Since its debut on Syfy in 2016, The Expanse has always been best described as “Game of Thrones in space.” While the futuristic sci-fi show set during a spacefaring age can’t quite compete with HBO’s beloved fantasy series, The Expanse nonetheless delivers a politically charged action drama. Except instead of the continent of Westeros and a war for the Iron Throne, it’s a war waged on multiple fronts across the solar system in the not-so-distant future. In the upcoming Season 4, there’ll be a “blood-soaked gold rush” as everyone fights for resources on a newly discovered planet rich in natural resources.
Set during a time in the future when humanity has colonized the solar system, The Expanse details growing tensions between the United Nations-controlled Earth, the independent military power of Mars, and the working class “Belters” who live on an asteroid belt where its citizens mine the rocks for resources. After a tragic accident strikes an ice mining vessel at the start of the series, a vast conspiracy emerges that could spark all-out war.
Here’s everything to know The Expanse Season 4 and the future of series after that.
When Is The Expanse Season 4 Release Date?
Deadline reported in late January 2019 that The Expanse Season 4 would release sometime in 2019, and the official release date announcement at San Diego Comic-Con in July confirmed the next season will barely make it to Amazon before the year ends.
The Expanse Season 4 will debut on Amazon Prime streaming on December 13, 2019.
Is There a Trailer for The Expanse Season 4 Yet?
Yes! The first official teaser trailer for Season 4 was released during San Diego Comic-Con, and while it doesn’t offer much in terms of concrete story details, it definitely brings the hype. (Watch that teaser at the top of this article.)
The Expanse already looks grittier now that it’s being produced by Amazon rather than Syfy, which adheres to the mundane demands of cable television.
What Is the Plot of The Expanse Season 4?
The Expanse showrunner Naren Shankar confirmed to Entertainment Weekly in June 2018 that Season 4 would follow Cibola Burn, the fourth novel in the source material published by author James S.A. Corey. The overarching series will eventually reach nine novels, giving the series plenty of source material for future seasons.
“The book Cibola takes place entirely on Ilus,” Shankar said of a new planet discovered outside the solar system. “We are there for one complete novel. We are going to tell that story in Season 4, sure, but we’re not leaving Earth and Mars and the Belt behind.”
After the Ring was discovered in the Season 3 finale, humanity gained access to 1,000 or more inhabitable solar systems via a form of hyper-speed travel. Ilus is one planet that’s explored in the ensuing Cibola Burn. (Watch the crew of the Rocinante land on Ilus for the first time in Season 4 at the top of this section.)
Here’s the official word from Amazon on what Season 4 entails:
Season 4 of The Expanse, its first as a global Amazon Original, begins a new chapter for the series with the crew of the Rocinante on a mission from the U.N. to explore new worlds beyond the Ring Gate. Humanity has been given access to thousands of Earth-like planets which has created a land rush and furthered tensions between the opposing nations of Earth, Mars, and the Belt. Ilus is the first of these planets, one rich with natural resources but also marked by the ruins of a long dead alien civilization. While Earthers, Martians, and Belters maneuver to colonize Ilus and its natural resources, these early explorers don’t understand this new world and are unaware of the larger dangers that await them.”
Who’s in the Cast of The Expanse Season 4?
For the most part, the core characters that survived through Season 3 should return for Season 4.
That includes Thomas Jane as Joe Miller, Shohreh Asgdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala, Steve Strait as Jim Holden, Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata, Wes Chatam as Amos Burton, Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal, Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper, Shawn Doyle as Sadavir Errinwright, Chad L. Coleman as Col. Frederick Lucius Johnson, Florence Faivre as Julie Mao, Cara Gee as Camina Drummer, and David Strathairn as Klaes Ashford.
But new faces will be introduced as well.
In an Instagram post, actress Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow) confirmed that she’d wrapped production on The Expanse Season 4 as Dr. Elvi Okoye. Actor Burn Gorman (Torchwood, Pacific Rim) is also joining for Season 4 as security chief Adolphus Murtry. Lily Gao and Rosa Gilmore have also joined the cast in undisclosed roles.
Here’s Where to Watch The Expanse Seasons 1-3
As of February 8, Amazon became the exclusive place to stream The Expanse, which is also when Season 3 finally became available after originally airing on Syfy last spring and summer.