It appeared that Rick and Morty's main Rick (from universe C-137) would pull another quick one on the audience. Although things seemed to go poorly at the end of season 5, with Evil Morty blowing up the multiverse as we knew it and leaving the titular Rick and Morty in limbo as they attempted to flee a destructing Council of Ricks, it wouldnt be the first time Rick managed to defeat the Galactic Federations entire system at the start of season 3.
Rick C-137's backstory was significantly different from what we've seen up to now. After some time spent trying to track him down, killing various Ricks, and generally getting messed up, Rick C-137 crashed into a timeline in which a Rick had abandoned his grown-up daughter and settled in.
If you're unsure whether or not this is the Rick and Morty Rick backstory, or if he had another lesson on his sleeve in the season 6 opener, Dan Harmon is here to remind us to keep your fuck under control.
Harmon tells Polygon that there's a lot more to the story. However, im at ease saying that I don't like to be coy, and that in situations where we're being ambiguous, we always say we're being ambiguous.
Harmon compares season 3's The Rickshank Rickdemption and what he calls the Shoneys Revelation, when Rick appeared to be trapped in a tragic memory to bait the Galactic Federation poking around in his head. At the time, Harmon says it was shown as a feasible fabrication, but one that Harmon himself liked as a real background.
Harmon says that I didnt want to impose it at that early stage in the show's run, especially considering how well-known it was to Rick's family. Or maybe not! I find it a bit insulting to fans. He showed Morty the truth, that's what it was. We cant retcon that.
Justin Roiland, who co-created the show with Harmon and voices Rick, Morty, and a handful of other people in it, believes the shift will benefit the audience more than the characters themselves. Ricks actions resonate differently, although they may be different from the ones that started off.
Like, how will that alter how the audience thinks of him now that they know the horrific incident that occurred to him is real? No, it does not make him more sympathetic. Because he's still going to be a fucking idiot.
He's learned all this crap [where] he put these walls up, because he lost something enormously important to him. [...] But it's still fucking dark to carry that around. So it's interesting to see the fans' reactions rather than the character.
Harmon and Roiland say theres more breathing room for them to focus on achieving the perfect balance between canonical storytelling and the weird, one-off adventures that the program is known for. They are not planning to pull the rug out of under us anytime soon.
Harmon concludes that there is certainly a lot more to the story that we only saw unfolding visually. [But] it's just a confirmation that the Shoneys are not the real ones.