Just a few days after dropping a special samurai-themed Rick and Morty episode, "Samurai and Shogun," Adult Swim has given us the trailer for the hotly anticipated second half of the popular animated series, along with a release date: May 3. That should delight hardcore fans, who had feared the release of the special episode meant a longer wait for the regular series' return.
(A few mild spoilers for prior seasons below.)
The first five episodes of S4 aired last November and December, and they featured Rick and Morty harvesting "death crystals" that predict various outcomes for one's demise; teaming up with Mr. Poopybutthole and "Elon Tusk" for a heist; freeing horny dragons from the Wizard who enslaved them; and battling time-traveling alien snakes, among other adventures. As always, pop-culture references abounded, riffing on the films Edge of Tomorrow, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Akira, Battlestar Galactica, and Terminator, for instance.
Rick and Morty creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon weren't directly involved with the creation of "Samurai and Shogun"—they've had their hands full wrapping S4 and making a new animated series for Hulu, Solar Opposites. The five-minute short is a clever send-up of classic samurai films, such as those directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. Jason DeMarco, SVP and creative director on-air for Adult Swim, also cited the classic manga, anime, and film franchise Lone Wolf and Cub, in which a samurai is charged with protecting a young boy, as a primary influence. (The same franchise was also an inspiration for The Mandalorian.) DeMarco did hint that five new episodes of S4 were coming, although he didn't indicate that it would be so soon.