Why Is 'The Expanse' Ending After Six Seasons?

Fans of The Expanse will no doubt be preparing themselves to bid farewell to the Rocinante crew on Friday, January 14, when the final episode of Season 6 lands on Amazon Prime Video.

The sci-fi show has been on the streaming platform for three seasons, after it picked up the programme when it was originally canceled by SyFy in May 2018, following its third season.

And now the show's time on Prime Video is over because when the show was renewed for a sixth season in November 2020 it was also announced it would be the last on the streaming platform.

Why The Expanse Is Ending After Six Seasons

At the time the show was renewed for a sixth season Vernon Sanders, co-head of television at Amazon Studios, said in a statement that it would give a "satisfying conclusion to the series that they deserve."

Fans, of course, were surprised to learn this would be the end of the series given it is based on a book series by James S. A. Corey (the penname of writing duo Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham) that is has only just ended.

Season six is based on "Babylon's Ashes", the sixth book in Corey's sci-fi novel franchise, and it is followed by three more books: "Persepolis Rising", "Tiamat's Wrath", "Leviathan Falls".

There is also the forthcoming "Memory's Legion", which will be released in June 2022 and is a series of short stories set within The Expanse universe.

While there are nine books in total, it should be noted that there is a time jump in book seven, "Persepolis Rising", so if there were to be more of the show then the cast would need to be significantly aged-up to keep faithful to the source material.

In an interview with EW in June 2020, showrunner Naren Shankar said he, Franck and Abraham planned out a six-season arc for the series in advance, in case it didn't get renewed further.

He explained to the publication that they wanted to figure out if they would "be able to get to the end if we only got six seasons," adding: "We all felt that that was absolutely possible. And so I think we're in that mode, that framework.

"So the answer is basically, yeah, we have talked about that last ending scene and we talked about it for quite some time. And I think what we've got on paper at this point definitely is that thing that we talked about many years ago."

Will The Expanse Get a Spin-Off?

In the same interview Shankar also explained that the show's future would depend on Alcon Entertainment, the company who produces and finances the series.

He confirmed, as fans of the books are already aware, that there is "definitely more to tell" but kept quiet on if there were any further plans to continue the series.

Abraham and Franck also told Polygon in 2020 that Season 6 was simply a "natural pause point" for the show, but teased there could be more.

Franck said: "Alcon —our studio—is very committed to the IP. They have lots of plans. We'll see what happens after that."

Given there are three more books worth of material, not including the short story collection "Memory's Legion" it could be entirely possible for there to be a spin-off.

A spin-off could continue where The Expanse Season 6 left off or even just follow the characters in Laconia that are introduced in the final episodes, or it could be set in a completely different part of the universe.

However, at present there is no news on whether the show will get a spin-off.

The Expanse's Season 6 finale airs on Prime Video on Friday, January 14.

The Expanse
Steven Strait as James Holden in "The Expanse" Season 6, which is the show's final season. Shane Mahood/Amazon Studios