'The Expanse' Season 4 Premiere Date May Follow Amazon's Early Release Trend

The Expanse Season 4 officially premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, December 13, but there's good reason to check your watchlist on Thursday instead, since Amazon has been releasing several of their flagship series early.

While the official release date for The Expanse Season 4 hasn't changed since it was announced in July, a recent trend among shows produced by Amazon Studios suggests the series could get a surprise early release on Thursday, December 12 — a full day before the official premiere date.

After three seasons in space, the Rocinante crew will tackle challenges planetside in "The Expanse" Season 4. Amazon Studios

On October 31, actor John Krasinski announced on Instagram that, as a special "Halloween treat," the second season of his spy thriller series Jack Ryan was now available for streaming, a day earlier than the announced November 1 release date. But surprise early releases on Amazon only became a clear trend this past weekend, when The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 also debuted a day before its scheduled release date.

Newsweek has reached out to Amazon Prime Video to ask whether or not The Expanse fans should expect the same surprise early release, but didn't hear back in time for publication. (And it wouldn't be much of a surprise if they announced it.)

Recent ads for the upcoming season give no indication that The Expanse viewers should check in advance of the official release date:

4 days until Season 4. Thank you @SAghdashloo for the reminder. pic.twitter.com/2GSEufX9qG

— The Expanse (@ExpanseOnPrime) December 9, 2019

But while there's nothing official to suggest the new season of The Expanse will be available a day early on Thursday, December 12, it's worth checking out your Amazon queue on Thursday for the chance to catch the latest happenings aboard the Rocinante before the official premiere.

After three seasons on Syfy, Season 4 will be the first to debut on Amazon Prime Video. So far, it looks like The Expanse Season 4 is the same show we know and love, but the upcoming episodes might just be able to get away with a little more gore and swearing than previous seasons. But more than the change of venue, the latest season of The Expanse represents a sea change in the overall plot of the science fiction series.

At the end of The Expanse Season 3, humanity witnessed the opening of the Ring Gates—a network of wormholes connecting our solar system with hundreds of other worlds. Some as-yet-unknown disaster in the far-flung past has left these worlds presumptively empty and ready for a new wave of human explorers and colonists.

When Season 4 kicks off, a dispute is already underway over control of one such alien world, named Ilus. After an energy company with mining rights finds Ilus already occupied by Belter colonists, tensions flare. The U.N.'s Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) sends in the crew of the Rocinante to try and mediate between the two sides, a mission quickly complicated by alien technology awakening beneath the planet's surface.

While we'll officially join the Rocinante crew on Ilus beginning this Friday, December 13, there's a good chance this is one mission that will launch early, so be sure to check out Amazon Prime Video on Thursday.