'Arrow' Season 8 premiere 'Starling City' will bring Moira Queen and Tommy Merlyn back, possibly using a new Elseworld
Considering both Moira and Tommy have been long dead on the show, there's bound to be something weird going on here but it is a bit hard to determine how exactly these two have managed to come back to life. One very real possibility is that this is another one of the Monitor's Elseworlds
The CW released new images September 10 from 'Arrow' Season 8's first episode 'Starling City' that features two of the returning cast members, Susanna Thompson's Moira Queen, the mother of Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and Colin Donnell's Tommy Merlyn, Oliver's late best friend and son of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Considering both characters have been long dead on the show, there's bound to be something weird going on here but it is a bit hard to determine how exactly these two have managed to come back to life.
The show's title seems to hint at a flashback, seeing as Oliver's home hasn't been called Starling City since the third season. However, it is unlikely this is the case as we also see Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), who were introduced long after Moira and Tommy's deaths, freely interacting with the supposedly deceased.
One very real possibility is that this is another Elseworld like the ones featured in the Arrowverse's last crossover. It was previously revealed that most of the action this season would take place on Earth-1 itself so this is probably not an alternate world, but that doesn't mean we can completely rule out someone using the Book of Destiny to play around with reality.
Though the Book of Destiny was supposedly depowered, that's not a 100% guarantee it has been completely taken off the table. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) has already displayed vast cosmic powers that would make the creation of a new Elseworld an easy enough feat for him, even without the Book.
For all we know, this could be an illusion or trap created to harm Oliver. There's also a chance this is all some sort of elaborate test created by the Monitor to check Oliver's resolve or an attempt at pushing him to seek the help of his family.
Showrunner Marc Guggenheim had previously told Digital Spy that the premiere episode would be "like a mirror image of the pilot”. Each episode will reportedly be a touching tribute to the past seasons, building up to Oliver's predicted death during the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' crossover event.
The cast for ‘Arrow’ Season 8 includes Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt, David Ramsay as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake, Kirk Acevedo as Ricardo Diaz, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke, Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak and Charlie Barnett as John Diggle Jr, as well as Rila Fukushima, Josh Segarra, Colin Donnell, John Barrowman and Susanna Thompson who are reprising their roles as Katana, Prometheus, Tommy Merlyn, Malcolm Merlyn and Moira Queen respectively.
‘Arrow’ Season 8 will begin airing on The CW October 15.