[The following includes spoilers for the season 3 premiere of Rick & Morty]


Adult Swim’s 2017 April Fools’ Day prank of pre-empting of their scheduled lineup with an unannounced marathon-airing of the third season premiere of Rick & Morty is already the stuff of legends one day later – even if some fans of pre-empted series like Samurai Jack were more annoyed than amused. The hit sci-fi comedy had been largely silent on the state of its return since missing the expected 2016 start date, so the sudden reappearance sent shockwaves through social media as more and more fans realized that the debut was, in fact, really happening.

But what became clear as the mini-marathon played out was that this sudden surprise was actually more of a carefully planned rollout for the return of new Rick & Morty as a regular presence on the late-night network: Airing as interstitials between airings were a set of elaborate promotional clips for the new season, several of which served to confirm summer 2017 as the target for season 3.

While all of the promotional clips feature characters and voices from the main Rick & Morty series and make heavy reference to iconic moments from the previous two seasons, they are all (save for the above short, “Pickle Rick,”) amusingly rendered in animation styles that diverge sharply from the series’ typical aesthetic: Two use a retro video-game aesthetic (including a round of Pokemon as played using Mr. Meeseeks) while several others render Rick and the family using old-fashioned rod-puppets.

One thing that does not seem to be teased in these clips, however, is the status-quo of season 3 going forward after the major revelations of the season premiere itself. While continuity is indeed malleable in the dimesnion-hopping world of Rick & Morty, the episode pushed that ability to fully “reset to zero” to the breaking point with revelations like the liberation of Earth from Galactic Federation control, the collapse of the Federation itself, the seeming destruction of the Council of Ricks, the fate of “Cronenberg World” and even a new fake (but how fake?) origin story for Rick himself.

The promos don’t address many of the ideas presented in the premiere, choosing instead to sell the upcoming season on the general zaniness of the series itself rather than any story specifics. While the premiere left plenty of unanswered questions, it seems fans will have to wait until Rick & Morty season 3 officially premieres this summer to get their answers.

Next: Rick & Morty Season 3 Premiere Makes April Fools’ Day Bearable

Source: Adult Swim