring or else having a comeback for everything he says. He attempts to sway both her and the entire Boise area by hijacking public broadcast stations to launch an anti-marijuana PSA. When this has no effect, he resorts to shooting at Mary Jane. He sends an army of animated pill minions after her; but she is able to unlock Super Emo Mode and blow them away with her cannons. With the robot still a threat to her life, she takes Captain Emohead's advice at exactly 4:20 PM and uses her Bong Summoner Flute to bring forward a revamped Chronic Stoner Emo Fight Bot. The Principal has more experience with his robot, so he initially gains the upperhand in their two-way robot fight over Boise.
As Mary Jane tries to get familiar with the controls of her robot to even the odds, Emohead calls the other Rangers out of retirement. The Principal exhausts his robot's defenses by generating a time warp ray to blast the other Rangers to the year 2025 - preventing them from summoning their robots. This forces Mary Jane to land a lucky shot and blow up the robot, presumably killing the Principal too.
With the Principal gone, the nurse is soon also on the run. Happy Valley High has to look for new leadership. Mary Jane doesn't wait around. She instead elects to quit school and become an Emo Ranger full time.
The principal of Happy Valley High is portrayed as a very pushy, egocentric, paranoid, voyeuristic, legalistic sadist and a meticulous control freak. Mary Jane's refusing to simply go along with his cartoonishly off-base antics immediately triggers an alarm inside his head, causing him to see her as a threat that needs to be subdued. However, his over-the-top methods of doing so only push her further and further into becoming the very corrupted rebel that he already accuses her of being, making him quite possibly his own worst enemy.
His intolerance for failure - to the point of summoning a giant murder-bot as a means of throwing a tantrum - liken him very much to Burger Klown. Much like that villain, Sold Ya Boy, Uncle Kuddles, and the New Rave Pirates, his entire schtick prior to battling the Rangers involves scamming someone. Though, his scams prove to be the most involved, politicized, and all-around diabolical of that of any villain featured in the history of Emo Rangers.
He is also the first villain to suggest using drugs - rather than magical alien hypnosis methods - to create Hoodies with. These make his Hoodies considerably more lethal than the previous generations had been. However, Mary Jane's knowledge of martial arts prior to becoming a Ranger also means she can find and exploit their weaknesses a lot faster than the previous Emo Rangers ever could.
Real-world drug law debates
One major issue in 2014 and 2015 of interest to both Chris and Krystal were drug laws and enforcement policies in the UK and US. The way certain harmful substances are banned while others are forced by government officials was of particular concern to them in regards to social and political topics. Marijuana, a hot topic of debate, is still very illegal in many parts of the UK and US. Mandatory minimums - which are also a hot topic of debate - tend to treat its possession almost as severely as possession of far more lethal substances, such as cocaine or heroin.
By contrast, many school districts have become notorious for trying to uphold the Prussian Model at any cost. This has come to mean that any non-traditional student who isn't an obedient, neurotypical flesh robot; is all-too-often misdiagnosed as ADHD by teachers who are playing psychiatrist with a clear lack of qualification. The need to have absolute control over the minutia of student behavior, rather than finding more clever ways to get compliance from a wider array of personalty types, has led to many children being placed on Ritalin and similar drugs. Many of these drugs have proven to cause plenty of other problems. Yet, there are powerful lobbies supporting the forced pushing of these drugs on students, even as dangerous drugs that students might actually be tempted to take are banned on pain of criminal prosecution - including drugs that, while illegal, are no more or less harmful than the prescription ones being mandated!
The controversy regarding this double standard on drug policy has had the unique effect of being questioned by both social liberals and conservatives in American society. It gets worse when lifestyle vaccines are entered into the equation. The arguments used to try to coerce parents into giving sexual lifestyle vaccines to inactive minors tend to consist of badgering parents and students alike into assuming a predestined future of the student being sexually active, denying both a say in the matter regarding whether or not the student even will be sexually active, and to what extent, and with whom.
The student is essentially told: "We're confident that you will be sexually active in the future, you will be promiscuous about it, it will happen, and you won't be able to say no to it forever. Therefore, you need this vaccine from us, and you do need it, and you need it now."
Such aggressive drug pushing - documented risks be damned - would normally be considered a serious criminal offense under current drug laws. But because lifestyle vaccines are backed by powerful lobbies - including powerful LGBT lobbies wanting to normalize their own lifestyle experiments to the culture at any cost - they are made a "noble exception" to the normal rule. This goes to the point that even doctor-patient confidentiality laws that would otherwise be in place can be ignored on pharmacy forms if refusal of a lifestyle vaccine is the hot button issue - leading to parents who've already protected children from a bad vaccine once being harassed a second time by the pharmacist.
In such cases, tragedies such as the infamous Gardasil Girls are pretty much forbidden from discussion. Their crises are immediately dismissed and swept under the rug. Doctors who question the safety of lifestyle vaccines often find their careers assassinated - or even themselves. The same has gone for doctors who question the merits of using mercury as a preservative in other vaccines, with at least one turning up dead in a bag in a river after becoming the target of a ruthless campaign by Wikipedia to discredit him - and ban Wikipedia users who dared offer any documentation in that doctor's defense.
With so much happening in that realm of the socio-political that has affected so many, it is not hard to understand why the creative team would take a strong stand on the issue. Per the usual spoof Aesop ethics of the show, the creative team reached a single logical conclusion: Even a girl who was stoned out of her mind of her own accord would be better than a hypocritical, drug lobby crony government-corporation hybrid controlling everyone.
The short needed to be kept just that: short. So exploring all these issues in depth was not possible. Instead, the Principal character was reduced to a condensed, strawman form of these issues. He was made to have an evil robot, evil minions, extreme fascist control over everything at the school, and a penchant for sexually harassing female students.
Only the sharpest members of either side of the political divide in America, it was assumed, could see through the ruse that the "moderate sheep" either couldn't or refused to, due to their penchant for orthonoia and need for conformity. Alas, the average religious organization in America is no Bradlee Dean or Scott Allan Buss. Even denominations that are officially that sharp, tend to have individual congregations that are run mostly by mainstream sheep. This is why Mary Jane's (apparently Mormon) mother is also portrayed as being one of the masses of easily-fooled mainstream Americans who don't see that there is something very off about modern education and how it is run. As such, the religiosity of the Greenfield family is portrayed as being hollow, and one of mostly "for show." This means that if Mary Jane wants a good mentor or sense of direction, she is eventually forced to turn to the less-than-always-reliable Captain Emohead.
To the short's credit, it actually bothered in regards to Mary Jane to develop her character deeply enough that audiences actually are aware of her family situation. Her father is never mentioned, and is assumed to have walked out on her early on. Fatherlessness is also a huge issue in many American families, and is commonly attributed to desperate kids turning to drugs when all else seems to fail. The only other Emo Ranger to date whose family has been discussed in any detail at all has been Luke, where the only thing anyone knows about him is that he has a mother - whom he apparently at least used to hate, for reasons unspecified. His father is also completely absent from discussion, implying that fatherlessness is a common theme in the lives of emo kids.
The Principal character, wishing to be a part of the evil system described above and rule the world one day through it, would naturally see all of this as a golden opportunity to gain power for himself through first becoming the principal of a high school. A high school in the Boise area, therefore, seemed a logical choice for the one the principal would take over.
Yurek simply took these (or similar) insights, and used them to inform the role of the Principal as being an extremely over-the-top villain who could somehow still fool a majority of parents - but not always the children. Children who saw what was going on for what it was would be put on drugs to keep them from talking or being taken seriously. Parents would be given bribes to not look into things deeper, and other materials to portray an all-is-well facade.
As if all this didn't make the character contemptible enough, his turning of his most obedient students into members of the Hoodie Patrol was to drive home his true diabolical intent. Since there wasn't much time to film or cover points in depth or intelligence, Yurek had his character mostly speak in scenery chewing. He also took every sensitive topic he touched on - right or wrong - and reduced it into a straw argument befitting his role as a straw character.
An example of his straw logic would be when he says he will "avenge the deaths" of every child that has ever died from smoking marijuana. Actual cases of single joint use leading to a child dying from the marijuana itself are extremely rare, not "thousands" like he claims. Marijuana plus another, more serious drug, like cocaine or heroin, does tend to produce such lethality. Even then, most drug-related deaths involving marijuana are second-hand, due to drug-related crimes outside of merely use or possession. A minor in possession of weed is more likely to get gunned down by members of a gang whose drug dealer is a rival of whoever the kid bought his joint from, than anyone is to die from the weed itself.
Even then, to think that the only-recently-converted Chronic Stoner Ranger would be to blame for every single bad drug-related choice that anyone else makes is equally ludicrous - as would believing that he would be avenging anyone by offing her. It seems more like an argument fabricated from out of thin air to back up his wounded ego, than like he is serious about making a valid case against marijuana use. Even most real-world anti-marijuana activists would find the Principal's argument - in his exact wording and implication - to be "useless, utter nonsense."
Since Emo Rangers is a comedy, the decision was made to keep the villain a straw character using straw arguments. This made it that much harder for anyone on either side of the marijuana morality debate to feel any sympathy for the character, leading to a satisfying conclusion for an even greater number of audience members to see him finally killed off. He was written so that neither liberals nor conservatives could cheer for him, allowing the morally-gray Mary Jane to still be seen as a hero in the end.
On top of all this, the Principal's penchant for setting things on fire with his mere evil presence - and glowing red - made him very much an analog to Power Rangers villain Lord Zedd - making him the deserving successor to the Evil Empress that was missing from the final three episodes of season 2. He also proves in this short by way of how he fools parents and abuses teens that he is quite a bit smarter (but still not smart enough) of a villain than the Empress he replaces; as her smartest scheme involved a credit card scam with selling music - that was rather easily foiled by a lone Ross.
It should be noted that this means more thought was put into this character than the entire rest of the show's rogues gallery combined!
While Chris was living in the Boise area, he befriended whatever art talents he could find on the local scene. To keep an old promise, he and Nick agreed to work long distance on making a 10th Anniversary Special for the series. The quickest volunteers he found were Krystal, Kyle, and Yurek.
A few of his old friends from the UK were also willing to pitch in to portray the Hoodie Patrol once more. Yurek was chosen to play the villain, based on his ability to ham act villainous roles. Yurek had also portrayed various characters on stage, and was a dancer for Idaho Dance Theater. Like Krystal, Yurek was native to Boise and had also been involved at Boise State University.
CHARACTERS AND EQUIPMENT
|RANGERS||Ross • Luke • John • Stef • Vicken • Fai • Mary Jane|
|ALLIES||Captain Emohead • Emo 5 • Mysterious Vagrant|
|ENEMIES||Evil Empress • Colonel Crusher • Funky Monkey • Generic Evil Robot • Evil Show Host • Evil Mall Santa • Santa Bot • Johnny • Mr. Fluffy • Sold Ya Boy • AvrilBot • New Rave Pirates • Burger Klown • Uncle Kuddles and Fiddles the Kid • Evil Principal • Hoodie Patrol|
|OTHER||Miscellaneous characters • Arsenal • Zords / Fight Bots|