Adult Swim recently announced that the upcoming fourth season of Rick and Morty would air this November, which has gotten fans unbelievably excited to check back in with their favorite alcoholic scientist and his dweeby grandson.
What the new season will entail is unclear, but Rick and Morty has always defined itself with its spot-on movie parodies, whether it’s tackling the dreams within dreams from Inception or the post-apocalyptic madness of Mad Max: Fury Road – or vaguely spoofing Back to the Future with its entire founding premise. Here are 10 Movie Parodies We Hope To See In Rick And Morty Season 4.
10 Ex Machina
Alex Garland’s Ex Machina already feels like a Rick and Morty episode – just one that doesn’t involve Rick, doesn’t involve Morty, isn’t animated, and is a feature film. It explores the ethics of a well-worn science fiction premise in a fun way with a weird, out-of-place dance sequence.
Rick could create an attractive female artificial intelligence and put Morty through a series of rigorous tests to see if he can tell she’s an A.I., then Morty could become dubious of Rick as he falls for the A.I. and she manipulates him. Ex Machina is a few years old now, but it’s still memorable and relevant.
9 The Martian
In a Rick and Morty parody of the movie, Morty could get stranded on Mars after an adventure gone wrong and use feces to grow potatoes while Rick scrambles to figure out where he is and find a way to save him. NASA has made a few new discoveries about Mars in the years since The Martian came out, so Rick and Morty could tweak the movie’s plot to reflect this.
The Rick and Morty episode “Get Schwifty” opened with a similar setup to the movie Arrival. Instead of black alien pods, Earth was greeted by some golden alien heads. That episode aired a year before Denis Villeneuve’s fantastic Oscar-winning science fiction masterpiece Arrival came out, so the show accidentally parodied it before it existed.
However, the movie’s themes of language and communication, with the government bringing in a linguistics expert to interpret what the aliens are trying to say to them, could be used in an awesome Rick Sanchez storyline. It wouldn’t have to turn out too similar to “Get Schwifty” either.
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar might not have been as instantly memorable or iconic as some of his other movies, but it was still great and offers a lot of opportunities for parody. Matthew McConaughey goes into space in search of a new home for humans. He spends half an hour on a planet where time is accelerated and returns to the ship to find that the kids he left behind on Earth are all grown up.
The writing team behind Rick and Morty could take trippy ideas like this and run with them. If Rick and Morty returned from a planet to find that Beth and Jerry were in their 70s and Summer was in her 50s, then the show would need a creative way to deal with that.
6 Under the Skin
It stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien that has disguised itself as a beautiful human woman to lure men back to her evil lair, where the men find themselves lost in a black void, submerged in a thick liquid, frozen, and then folded out of the space-time continuum. A similar alien could disguise itself as Jessica to lure in Morty in an episode of Rick and Morty, with Rick struggling to save him.
5 Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow was a surprise hit back in 2014, and it’s one of the best sci-fi movies in recent memory. It stars Tom Cruise as a soldier fighting alien invaders in the future who finds himself reliving the same day over and over again.
The concept of a “time loop” in the vein of Groundhog Day is a lucrative one for comedy that the writers of Rick and Morty have yet to experiment with. The idea of Rick and Morty repeating the same day over and over again while Rick struggles to set the timeline straight again and Morty figures out the perfect way to woo Jessica thanks to trial and error sounds pretty funny.
Gravity is a movie about the relationship between two people, which makes it an ideal candidate for a Rick and Morty spoof. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are hit with some debris and end up floating through space, tethered to each other, connecting on a very deep emotional level.
This would be a perfect setup to dig really deep into Rick and Morty’s relationship. Since the show’s central plot device in interdimensional travel, Rick and Morty haven’t gone into space very often – but shaking up the formula with a space-set episode would be an interesting way to keep the show fresh in its fourth season.
It might seem a little late to parody Pixar’s 11-year-old sci-fi romp, but with landfills continuing to build up and pollution getting worse and worse, the reality that WALL-E warned us about is actually becoming more and more apparent.
Rick and Morty doesn’t usually dig too deep into current events or political satire – at least not as much as other animated shows like South Park or The Simpsons – but it is a show about the importance of scientific knowledge, so an episode about pollution and climate change that carries an important message without being preachy wouldn’t feel out of place.
2 2001: A Space Odyssey
A gorgeously animated parody of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi masterpiece would make a really great season finale. A recurring theme in Rick and Morty is nihilism, the idea that there is no purpose to life and we have no reason to be here.
So, if Rick, like Dave Bowman in the movie, went so deep into outer space that he discovered the true meaning of life (perhaps minus being reborn as a star-child), it would be momentous. The way he dealt with it could be very telling and in-character, whether it’s by denying the evidence and drowning his sorrows in a hip flask or, even more shockingly, changing forever.
1 Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame
Since the third season of Rick and Morty ended, the world of popular culture has been taken by storm by the destructive finger-snaps in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Rick and Morty has already critiqued the MCU with the “Vindicators” episode, but it could follow up on that parody with the notion that Worldender will just be replaced with another seemingly unstoppable villain, like Thanos, and then once he’s been defeated, he’ll be replaced by another one.
Rick didn’t care enough to help the Vindicators, but he’d surely get involved if someone had a plan to snap his fingers and wipe out half of all existing life. Plus, he’d be able to empathize with a crazed tyrant bent on becoming the most powerful being in the universe.