The Flash made its big season 3 reveal by finally letting fans see who was hiding inside of Savitar’s armor – and it was none other than a future version of Barry Allen.
That reveal has set off a massive buzz of fan reaction, one that has prompted a big discussion of whether Future Barry/Savitar is a good or bad thing. And of course, at the center of that storm, are the producers of the show – who are now speaking out about the big villain twist.
Speaking with EW, The Flash Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed that there was a lot of forethought put into making Future Barry Savitar – despite what some cynical fans were have been saying on the Internet:
“What’s really cool for anyone who thought that there wasn’t a plan, or we didn’t know, or we were making this up as we go, this was always where we were heading. The idea that the darkest villain we could come up with was actually a very damaged version of our hero was interesting and fresh to us… So to have our lead actor be both the hero and the villain isn’t something we’ve done before, so that was exciting for us as storytellers.”
There are going to be quite a few fans who disagree with what Kreisberg is saying there – especially the part about the villain as the hero being a new, fresh, development. One of the biggest criticisms of the Arrowverse is that the villains in almost every one of the shows tend to be “dark reflections” of the hero. Malcolm Merlyn, Reverse-Flash, Prometheus, Zoom, Alura Zor-El – each of those villains have forced their respective heroes to face their own power sets.
If anything, having one of our heroes become a villain is really just a small semantic difference in a worn-out tactic – something Kreisberg himself acknowledges:
“Usually the hero and the villain have the same backstory, just one took the pain and tragedy that they were subjected to and it girded them into wanting to do good and become a hero, and with the villain, it damaged them so badly [that] they wanted to make everybody hurt as badly as they did. Barry sees in Savitar that he could’ve gone down that path, too, but he had Iris, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin, his father, he had the memory of his mother — he had all of these things that helped mold him into the hero that he is. Savitar lost all that.”