Since premiering in 2015, The Expanse has taken viewers across the galaxy along with the crew of the Rocinante. Although it was originally cancelled at SyFy after just three seasons, The Expanse was saved by Amazon in 2018, due in part to the large-scale #SaveTheExpanse fan movement, with a petition that garnered over 138,000 signatures. That fan attention undoubtedly inspired Amazon and Jeff Bezos, who is a huge fan, to make the final decision to save the show. Since that initial surprise announcement that the show would continue under Amazon's purview for Season 4, The Expanse has been renewed another two times, with the sixth and final season announced just ahead of the Season 5 premiere.
CinemaBlend was recently invited to interview the cast and creators behind The Expanse before the latest season hit Amazon on December 16th, 2020. I virtually chatted with several of the stars who have been around since the beginning in order to get their thoughts on the show finally coming to an end after six seasons. Steven Strait, who plays the Rocinante captain and protomolocule conduit James Holden, had this to say:
I mean, it's bittersweet, of course, you know. But again, as a fan of the books, you know there's an epic amount of time between Books 6 and 7. And the end of Book 6 is satisfying and it is a complete story. I've done this long enough to know how rare it is for one to be able to complete a story. This is a project that has meant so much to everyone involved and we really have given it everything to try and make it the best it can be. And it's a show that was saved by fans, you know, and then to be able to give a true beginning, middle and end to this story is something I'm grateful for. So, I would do this forever, but it certainly was a relief to know that we could finish it the right way.
Strait, who has been a part of the show from the beginning, is also a big fan of the novels that The Expanse is based on, and Season 5 will reportedly cover the events of the fifth book, Nemesis Games. There's a pretty significant time jump that occurs at the end of Book 6, Babylon's Ashes, so it will be interesting to see how the show will handle the final season's storyline.
Executive producer Ty Franck, who is also a co-creator and co-author of the novels, didn't mention the time jump specifically, but he did allude to a natural break in the narrative. In his words:
I think Season 6 has a nice, natural ending point to give a satisfying end to the six seasons we've developed so far. But, it leaves the door open for a lot of other possibilities. I know Alcon is exploring those possibilities and we'll see what else.
According to Franck, the show won't have an abrupt ending, which definitely almost happened back in Season 3. Franck also teased that Season 6 may not be the actual end for The Expanse and the crew of the Rocinante. Nothing appears to be in the cards yet, but it sounds like the production company is eager to keep the story going if someone is willing to see it through.
Meanwhile, Ty Franck's fellow executive producer, co-creator and co-author David Abraham is happy that fans will be able to see The Expanse's natural ending in action. And while he doesn't talk about the show possibly continuing, he does appreciate that this is far better an end-point than those from previous years.
The six-season version of The Expanse as a show is something we've been talking about for years. We've had different ideas of ways and architectures that we could do, this is one of them. This isn't something where we have to scramble and figure out what to do. We kind of knew if this was what we had, we have a good way to do that. And, like Ty, I am really grateful that we didn't end, say at the end of Season 5, which would not have worked as well.
While it looks like the cast and crew will be largely satisfied with The Expanse coming an end after Season 6, there are some who believe the sixth season will not be the last. For example, star Shohreh Aghdashloo, who plays Earth's political maestro Chrisjen Avasarala, had this to say:
To be honest with you, I should be sad for it to end, but again, I have a feeling that this is not the end. When we were touring the set for the first day, I turned around and told my dear friend Wes. We were told it's for one year. I turned to him and I said, 'five to six years, minimum.' He still loves to imitate me and my 'extra five to six years.' But the truth is that this is not the end. I have a feeling that this is not the end because I'm not sad.
While there haven't been any noteworthy updates about The Expanse's future on a new network or streaming service, there seems to be a growing sentiment among those working on the show that perhaps we really aren't finished with the space-faring adventures quite yet. Wes Chatham, who plays the wise-cracking muscle of the Roci, Amos Burton, echoed Aghdashloo and Franck's optimism for the show living on after Season 6:
Well, I mean, I'm excited. I'm grateful for it, you know, and I think Season 5's the best thing we've ever done, and hopefully we can top it with Season 6. But I will say, who knows what's going to happen in the future? They said it was the end of Season 6, but they didn't say it was the end of The Expanse, but that's all I'm saying.
To me, that sounds like there may be some other project related to The Expanse that's being developed in some sense. Would it require a move to another network to make an eventual Season 7 happen? Or perhaps a new project would usher in a completely different story set in the same universe. Maybe we will see a full-length movie set after the time jump? Only time will tell if we will be seeing the crew of the Rocinante after Season 6, but it sounds like there is a healthy dose of optimism being shared by the folks behind the show.
Fortunately, there's plenty of time to hash out the future of The Expanse, since there are still a bunch of Season 5 episodes left to debut. If you need a quick refresher on the series before diving back in, check out these six quick things we know about Season 5. If you are all caught up, you can catch new Season 5 episodes on Amazon Prime on Wednesday, December 16th. After that, new episodes will air every Wednesday until the finale on February 3rd, 2021. Be sure to check back with CinemaBlend for the latest news, interviews and more on The Expanse.