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Stephen Amell Says Arrow as We Knew It 'Ended When Emily Left'

"[Season 8] is fundamentally different"

Lindsay MacDonald

Next year Arrow will end its eight-season run on The CW having spawned four spin-offs, an entire multiverse, and a new generation who could keep the franchise going indefinitely. To celebrate the show's upcoming final season, which premieres Tuesday, Oct. 15, the cast and executive producers took the stage at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday for a farewell panel to discuss what to expect from Season 8.

Though we didn't get too many actual details about the goings-on of Season 8, these last 10 episodes sound like they are shaping up to be just as epic as you'd expect. However, fans should be warned that the show will be fundamentally different when it returns.

"The whole season is basically our greatest hits," said showrunner Beth Schwartz. "We're kind of tying up some stories you could have seen in Season 3 or 2."

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"Every episode this year feels like were trying to put a button on a certain part of the show," added star Stephen Amell. "And I've [gotten] a chance to work with actors and characters, thus far, that I haven't had a chance to work with in a bunch of years."

"I think that the show as people understood it and its sort of structure -- I think it ended in our Season 7 finale," Amell continued. "This year is fundamentally different. The episodes are events. To me, the show as we constructed it ended when Emily [Bett Rickards] left."

Stephen Amell, Arrow

Stephen Amell, Arrow

Dean Buscher, Dean Buscher/The CW

That being said, don't count out a cameo from Rickards before all is said and done. While nothing is confirmed yet, we know we'll definitely be seeing some familiar faces from Arrow's past in the final season, including Josh Segarra's Adrian Chase and Colin Donnell's Tommy Merlyn. However, as Donnell previously told TV Guide, Tommy is "not coming back as the Tommy we know."

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Unfortunately, no one on the panel was willing to reveal who else we might see before the show signs off for good, so you'll just have to tune in to find out.

Arrow's final season premieres Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9/8c on The CW.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)

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​Stephen Amell and ​Emily Bett Rickards on ​Arrow

Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards on Arrow

Jack Rowand/The CW