NYCC: The Expanse showrunner Shankar calls the finale ‘cathartic’ with ‘super-sized’ S6

The Expanse Season 5 -- Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video
The Expanse Season 5 -- Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video /

The Expanse has always been generous to its fans, giving credit to its fanbase for having saved the show in the first place. The SYFY channel canceled the series but fans petitioned for its continuation. Because so, Amazon stepped in to give it new life. The Expanse graced fans at New York Comic Con with not one, but two panels to share the love.

In the first panel on Friday, The Expanse unveiled the Season 6 trailer for what will be the final outing for the beloved crew of the Rocinante. The spine-chilling trailer shows the aftermath of the terrorist war inflamed by Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander, who is one fantastic villain) and his Free Navy as Earth and Mars grapple with his rise to power and the devastation he has caused across the solar system.

“We’re broken,” begins Chrisjen Avasarala (the very regal Shohreh Agdashloo) in the trailer. “Trying desperately to keep ourselves going by pretending we’re not.”

If the trailer doesn’t give you chills, I don’t know what does.

Amazon’s S6 description also drops a hint about Bobbie Draper’s (Frankie Adams) secret mission (and let’s hope more scenes between her and Avasarala because those two are the duo I need in my life right now).

"“The sixth and final season of The Expanse picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars. As the tensions of war and shared loss threaten to pull the crew of the Rocinante apart, Chrisjen Avasarala makes a bold move and sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper on a secret mission that could turn the tide of the conflict. Meanwhile, in the Belt, Drummer and what’s left of her family are on the run after betraying Marco. And on a distant planet beyond the Rings, a new power begins to rise.”"

A shortened, but intense final season of The Expanse

The Expanse is coming to an end on Amazon Prime (I’m not ready!). For the final run, there will be six episodes only beginning on Dec. 10 and ending on Jan. 14. However, don’t fret. They will feel like mini-movies and if there’s one thing we know from The Expanse is that it exudes excellence and the episodes will feel cinematic. In fact, at this point, The Expanse sets the standard for space exploration drama that all others emulate (I’m talking to you, Star Trek: Picard).

"“What it does give you is intensity,” showrunner Naren Shankar said during the New York Comic Con panel, according to SYFY Wire. “Every episode feels as intense as it can possibly be. The compression is there, you never feel like you’re letting your foot off the gas pedal, so by the time you get to the end, it’s cathartic.”"

‘Super-charged’ season finale that will feel like a movie

Binge watchers may be disappointed that the episodes will drop on Amazon weekly. The season finale clocking in at 65 minutes. But considering the brilliant Season 5 we got, The Expanse is one series that needs a week in between episodes to truly process and savor each airing. The genius S5 fourth episode still gives me goosebumps, and I watched that episode several times.

“I’ve probably seen the last episode like 150 times,” Shankar admitted about the S6 finale. “It chokes me up when I see the end of it … Even when we were looking at a visual effects review of Episode 6, the people who have been working on it, they were cheering … I think that tells you something about where we’re going and I get misty-eyed when we get to the end.”

Is this truly the final outing?

Expanse novelists and executive producers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (who penned the series under the name James S. A. Corey) along with Shankar have always maintained that The Expanse’s conclusion at the end of Season 6 will offer definitive closure.

“We just had to tell the story we were there to tell,” Franck said during the panel.

"“It’s been a long project and it’s really gratifying that it turned out well,” Abraham added, via SYFY Wire. “It was not something where we started off the project thinking, ‘I know, let’s write a huge, nine-book series and make a TV show. We were much more calm than that when we started it and it just kept rolling. And here we are — it’s amazing.”"

The contract is up between The Expanse’s production studio, Alcon, and Amazon, concluding with the upcoming sixth season. But there are nine books in the series and executive producers haven’t exactly closed the door on the possibility of continuing the story for another few seasons.

“You know, honestly, that would be more of a question for our studio, for Alcon,” Shankar admitted during an earlier Entertainment Weekly interview, via IGN. “They control the property, but what I will say is that there’s more to tell and I’m sure Ty and Daniel would say the same thing. But yeah, that’s probably about as much as I can say at this point.”

Wouldn’t it be amazing if The Expanse gets more life on yet another platform? With such a passionate fanbase, there is plenty of support for the Rocinante crew to continue on more adventures (let’s keep our fingers crossed, folks).

Season 6 is a ‘love letter’ to fans of the show

The Expanse cast and crew have always shown their gratitude to the fans for helping save the show. Cast members Wes Chatham (Amos Burton) and Steven Strait (James Holden) expressed their appreciation to fans in an intimate sit-down at NYCC on Saturday.

"“We’re so grateful to have been part of this incredible journey,” Strait said, who is also a producer on the series. “To tell a story that really feels like it means something not just to us, but to others out there. It’s all you ever want as an artist, is to feel like your work has mattered … We wouldn’t be here without you. We wouldn’t have been able to finish this story without you.”"

“One of the easiest jobs I’ve ever had is going and talking about The Expanse because I am a fan of it and I would be a fan of it [if I wasn’t on the show],” added Chatham, according to SYFY Wire. “So, to be a part of something like this is a dream come true. But the connection that the show has to the fans … is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. You guys saved us. Being able to come and share this experience with you guys, it’s a really special thing … Season 6 is a love letter to all of you because it’s the biggest and best thing that we have done to this point and we are so excited to be able to share it with you guys and cap off the relationship that we’ve had together.”

You can read more of what they had to say here.

Next. Everything coming to Amazon Prime Video this October. dark

The sixth season of The Expanse will begin airing on Amazon Prime Video Friday, Dec. 10, with weekly episodes dropping after that. Fans will also be treated to a special behind-the-scenes look, X-Ray, after each episode. I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to my favorite sci-fi series. But if there’s a glimmer of hope for Expanse fans, let’s collectively pray this series gets yet a third wind for future seasons to (hopefully) come.