Disclaimer: This article includes spoilers from Arrow season eight, episode one, so read this at your own risk if you haven’t seen the recent season premiere titled “Starling City.”
Arrow began the Arrowverse that is entering its biggest year with all the shows’ respective seasons and Crisis on Infinite Earths. But for the Green Arrow, the eighth season will mark as the final one for the series. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has one final mission to tackle that will factor into the upcoming five-hour crossover with The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning. With only ten episodes for its final season, the clock is ticking for the Emerald Archer. The journey has been a long one for Star City’s green-hooded hero, to say the least. For almost eight years, Oliver and his team have taken on threat after threat.
The new season has officially kicked off as Oliver embarks on his final journey before sacrificing his life in the coming Crisis. While the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) has stated that he has seen Oliver’s death, only time will tell if the Green Arrow is truly destined to die as his series is coming to an end. As this marked as the final season premiere for the show, it’s time to look back at all of the season openers, including Starling City.
8 The Calm (Season 3)
Out of the premieres that started on a softer note, it was the Season Three premiere The Calm. Although the peace doesn’t last for long as a new master of Vertigo (Peter Stormare) begins causing trouble in Star City.
From Oliver having to fight himself through hallucination to the shocking death of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) in the end, it gets insane really fast in the one and same episode. The Calm starts slow but ends with a bang as it kicked off the new season.
7 Fallout (Season 6)
After Lian Yu blew up in the Season Five finale, it was challenging trying to imagine how the new season would kick-off. But the season opener for the archer’s sixth year doesn’t get off to a good start.
Essentially, the big fallout of the finale wasn’t a major deal for most of the characters. In fact, the incident only really affected Diggle (David Ramsey) in a bad way as well as putting Thea (Willa Holland) in a coma. But the rest of the team weren’t really changed this massive event and that’s where it becomes hard to take the premiere seriously.
6 Inmate 4587 (Season 7)
The Season Seven premiere Inmate 4587 was, without a doubt, the most different premiere for Arrow at that point. Following his sacrifice in the Season Six finale, Oliver is now spending his days in jail after his deal with the FBI.
It was both intriguing and bizarre to see Oliver in this new setting. There have definitely been episodes where Oliver wouldn’t suit-up, but prison was never a reason for why. Then there is also the introduction of the new Green Arrow whose secret identity was a big mystery for several episodes.
5 City of Heroes (Season 2)
Following an explosive season one finale, the premiere for season two shakes things up a bit. For starters, Oliver has abandoned his heroic duties after feeling guilty for what happened the night of the Undertaking.
City of Heroes essentially becomes about his friends having to help him find his inner hero again. Then there is the series of flashbacks that continue Oliver’s time on Lian Yu with a new villainous force to deal with.
4 Green Arrow (Season 4)
Following the controversial third season, Season Four started off on a really strong and bright note. As he was now done operating as The Arrow for Star City, Oliver is forced to return when a new evil begins causing problems in the city.
While Oliver and Diggle have to go through a few kinks in their damaged friendship, Oliver does finally take a big step forward. With Star City believing that the hood/the Arrow is officially dead, Oliver makes his new debut as he becomes the Green Arrow. With a brand new look and superhero name, this was the beginning of a new chapter in the show's run.
3 Legacy (Season 5)
The fifth season premiere became like a soft reboot of the series after a mixed received season four. With Legacy, it was time to bring in new blood in order to evolve the series. Despite not being totally on board at first, Oliver eventually agrees to start looking for new recruits for the team.
With most of the original members not wanting to return to that life, it becomes obvious that a new Team Arrow has to happen. Legacy begins the final arc in the five-year-long origin story of how Oliver became what he is as the flashbacks follow his time in Russia.
2 Pilot (Season 1)
Any great TV show always starts with a solid pilot in order to begin a hopefully long success. That was definitely the case for Arrow with its series premiere. In the pilot, we get a really good introduction to the people in Oliver's life as he returns to Starling City after having been missing for five years. The pilot wastes no time in getting Oliver into the suit and going after his first villain of the week.
Pilot also demonstrated one of the show's ongoing strengths to this day, which is all of the amazing fight sequences. From solid action, deep drama and mysteries, the pilot for Arrow was a perfect installment for the series.
1 Starling City (Season 8)
As strong as these premieres have been, only one can be the best. That award goes to the latest season opener, with the eighth and final premiere for Arrow kicking things to the next level. With the coming Crisis, we really got a different premiere as the end of the series is approaching, including the crossover.
Seeing Oliver getting to visit Earth-2 and see these characters in a different light was a powerful start. While there was a fun adventure, massive action, the premiere also came with some emotional moments, highlighting the beginning of the end. Compared to other premieres, no other season opener has had an ending as big as Starling City had, with Earth-2 being destroyed in the final minutes. You really get to see and feel the seriousness of this Crisis with an ending like that.