Rick and Morty’s creative team explain why the show will continue to embrace canon

Rick and Morty
(Image credit: Adult Swim)

For years, Rick and Morty fans had been clamoring for the show to dive into more of its universe’s biggest mysteries. The likes of Evil Morty and Space Beth, however, were largely left to one side in favor of standalone stories and wacky adventures.

That all changed with Rick and Morty’s fifth season, which culminated in a premiere that brought much of the show’s simmering plotlines together. The sixth season picked up where it left off, introducing a more canon-heavy and serialized approach to storytelling.

So, will Rick and Morty stick to its (portal) guns when it comes to canon? Ahead of the return of the sixth season, we spoke to co-creator Justin Roiland and producer Scott Marder about whether the series will continue to build off its previous episodes – or ignore them entirely.

"I've always loved the canonical side of the show. Like I've always felt really passionate and excited about that," Roiland says. "There are consequences that roll over, that’s always been such an exciting element of the show. I personally love it and we’ve managed to build a thing that allows us to do really fun, episodic stuff and still get away with the kind of crazy canonical [stuff]."

That mix of episodic entries and canonical callbacks is something that will continue for the rest of the sixth season.

As Scott Marder teases, "The stuff that we’re doing in season six, which feels like a real sweet spot, is a mix [of canon and standalone]. Every episode is not ignoring the one that came before or after it and they’re all kind of building on each other to what I think will be a satisfying finale."

Marder also reveals that some of the groundwork laid in its more canon-heavy episodes (which the producer confirms has put Evil Morty "to bed for a little bit") will be picked up years down the line.

He says, "I feel like the stuff that we came up with in [the season six premiere], we're still dealing with and tracking in season eight which we're in the middle of writing."

Season 6 of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is returning later this November to E4 and All 4. For more on our interviews with Marder and co-creator Justin Roiland, here's why the show is continuing to embrace canon and a tease of the show's anime spin-off.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.