Steven Strait as James Holden and Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata in The Expanse

‘The Expanse’ Has More Story To Tell, but Will It Get To Do So?

It has been two years since Amazon released The Expanse season 6, and some viewers may wonder if the hit sci-fi series is returning for another outing. The show has already been canceled once before, and season 7’s absence may raise the fear it has happened again.

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The Expanse first premiered on Syfy in 2015 and ran on the network for three seasons. The sci-fi show takes place in a dystopian future where humanity has colonized the solar system, and various factions and planets grapple for power. Meanwhile, it is up to a team of underdogs, including ex-UN Navy soldier James Holden (Steven Strait), his crew, and detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), to expose a twisted conspiracy that threatens the new system’s peace and the lives of its most vulnerable. Although Syfy canceled the series after three seasons due to financial issues, Amazon Prime saved the series, and it went on to release three more seasons through the streamer.

It’s not surprising that Amazon was interested in The Expanse, considering its highly positive reception. The show has proven to be a critical success, even nabbing a few Hugo and Saturn Award nominations. In addition to being a visually appealing and thrilling space opera, The Expanse set itself apart with its commentary on imperialism and colonialism and deep dive into the socio-political issues of the fictional system. It also received praise for remaining faithful to the source material, as The Expanse is based on James S. A. Corey’s book series of the same name. So far, the show has adapted six of Corey’s novels and still has three more to go.

Is The Expanse renewed for season 7?

Image of 5 cast members from the Amazon show 'The Expanse.' Three women of color and two white men eating in a spaceship mess hall.
(Amazon Prime)

Unfortunately, viewers will not get to see the final three books in Corey’s series adapted to the screen as The Expanse is not renewed for season 7. Amazon announced in 2020 that The Expanse season 6 would be the show’s final season. Despite it ending before covering Corey’s entire series, the head of television at Amazon Studios, Vernon Sanders, promised a satisfying conclusion to the series. Executive producers Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham contested whether the show was really canceled, as they revealed that a six-season arc was always an option for the show. As a result, season 6 does meet a reasonable ending. However, even though there aren’t any major cliffhangers, viewers will be aware that there’s a lot more story that could be told.

Meanwhile, showrunner Naren Shankar confirmed that financial issues were the reason for the second cancelation. This is also why The Expanse‘s final season was cut to just six episodes, despite previous seasons boasting 10 or 13. While the show’s viewership and budget haven’t been released, it is understandable that a space opera of The Expanse‘s scale would be costly. Plus, even though it had a devoted fanbase and was well-received, it somehow never quite gained mainstream popularity. With studios’ cost-cutting measures becoming more severe, it’s not surprising The Expanse would be cut if viewership couldn’t make up for its suspected large budget.

There’s always a small chance that The Expanse season 7 could get picked up by another streamer or continue in the form of a spinoff. For now, though, The Expanse has met a premature end.

(featured image: Amazon Prime)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.