Arrow's Season 7 premiere last week gave fans a curious look at the future with a flash forward to an adult William and an older Roy on Lian Yu. Now it turns out that those flash forwards are not only here to stay, but that fans will get to see the outcomes and consequences of Team Arrow's actions.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Beth Schwartz spoke a bit about the flash forwards, explaining that while they won't be in every episode they will carry through the season as a way to tell more of the story than each episode might otherwise allow.
"When we had flashbacks in every episode, sometimes it felt like a little too much," Schwartz says. "I wanted to make sure that we were telling the story we needed to tell instead of being forced to tell them in every episode. With the flash forwards, we're able to see the consequences of what our team has done in the present day story. In the future storyline you're going to be able to see were vigilantes effective? How did that affect Star City in the future? How did it affect The Glades? How did it affect all the characters we love? Are people going to be the same or different? It opens up the world a lot."
In the first of these flash forwards, the series showed a young man traveling to Lian Yu with no real understanding of what was going on until a surprise twist: that young man is William roughly 20 years in the future and he's on Lian Yu to seek out an older Roy Harper (Colton Haynes). With the flash forwards set to continue, it opens up a lot of questions about the future of the Arrowverse especially as Legends of Tomorrow has had more than a few nods to a bleak, dystopian timeline ahead. However, despite one specific nod -- Legends first season episode Star City 2046 -- having some very specific elements that became part of Arrow's current reality, Schwartz told Entertainment Weekly what's going on this season on Arrow has nothing to do with Legends.
"This is not connected to Legends," she said. "This is our own future."
Arrow airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.