Culture

In 'The Expanse' Season 4, Humanity Won't Learn 'Any F---ing Thing,' Author Acknowledges

While the end of the last season opened up hundreds of new worlds for humanity to explore, The Expanse Season 4 won’t be any more idealistic about the human capacity for screwing it all up, according to series producer Daniel Abraham.

At SyFy Wire, Dan Drezner, political scientist and professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, analyzed the political ramifications of events in The Expanse Season 3 for the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), a loose coalition of “Belters,” the name for the largely working-class residents of the asteroid belt, who often find themselves pinched between the governments of Earth and Mars.

While a worthwhile interview in itself, Drezner’s commentary attracted the attention of The Expanse series producer Daniel Abraham, who is one-half—alongside Ty Franck —of James S.A. Corey, the pen name under which The Expanse series of novels is written. Abraham singled out one question of the interview and described it as summing up “about half of everything The Expanse is doing.”

Here’s the question from SyFy Wire:

“Of course, stability for post-colonial powers on Earth usually came at the cost of subjugating whole cultures. That’s what will make the future of settling beyond the gates interesting: Does humanity learn any f---ing thing?”

“No,” Drezner whispered in response.

It’s not an answer that suggests easier times are ahead for humanity in The Expanse Season 4, or, for that matter, one that inspires much hope in the human species generally.

(Spoilers ahead.)

In the final episode of The Expanse Season 3, “Abaddon’s Gate,” the mysterious alien Ring created by the protomolecule beyond Neptune reveals itself to be the gateway to more than a thousand habitable star systems. Ominously, they all appear to be dead worlds, destroyed by an unknown threat, eons before the automated alien technology built a gateway in our solar system.

The Expanse Season 4 will be largely based on Cibola Burn, the fourth novel in the eponymous book series, which centers around the first colonizers of a world that comes to be known as Ilus, or New Terra. It sounds like humans will be making some of the same old mistakes there. Assuming it follows the novel, the new season will unveil new alien technologies and enhance tensions between the OPA and the UN government on Earth.

cibola-burn-the-expanse-season-4-book The cover for Book 4 in "The Expanse" series. Orbit Books

The Expanse Season 4 doesn’t yet have a release date, but is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime by the end of the year.

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