The flagship Arrowverse show is rapidly approaching its end. It’s a bitter-sweet time for Arrow fans as many are eager to see how this story ends once and for all. Or rather, eager to see how Oliver Queen’s story ends, given that adventures in Star City might continue after Arrow‘s eighth and final season.
As the season 7 flash forwards progressed last year on Arrow (and especially after Blackstar was revealed to be Mia Smoak, AKA Oliver and Felicity’s daughter), fans were clamouring and speculating about a spinoff for Mia Smoak and Team Arrow’s future kids. Speaking for myself, I was excited by the concept, team dynamics, and seeing the kids of the characters I love interact and fight for a common goal. And along the way, they became more than just the kids of the characters I love. They became characters I love.
And after all the clamoring, it looks like the spinoff happening. Starring Mia Smoak, Laurel Lance, and Dinah Drake, crime fighting in Star City is going to continue (seemingly, if it gets picked up… which it will).
And it was recently confirmed via Twitter by executive producer Marc Guggenheim that the spinoff will in fact be set in 2040:
The #Arrow spinoff takes place in 2040. We already spoiled that Oliver is dead by that time, so his not appearing in Arrow 809 (the spinoff episode) isn’t affected by what happens in Crisis (or, for that matter, the series finale). https://t.co/BkrFGnj6Fl
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) November 19, 2019
The State of 2040
Star City 2040 is a very bleak future. The Glades until recently were separated by a wall, there’s a Deathstroke gang with John Diggle’s son, JJ, at the helm, and Zoe was recently killed by JJ. However, it seems this year in season 8, The Monitor sending the kids to the present is also imbuing some hope in the future.
Already, some aspects of the future have to change because the kids have told present Team Arrow about how bleak 2040 is. Dinah even has a great line in that regard: “Knowing what’s happened can either destroy us, or save us. We’ve seen our worst, now let’s be our best.”
They know 2040 is bleak, so now with the remaining episodes of Arrow they will start making different choices. Dinah and Laurel are starting the Canary Network earlier, maybe Diggle would keep a closer eye on JJ, hopefully Rene won’t become a corrupt politician, and it’s looking like Roy isn’t going to isolate himself on Lian Yu.
Will Star City all the sudden become a bright and happy place? I doubt it. And even if it did… that means the central conflict is gone, so therefore, no reason for a spin-off. However, even in it’s bleakness, there is a certain appeal to 2040 in that, “this is what happens when you don’t have Oliver Queen.” It makes Oliver the key, and gives him the respect he deserves.
But what does that mean for Oliver Queen?
The spin-off being set in 2040 is a good thing for a lot reasons. Firstly, it just makes sense. Mia (and William and Connor) are from 2040. Of course they would want to go back to it, and seemingly, fight for it.
But also, we’ve seen the present day storylines with Oliver. Even though he “dies” in Crisis, continuing a spin-off in present day would feel too much like season 9 of Arrow. Enough time has passed in 2040 for the stories to be new and fresh, and we also wouldn’t constantly be waiting for Felicity Smoak or John Diggle to show up. It also ties a bow on Arrow so we can have a proper series finale.
Being set in 2040 also gives the actors some freedom. They can surely reprise their roles if they wanted to (the actors that aren’t apart of it), but the story won’t be so tied so closely to recent events on Arrow, that the writers have to come up with frustrating reasons as to why they aren’t there. Also, it’s more likely the fans won’t bug actors so much on social media wanting them to show up in the spin-off.
But more consequently, it all comes down to what do you want for Oliver Queen? He even answers what he wants for himself in season 6:
One day, he wants to feel comfortable enough hanging up the hood and so he can live the rest of his life in peace with his family. And he did get that for a while, until The Monitor showed up. But, was the city “saved” during that time in Olicity’s love cabin? No…
Saving Star City
That’s the show. On both Arrow, and this spin-off. Does the future being so bleak significantly bum me out? Yes, yes it does.
Here’s the main thing I want changed, so I can feel comfortable ending Arrow, and starting the spin-off: The attitude of Star City citizens.
Not just in their opinion of Oliver Queen, and the rest of the heroes by his side, but in how they face adversity. I want Star City citizens forever changed by Oliver Queen, and inspired by him, to not be a complicit in it’s corruption.
Simply, do I need Star City completely “saved” or else it will be like everything Oliver has accomplished would have been for nothing? No, I don’t. A big part of Arrow is the fight for Star City, but another big part, and arguably a larger part, is saving Oliver Queen. Saving him from his guilt, his self-hatred, and turning him truly into the Paragon we all know he is.
And what does “saving” a city even mean? Oliver has saved it multiple times from disasters and corruption.
In America, we have made great strides in this country but does it mean it’s “saved”? No, of course not. There’s still many problems and issues we face today.
All I know is Star City is a better place because Oliver Queen was The Green Arrow.
The spin-off being set in 2040 makes it less likely we will have crossovers. And I’m okay with it. This new show can be separated from everyone else. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s lost its Arrowverse merit badge, or it’s not a valid part of this universe. If you love these characters, you’ll be okay. But if your sole enjoyment is crossovers, I would recommend peacing out.
Side note, wouldn’t it be fun if the kids of characters on other shows showed up in this spin-off as well? Maybe Iris and Barry’s kids? Sara and Ava’s kids? Kara and Lena’s kids?… (yeah, you heard me right).
What does this mean for Dinah and Laurel? Either they are their future selves, (I’m picturing something like a wise Council of Canaries) or they go to the future. Either one is fine by me.
Let’s wait and see
But let’s all remember the backdoor pilot and the series finale of Arrow hasn’t aired yet. So, let’s refrain from judgement until we see the final product. But so far, Star City 2040 is looking more and more exciting by the minute.
Catch the backdoor pilot of the Arrow spin-off January 21, 2020.