The 100 is playing with time in a big way during the final season as it unpacks the mysteries of "the anomaly," but even more so as it turns back the clock 97 years for the backdoor pilot of a potential prequel series.

The previously announced prequel to the CW's popular sci-fi drama is still in contention, and showrunner Jason Rothenberg tells EW that the planted pilot episode, airing during the seventh and final season, "does actually factor in hugely" to the season's arc.

"There's a big story that is unfolding as the season goes along, and then we get to the prequel," he says. "And that story does, I would say, explain and dramatize in a large way how we got here. It is pivotal, for sure, and wonderful. Performances in that are great; I mean, I just can't say enough about this cast."

The 100 Season 7
Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

While the CW and Warner Bros. TV have yet to pick up the prequel to series, Rothenberg is optimistic about its future. "I hope we get a chance to continue that story," he says.

Back in October, the CW ordered production of the backdoor pilot for the prequel, formerly called Anaconda but now untitled. Set almost a century before the events of the original series, the prequel begins at the first time the world ended in a nuclear apocalypse that wiped out most of the human population on Earth. The series would follow a band of survivors on the ground as they learn to cope in a dangerous world while fighting to create a new and better society from the ashes of what came before. Fans of The 100 know that these survivors will become the Grounder civilization featured in the original series.

The one-hour drama hails from The 100 creator Rothenberg along with executive producers Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo.

The 100's seventh and final season premieres Wednesday, May 20, on the CW.

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The 100

After a nuclear apocalypse, a group of people who have been living in space return to Earth—and quickly learn they’re not alone.

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