Merely mention The Last Jedi and you’ll whip the Star Wars fandom into a frenzy. Don’t even think about bringing Brie Larson up in a Marvel fan group, either. Ask Whovians to name their favorite Doctor and you might as well grab the popcorn. In a time when toxicity and divisiveness permeate nearly every fandom there is, there seems to be one fandom that stands alone. Today we discuss why we love The Expanse, and are so looking forward to Season 4.
As you can see in today’s new trailer for the show’s first season on Amazon Prime Video, the once-cancelled series returns for its fourth season December 13. Why, you may ask? The answer is, in large part, because of the fans. Adapted from author James S. A. Corey’s immensely popular science-fiction book series of the same name, there is just something about The Expanse that resonates with fans. So much so, in fact, that a fan-led effort to bring the show back, worked. Amazon picked it up following SyFy Channel’s inexplicable decision to cancel it. But why do fans love it so much?
The Expanse: science-fiction reality
Perhaps the biggest draw for the show is its roots in reality. Though futuristic science-fiction, The Expanse nonetheless rests on believability and relatability as two of its strongest pillars. That starts with the characters. As one fan notes, by the end of Season 1, “you feel like you know all these people, as they struggle with their choices, and navigate the mysteries ahead, in much the same way we all do.”
Likewise, the series’ central theme of survival is one to which we can all relate. When it all boils down, whether it’s the “Inners” or the Belters or even the protomolecule itself, all everyone is trying to do is survive. That driving force plays out on an epic scale, and illustrates the stark reality that one’s drive to survive may not be so convenient for another. “These stories don’t hide that inconvenience… in fact, they kind of thrive on it. And it’s truly the starkness of the reality that…” many fans find so enticing when it comes to The Expanse.
Season 4 looks to follow the story line from Cibola Burn, book four of the ongoing series. Belter refugees run a blockade through the Ring to claim a new planet as their own. When a ship sent to “New Terra” is destroyed under suspect circumstances, Avasarala tasks James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante to investigate. Once there, it becomes clear that they’re not done with the protomolecule quite yet….
(If you’re looking to connect with other fans of the show, check out the Facebook group The Expanse Geeks HERE. My thanks go out to group members for their contributions to this article.)