"The Walking Dead" season 7b "Rise Up"
Actors Andrew Lincoln (Rick) and Simon (Steven Ogg) in "The Walking Dead" season 7. Facebook/The Walking Dead

With Rick and Co returning to TV screens on Feb. 12, excitement seems looming in the air in manifolds, much more than what it had been when the midseason finale ended. So, now that the blue-eyed protagonist had gotten his colt python back long after Negan took it away in the season premiere, a classic story of the group teaming up to overthrow the tyrant shouldn’t come as a surprise. Absolutely true to fans’ speculations, the good guys toppling the villain over is what the second part of “The Walking Dead” season 7 “Rise Up” will be all about.

That being said, executive producer Tom Luse, in a recent Q&A, compared Rick and his gang to the Star Wars’ interstellar revolutionary faction The Rebel Alliance. "This is the Rebel Alliance fighting back against the Empire," he said. "We all want that coming together of all these great characters, for them to see each other and realise that they are strong as a group because of the love and respect they show to each other.”

Luse, in The Walking Dead Q&A session, further said that the survivors from Alexandria clearly comprehend the significance of coming together as a group, which in turn gives them strength. Talking about the show, “The Walking Dead” season 7 “Rise Up” in particular, he added: “The great thing about The Walking Dead is it’s not just Rick, it’s not just Carol, it’s not just Daryl… there are so many strong people in our group. It’s the togetherness connotation as much as it is the strength connotation that makes it special.”

Meanwhile, actor Andrew Lincoln, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, justified the brutality depicted in the season’s premiere. "[Showrunner Scott M Gimple] explained it to me in one way, which I found very helpful, which was that rather than just have a very cool exciting build-up to war between Negan and Rick, he wanted people to want more than that,” Lincoln said. He continued, saying Gimple wanted viewers “to really feel that they wanted justice, and then to also acknowledge the cost of what had happened and why they were willing to risk it all again while realizing that they were putting many, many, many lives back in the firing line.”

The report further quoted Lincoln, saying: “I think he really wanted it to feel like the audience, rather than just baying for blood, wanted justice for what had happened. And that, for me, was quite a helpful way of understanding why it had to be so immersive and so painful — certainly for all of us on set and acting in it, but also, I think, for the audience.”

“The Walking Dead” season 7 “Rise Up” premieres Feb. 12 at 9PM ET, exclusively on AMC. Australian viewers can watch the show on Feb. 13 at 1:30PM and 7:30PM on the Foxtel network. Fans, in this part of the season, will witness the protagonist and his gang taking down Negan, considered the worst villain featured on the show until now.