The Expanse: Everything You Need To Know
The Expanse is definitely one of the best sci-fi shows currently streaming. Set hundreds of years in the future, the show tells the story of humanity after the solar system has been colonized.
The different factions are at odds with one another. So, it seems that the entire solar system is on the brink of war. The show has some incredible visuals and impressive care for details. There are plenty of interesting characters to get to know. The show feels like a realistic depiction of what a colonized solar system could potentially look like.
Originally, The Expanse premiered on Syfy. However, back in 2018, Syfy canceled the show after only three seasons. Amazon Prime stepped up and saved the day, purchasing the series and letting it continue on their streaming service. With a big studio taking over, I was worried that the show wouldn’t feel the same. Luckily, Amazon has kept the magic of the series alive. The show now has a bigger budget for even better visuals, and it can finish the way it was meant to.
There may not be a better combo than weed and sci-fi. So if you’re like me, this show is perfect for blazing and binging.
The Expanse is heading into its sixth and final season. Here is everything you need to know about this awesome series before getting caught up.
The Show vs. The Books
The Expanse was originally a series of novels written by James S. A. Corey. The series is made up of eight main books and several more novellas, with a final novel on the way.
While the Amazon Prime series has plenty of similarities, there are quite a few big differences between the two. The novels are quite funny, even jovial at times. By comparison, the series is much darker and more serious in tone. This isn’t a knock on the show by any means, the serious tone fits the show’s narrative really well.
The other noticeable difference between the two is the timeline. In order to explain this, I would have to spoil some major plot points, so I will just say that the show rearranged the order of events. This just means that characters that are in later books are in the first season of the show, and the timeline is much more compressed.
Because it was a Syfy show, the budget could not allow the series to have some of the crazy alien descriptions that are in the books. So visually, the show is quite a bit simpler. But it still looks amazing, and as the show approaches the finale, the visuals have gotten way better since the premiere.
Overall, the show took quite a few liberties along the way, but it is still a great adaptation of a very complex series of novels. Whether you choose to dive into the show first or catch up on the novels, you’ll find both are incredible pieces of sci-fi entertainment.
The Different Factions
At its core, The Expanse is a space opera with many main characters spread out across the solar system.
The main players in this sci-fi epic are broken into four main groups: Earth, Mars, the Belt, and the Rocinante. Each faction has an important role to play in the growing tension across the solar system. As tensions rise, the potential for an all-out war continues to grow.
Earth is run by the UN, led by Chrisjen Avasarala. The planet has plenty of natural resources and wealth, which caused the people of Earth to become elitist. The rest of the factions despise Earth, but it is a key piece in trading throughout the solar system. Avasarala is a cunning leader, and she has positioned herself to outsmart the other factions in the upcoming conflicts.
Earth’s biggest adversary is Mars. The planet was initially inhabited by a settlement from Earth. The plan was to terraform the planet to make it liveable for humans, but Mars instead chose to use its limited resources to build up its military powers. The planet is governed by the ruthless Mars Congressional Republic, MCR for short. The Expanse focuses on a gunnery sergeant on Mars, named Bobbie Draper. She is the leader of an elite group of soldiers. The Martians are quite ruthless and have to work hard for commodities that are common on Earth.
The third most prominent faction in The Expanse is the Belt. The Belt is located just outside of Mars’ orbit, separating the other planets from Mars. In the books especially, Belters have entirely different physiology because they are born and raised without the effects of gravity. The Belters speak their own language and have formed an alliance against both Mars and Earth. The faction’s official title is the Outer Planet Alliance, also known as the OPA. Both Mars and Earth look at the Belters as expendable. This mistreatment has led to the OPA acting out against the two planets.
Right in the middle of the growing tension is the final group, the crew of the Rocinante. In many ways, this small crew of travelers are the main focus of the series. They are a mismatched group of survivors, each with their own unique story and ties to different parts of the solar system. Through a complex series of events, the crew of the Roci may be the last hope of preventing an all out war between the other factions.
The Expanse is certainly one of the best sci-fi shows of all time. The tensions between the factions continue to rise, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
As the series is approaching its final season, it is the perfect time to catch up on all of the action before the sixth season starts.
The show and the novels are packed with interesting sci-fi concepts. It is a convincing take on what humanity’s future could look like after populating the solar system.
The Expanse is now on Prime Video, and it is certainly worth your time.