After six seasons, sci-fi epic The Expanse has come to an end. The final season sees the crew of the spaceship Rocinante navigating the hardships of war as extremist Marcos Inaros and his Free Navy continue to attack Earth and Mars with asteroids. At only six episodes, it’s half as long as previous seasons, though the last episode is “supersized.”
Fans have known for quite some time that this was The Expanse’s swan song. Ahead of the Season 5 premiere in November 2020, Amazon announced the series had been renewed for a sixth and final season. Though the book series the show is based on is currently nine books long — the ninth book, Leviathan Falls, was released in November 2021 — the final season only covers the events that occur through the end of the sixth book, Babylon’s Ashes. This was intentional: The events of the seventh book, Persepolis Rising, take place after a 30-year time jump that would create a number of logistical challenges in terms of casting. Season 6 simply provided a natural ending point.
Still, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of the story continuing onscreen. After all, The Expanse was canceled by SyFy after three seasons before it was picked up by Amazon for Seasons 3 through 6. “As we always say, there are three more books,” Daniel Abraham, who co-wrote the books alongside Ty Franck and also serves as an executive producer for the show, told Gizmodo in a December 2021 interview. “There’s a lot more story to tell. Big world! Things could happen.”
The Expanse showrunner Naren Shankar echoed Abraham’s sentiments, adding, “The door is open to other things. And if the stars align, I think you’d find a lot of people willing to participate in it.”
If and until then, Abraham is happy they were able to execute what they set out to do with the story. “I’m going to botch it now, but there’s a quote from [Albert] Camus that is something very much along the lines of, ‘There’s more to admire in humanity than to despise.’ And that’s what we’ve tried to do with The Expanse, both versions of it —the books and the show look at humanity and find it worth loving, warts and all,” he told Gizmodo. “With all of the violence and the prejudice and the tribalism, to see that we’re still a pretty amazing species. We’ve done some amazing stuff. And for all of the horror, kindness is still more common.”