'The Expanse' Season 4 Trailer Reveals the Alien Threat On Ilus

Previous teaser trailers for Season 4 of The Expanse—premiering on Amazon Prime Video December 13—have shown brief flashes of what may away the Rocinante crew on the alien planet Ilus. But a new trailer for upcoming season released Monday goes in-depth on the extraterrestrial threat and the new forms the protomolecule will take now that humans have travelled beyond our solar system.

The end of The Expanse Season 3 opened a potential gold rush in space, after humanity unlocked the Ring Gate—a waystation connecting our solar system with thousands of inhabitable star systems. But there is a great danger in journeying out beyond Neptune since all of the new alien worlds appear to be dead; their civilizations destroyed by an unknown cataclysm sometime in our prehistory. The only seeming remnant of this lost galactic federation is the protomolecule, which is situated somewhere between biological organism and advanced technology, sometimes acting like a plague and in other instances opening new doors for the human species. The protomolecule is a manifestation of one of the central themes of The Expanse, which explores how disruptive technologies can upset old orders and send an era's political alignments into a tailspin.

In The Expanse Season 4, the Rocinante crew is sent to check on a Belter colony that rushed through the Ring Gate without the permission of the powerful governments of Earth and Mars, or the titanic corporations that act as system-wide nation-states of their own. The latest trailer provides a look at both the resulting human turmoil and the next manifestation of the protomolecule, which seems to be awakening long-dormant technologies beneath the planet's surface.

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

"The artifacts on this planet are waking up," Captain James Holden (Steven Strait) says in the new trailer, which highlights several new manifestations of the alien technology, including a swarm of tiny, destructive robots.

Cataclysms more like natural disasters are also on display in the new trailer, suggesting the awakening alien technology has the potential to make Ilus completely unhospitable to its new human colonizers.

Beyond the new alien threat, the latest trailer for The Expanse Season 4 also puts a strong emphasis on the conflict between the Belter colonists and Adolphus Murtry (Burn Gorman), the hard-nosed head of security for the Royal Charter Energy company. If previous seasons are any indication, it's likely to the corporate behemoth's efforts at exploitation play a major role in activating the dormant alien technology.

Of course, anyone looking for The Expanse spoilers can always just turn to the novel series by James S. A. Corey. The upcoming season is based on the fourth book in the series, Cibola Burn, which has all the details about the true nature of the alien construct. Or you can just wait patiently for The Expanse Season 4 to debut.

The Expanse Season 4 will premiere December 13 on Amazon Prime Video.