The following contains spoilers for The 100 backdoor pilot episode “Anaconda.”
The 100’s backdoor pilot episode “Anaconda” sets up the premise for The CW’s potential prequel series by centering the conflict on a polarizing, post-apocalyptic family: the Cadogans. Cult leader Bill (John Pyper-Ferguon) was already known to viewers, but the episode filled in more of his character, placing him firmly at the Russell Lightbourne end of the spectrum for bad dads on The 100. The heart of the series, however, belongs to his daughter Calliope (Iola Evans), who with her mother Gemma (Crystal Balint) escaped the Second Dawn cult twice over—first before the apocalypse, and again once Becca Franco (Erica Cerra) provided them with the means to survive in the irradiated world.
By the end of the pilot, Becca is burned at the stake, while Callie takes the Flame and a ragtag band of newly-Nightblooded bunker teens out to find all the people who’d survived the nuclear apocalypse (and presumably, eventually create Grounder culture). Meanwhile, her brainwashed brother Reese (Adain Bradley) stays behind to guard the bunker and then joins Dad in exploring the Anomaly Stone’s first wormhole.
Which is to say, The 100 prequel, should it be greenlit, will draw much of its conflict from the Cadogan family’s shifting alliances and establishment of different clans or factions in the years post-A.L.I.E. apocalypse. But that doesn’t mean that the series would entirely take place on Earth. After all, the pilot started up in space—and showrunner Jason Rothenberg wants to return where it all started, to the Ark.
Rothenberg told Den of Geek about his “evil plan to get up there again” when asked if any of the current stars of The 100 might show up in the spinoff. After all, this final season did introduce time travel—or, at least, interplanetary travel with time dilation—via the Anomaly Stone.
“Well, the only way that I can conceive of that happening is, and of course I would never say never, but I do have intentions of getting to space,” says Rothenberg. “And what’s happening in space, of course, concurrent with the timeline of the prequel, is the Ark has just come together. Unity Day is what happened in space when they blew Becca’s space station out of the sky, leading Becca to go to Earth, where she lands in the prequel. So that’s happening at the same exact time.”
So, no Avengers: Endgame-style traveling back in time, which sounds like it’s for the best. But depicting the early days of the Ark, and how the 12 Nations learned to work cooperatively toward survival, would make an excellent parallel to Callie and her fledgling Trikru reclaiming what remains on Earth. Seeing as The 100’s pilot picks up 97 years after the nuclear apocalypse, that’s several generations of families to explore: the Griffins, the Wellses, the Blakes, the Murphys, the Reyeses, and so forth.
“[A]nd we would then obviously meet the ancestors of Clarke, and Raven, and Bellamy, and Murphy,” Rothenberg said. “And some of our actors have pitched to me that their great-great-grandparents look exactly like them, and so that could happen. But, unless we do some kind of flash-forward story, that would be the only way.”
Our knowledge of most of the Ark’s families doesn’t stretch much further back than the parents’ generation, who The 100 wiki describes as the third generation of Arkers—a transitional generation, whose grandparents would have been among the last Earthlings to set foot on the Ark. One of the few prominent second-generation Arkers is Marcus Kane’s mother Vera Kane, who was in her fifties or sixties at the start of the series. Even though she would still be too young to be in The 100 prequel, her faith might show up in the series: Rothenberg has explained via Twitter that the Arkers’ religion shifts to become very Earth-centric, with the notion of making it to the ground tantamount to their ancestors’ belief in going to heaven. While Vera Kane runs the church, with its Eden Tree, that causes conflict in season 1, the shift in faith could be a plotline in the spinoff series.
Back to casting: It would be amusing to see the familiar faces of our current cast playing their great-great-grandparents, tasked with creating the systems that ultimately led to the original pilot’s premise. Especially depending how intertwined any of those family trees became on the Ark; for all we know, a Reyes might have married a Miller a few generations back. It could be a fun experiment for the actors to play new characters whose actions directly or indirectly shaped the fates of the characters they would have just finished playing.
If that argument holds for actors who have since left the show, we could even see Monty, Jasper, and Harper’s great-great-grandparents. But on the other side of things, consider the exceptional casting of Shannon Kook as Jordan Jasper Green, who truly looks like he descended from Christopher Larkin and Chelsey Reist.
The 100 has gifted us with some truly fantastic unknowns, and the prequel series would be yet another chance to bring in a new crop of talented actors to fill in a history we know bits and pieces about. It’d be the best of both worlds: further explore the Ark with the ancestors of our beloved original 100 delinquents, while emotionally investing in a new cast.