Warning: This article contains spoilers for Rick and Morty season 6, episode 1.Rick and Morty season 6 retcons a mysterious villain from season 3: the real killer of Rick's wife and daughter. Titled "Solaricks," the season 6 premiere hits the ground running as it introduces a world where Rick's portal gun is no longer operational, the revelation that Rick isn't Morty's original Rick, and a new villain for the series going forward, Rick Prime. Nevertheless, the debut of Rick Prime raises more questions than answers as his origins offer a new perspective on the show's established canon, and this throws the series and the Smith family for a loop.
Season 6 opens with the fallout from Rick and Morty season 5, episode 10, "Rickmurai Jack." Evil Morty has destroyed the Central Finite Curve and left Rick and Morty on the brink of death. Luckily, the pair are rescued and brought back home, but at a cost: all portal travel is out of service. In an attempt to counteract this, Rick accidentally sends the Smith family back to their original realities, including Rick Prime. Rick then takes this opportunity to avenge his dead family and finally kill the man he has been after for so long.
In Rick and Morty season 3, episode 1, "The Rickshank Rickdemption," Rick Prime makes two distinct appearances: he's the killer in Rick's so-called "fabricated origin story;" and he's one of the members of the Council of Ricks, where he was known as Weird Rick. However, also in that same episode, Rick kills all the council members, including Weird Rick (Rick Prime), and destroys the Citadel of Ricks in the process. Therefore, when the character appears with a changed name in Rick and Morty season 6, he seems to have been retconned.
Why "Weird Rick" Being Rick Prime May Not Be A Rick and Morty Retcon
There is evidence to support the claim that Rick Prime was not actually retconned. During the post-credit scene in Rick and Morty season 6, episode 1, "Solaricks," Rick Prime is revealed to have regenerative powers after Jerry slices his throat, which could imply that he did survive Rick's fatal attack back in season 3. Moreover, earlier in the episode, when the two are fighting, Rick Prime teases Rick with a naked version of himself dancing in a glass tube, whom Rick Prime claims could be a clone.
The Rick and Morty season 6, episode 1 post-credit scene reveals that it was the real Rick Prime and not a clone. Still, clones and decoys are things Rick and Morty has heavily flirted with, so it wouldn't be farfetched to believe Rick killed what was probably a clone of Rick Prime back in season 3. Rick Prime also reveals in the post-credit scene that he works alone, meaning he would never have teamed up with the Council of Ricks in the first place.
The show's writers have been teasing Rick's origins since it debuted back in 2013, but in typical Rick and Morty fashion, every little new development comes with a lot to unpack. The latest comes in the form of the show's newest antagonist, who adds a unique layer to its ever-shifting landscape going forward — regardless of whether it's a Rick and Morty retcon.