Comic-Con@Home: What We Learned from Hulu’s “Solar Opposites” Panel

San Diego Comic-Con may not be happening in person this year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to enjoy some fun panel conversations with the creative minds behind some of our favorite entertainment thanks to Comic-Con@Home.

This morning’s virtual panel for Hulu’s Solar Opposites brought together series creators Mike McMahon and Justin Roiland (who also provides the voice of Korvo), plus cast members Thomas Middleditch (Terry), Sean Giambrone (Yumyulack), and Mary Mack (Jesse) along with executive producer Josh Bycel for a Q&A session moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Jevon Pillips.

Watch Solar Opposites | Comic-Con@Home 2020:

The presentation began with an exclusive clip from a summer camp episode which will feature in the upcoming second season of Solar Opposites, and the conversation that followed brought fans quite a few laughs along with some behind-the-scenes tidbits from the making of the show, such as:

  • A lot of the relationship stuff, the way the characters’ talk to each other, and the show’s high school tribulations derived from real life experiences of its creators. Justin Roiland grew up feeling like an alien.
  • Sean Giambrone tapped into his passion to be popular and his uncouth nerdy aspects to voice Yumyulack, while Mary Mack had trouble fitting in at school with other girls, and used that experience for Jesse.
  • Thomas Middleditch says he didn’t have any problems at school, but Terry is the opposite of how he lives his life. Terry is a naive layabout and Middleditch is “an incredibly successful top-of-his-game actor” who never has any downtime, he says jokingly.
  • Season 2 will “take it to the haters” and make fun of summer camp. “Enough with these haters, already,” jokes Roiland. There will also be explorations of “interesting class stuff,” plus an episode about dinner parties.
  • Middleditch improvises some of his dialogue, but does not have input on the t-shirts that Terry wears. The original shirt was a “horrible Star Wars pun,” and it was going to be the same every episode but they decided to change it up with a different bad joke every time.
  • Roiland and McMahon wanted Middleditch to play Terry from the beginning, but he passed on pilot and Roiland decided he would voice both lead characters. After the series was green-lit, they re-approached Middleditch and he came aboard. Roiland’s Terry would have sounded more like Morty from Rick and Morty.
  • Casting for the series was a mixture of the traditional process and bringing in voice actors they love to work with. They’re big fans of Alfred Molina, Andy Daly, and other bit players they brought in for smaller roles.
  • Solar Opposites was influenced by a lot of other sitcoms, but many of the ones they listed were sarcastic responses.
  • There was going to be an episode about the aliens getting addicted to onions, though they would think they are addicted to going to their friends’ house for dinner. Roiland still wants to make this one.
  • As for a Rick and Morty crossover, Roiland says you’ll have to ask the “giant lumbering mega-corporations.” If they all eventually merge together, it might happen, he kids. They also joke they’ve already written a bunch of crossovers with other famous TV shows, but their priority is a crossover with the McDonald’s McNuggets characters.
  • In season 2, Tim Weekly (voiced by Andy Daly) has a mural of Cherie (Christina Hendricks) painted in the Wall so he can use her memory to further build his power.
  • Roiland says Terry and Korvo are not romantically in love, but are closer than a lot of real-life couples.
  • Aisha the computer will be seen more in season 2. Roiland met Tiffany Haddish at a charity event and asked her to be on the show. She enthusiastically agreed.
  • The third-season pickup helped them plan more serialized stuff in the second season and take the ongoing story more slowly. There will be more dramatic serialization of the Wall saga. The Pupa might actually mature before the end of the series, because world-changing events have become commonplace in reality so it makes sense to do it on the show as well.
  • In the second season they are mixing up the pairings of characters more for each episode.
  • There are 99 other pupas out in the galaxy, and this will become important to the show as it goes on.
  • The dramatic mouse death scene was inspired by Mike McMahon’s love of submarine movies.
  • Justin Roiland actually owns a miniature Seinfeld set as featured in the show.
  • The music for the series is composed by Chris Westlake, who used a 60-person orchestra for the Wall episode. They wanted that episode’s music to feel dramatic and intense to match the tonal shift between the Wall sub-plot and overarching alien stuff.

The first season of Solar Opposites is available to stream exclusively on Hulu.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.