Is Arrow's season 7 flash-forward storyline working to establish an alternate future first seen in Legends of Tomorrow? The ending of Arrow's 150th episode, "Emerald Archer," suggests this may be the case. Given the ever-changing nature of the Arrowverse and the malleable state of its timeline, however, it may take a bit of tinkering to justify both potential futures.
Originally famous for its flashbacks, which showcased Oliver Queen's adventures during the time between when he was first shipwrecked on the island of Lian Yu in 2007 and when he first returned to Star City in 2012, Arrow shifted gears at the start of season 7. The season opened with a flash-forward storyline set in the year 2038, which centered around the murder of Felicity Smoak and a plot to destroy Star City with a series of bombings.
The dystopian vision of Star City presented in this storyline was reminiscent of a similar story from Legends of Tomorrow season 1, set in 2046. This has prompted some to consider that this new Arrow storyline may be establishing the canonicity of the earlier episode's alternate future, to one degree or another, and it seems it's now happening.
- This Page: What Happened In Legends' Star City 2046 & Arrow's Star City 2038
- Page 2: How Arrow Is Setting Up Star City 2046
What Happened In The Original Legends' Star City 2046
The Legends of Tomorrow were forced to make an emergency landing 30 years into the future of Star City in the season 1 episode "Star City 2046." Star City natives Sara Lance and Ray Palmer were stunned by how their city had degenerated into a violent dystopia, ruled by a number of criminal gangs overseen by a man named Grant Wilson, who was revealed to be the new Deathstroke and the son of the original Deathstroke, Slade Wilson. The only hero to be found in this lawless place was a new Green Arrow, who introduced himself as Connor Hawke.
Connor explained how things became so bad in Star City and why he was the only hero left trying to save it. In 2031, Grant Wilson attacked Star City with an army of mercenaries, in imitation of his father's assault on the city in May 2014 (in Arrow season 2). The battle which followed became known as The Uprising and resulted in the deaths of most of Star City's heroes and police officers, including Quentin Lance, Black Canary, Speedy and John Diggle. Oliver Queen's secret identity as Green Arrow was revealed to the public and he was believed to have died after a duel with the new Deathstroke, where Grant Wilson cut off Oliver Queen's arm - an action that was a tribute to Oliver Queen's future fate in the classic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.
Oliver Queen was later revealed to be alive, hiding in the long abandoned bunker base of Team Arrow. The Legends also learned that Connor Hawke was actually John Diggle Jr. and that he had adopted the alias out of shame, believing that he could've saved his father's life despite only being 17 years old at the time of his death. In the episode's climax, Oliver went back into battle with a prosthetic arm when the new Green Arrow was captured by Deathstroke and about to be executed. The two Green Arrows defeated Deathstroke and were preparing to begin rebuilding the city together as the Legends left them.
What Is Happening In Arrow's Star City 2038
A major subplot of Arrow season 7 is set 30 years in its relative future. Arrow season 7 premiere introduced an older version of William Clayton, Oliver Queen's son, who traveled to the island of Lian Yu following a series of coordinates that had been sent to him through a Queen family heirloom. It was here that he met Roy Harper (aka Arsenal), who had settled on Lian Yu for unknown reasons. After following the coordinates to a location where they found Oliver's first bow buried along with a mysterious symbol of significance to Roy, the two returned to Star City despite William not having been there in nearly 30 years and Roy being a wanted man.
Star City had changed drastically since both men had last been there, with most of the city now a series of horrific slums circling a gentrified gated community called the Glades. Precisely how this came to happen has yet to be explained, but it was implied that the city's superheroes were responsible as the police now have shoot-on-sight orders regarding any vigilante seen in Star City. The public is also openly hostile toward vigilantes in general and Roy Harper is apparently infamous enough that he can't go into any public venues in Star City for fear of being recognized.
Reuniting with Dinah Drake and Zoe Ramirez (the daughter of Rene "Wild Dog" Ramirez, who took up the Black Canary mantle in imitation of "Aunt Dinah"), the four began investigating the recent death of Felicity Smoak, whom William believed had been the one who sent him the coordinates until he learned they were sent after she died. They uncovered evidence of a plot to blow up Star City while leaving the Glades untouched, though it was unclear if Felicity was a part of the plan or working to stop it. It was later revealed that the government of The Glades are a part of the plot as well, though it seems that Mayor Rene Ramirez is being blackmailed into going along with it.
The final twist came in Arrow's "Emerald Archer" episode. It was here that we learned that Blackstar - an information broker who was also aware of the bombing plot and was apparently the last person Felicity Smoak spoke with before she died - was searching for the location of the original Team Arrow bunker base. We also learned that her real name was Mia, as she went off in search of the cave with a man she called Connor. Eagle-eyed fans recognized this Connor as being the same Connor Hawke we saw in "Star City 2046." This suggests that John Diggle Jr. is on the way to becoming the new Green Arrow in the future, though so far nothing has been said about whether or not Oliver Queen is still alive in the future of Star City 2038.