At Comic-Con today, io9 and half a dozen other reporters sat down with the writers and creators of Rick and Morty. We asked Dan Harmon why science fiction can be used to explore any experience. His answer made us wish we didn’t have to wait two weeks for Rick and Morty season two.

During the interview, we learned that there would be multiple adventures for Summer and some for Beth. We’re also going to meet a former lover of Rick’s, whose identity has an appropriately science fiction twist. The original template for the show—completely abandoned now—was grandfather and grandson having adventures in space with the rest of the family having more domestic adventures on Earth. Now, Harmon says, it’s a full “sci-fi sitcom.”

There’s an episode this season where Morty decides to deal out justice—filled with the righteousness of a teen going through puberty—and Rick has to stop him. The show is a “great puberty myth,” with Harmon saying that it’s the age where your consciousness is shifting and you’re figuring out if you know right from wrong. “You’re starting to be interested in girls, but do you know that they’re human beings, or do you think that they’re goddesses or monsters?” said Harmon.

The show pulls its science fiction from existing stories—The Fly, Back to the Future, and Doctor Who were all mentioned—but the issues of emotion, puberty, and domestic adventure all comes from their own experiences. We asked what it is about science fiction that allows the show to explore the real things in their lives, and got this answer:

Dan Harmon: I think science fiction is just a convenient modern incarnation. Jack and the Beanstalk would be called science fiction these days. Because that was the technology — you put a seed in the ground and it grows. And someone said “What if the plant was so big it went up to the sky?”

I mean sci-fi is just us living in a world where people are starting to realize that we’re inheriting the role of God. So we stop talking about magic cows and beans and witches and we just transferred that to something that feels, as it did back then, possible. People believed in witches back then. They thought that one lived next door. Probably because it was an effective woman.

Justin Roiland (Co-Creator, Robot Chicken): We should do an episode where there’s a witch and Morty’s all scared, but she just has a magical bracelet — well not magical, sci-fi —

Harmon: “It’s just a woman with agency, Morty! That’s where witches come from.”

The season two premiere for Rick and Morty is July 26.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.