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'The Expanse' Season 6: Everything you need to know about the final season

The Expanse season 6 key art
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

The Expanse season 6 marks one final voyage across space for Amazon's sci-fi epic.

This absolutely will contain spoilers for The Expanse. If you haven't watched through Season 5 already, get to it! (And stop reading now.)

Most of the main stars will return for Season 6. That includes Steven Strait as James Holden and Dominique Tipper as space badass Naomi Nagata. It includes Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala, and Wes Chatham as Amos Burton. And we'll see Frankie Adams back as former Martian Marine Sgt. Bobbie Draper. There are a few other faces we have a pretty good idea are returning, and suffice to say we'll find some new characters along the way as well.

So let's dive into it. Here's everything we know about Season 6 of The Expanse. That includes the release date, plot, episodes and more. 

'The Expanse' Season 6 release date

After a long wait, we've finally found out when season 6 will arrive. The first episode of the new season will premiere exclusively on Prime Video on Friday, Dec. 10. 

New episodes will air weekly, with the series finale dropping on Jan. 14, 2022.

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What's happened so far?

Trying to explain The Expanse in just a few sentences is not easy. I've tried. (It also makes you sound slightly insane.) We're talking multiple plot lines among three major factions of humanity — Earthers, Martians, and Belters.

But here goes:

  • Season 1: The new crew of a salvaged Martian frigate Roscinante and a space station detective looking for a missing woman separately discovery a secret plot to weaponize a mysterious blue space goo dubbed "protomolecule." Lots of people die.
  • Season 2: The fight over the protomolecule continues. The detective finds the missing woman covered in the blue goo, which is used as an experiment on hapless residents of a space station on the asteroid Eros. The goo takes control of the asteroid and threatens to fly into Earth. But it disappears into Venus instead. Meanwhile, Earth and Mars are about to go to war. Lots of people die.
  • Season 3: Remember that asteroid that flew into Venus? It emerges as a giant mechanical squid thing, then turns into an alien ring gate, but it doesn't seem to want to let anyone through. Meanwhile, the detective who died when asteroid crashed into Venus reappears as "The Investigator" and guides the Roscinante safely through the ring, but the ring now threatens to end all life in the known galaxy. They stop that from happening, but lots of people die anyway.
  • Season 4: Colonization is now happening on the other side of the ring gate. But that damned protomolecule is back and threatens to kill everyone, again, if the corporate scientists don't kill the prospectors first. The Investigator turns into a mechanical bird thing and saves the day. Lots of people die.
  • Season 5: An old Belter terrorist who has ties to one of the crew on the Roscinante is forming his own navy and flinging large rocks covered in Martian stealth tech at Earth, killing millions and causing massive environmental destruction. The Roscinante crew is split up, with one on Earth, another on Mars, a third looking after the ship — and the fourth trying to rescue her son from her son's father, who happens to be the Belter terrorist, who has teamed up with Mars to take down Earth once and for all. Lots of people die.

Is there a trailer for 'The Expanse' Season 6?

Yes! After a long wait, Amazon has finally revealed the trailer for The Expanse season 6.

Things are not exactly looking good, though. With the solar system at war, tensions are rising. Trouble is brewing across the galaxy, and it looks like it will deliver even more thrills and spills along the way. It certainly looks like the final season will be the biggest test yet for the crew of the Rocinante...

You can watch the trailer below:

We also got a teaser trailer back in October, which you can watch below:

How many episodes will 'The Expanse' Season 6 have?

The Expanse season 6 will sadly be a lot shorter than fans might have hoped, as there are only six more episodes on the way. 

What characters will be back for 'The Expanse' Season 6?

We know that most of the core cast will return. Holden and Naomi (Strait and Tipper)  have been reunited with themselves, and with crewmate Amos (Chatham). He's brought along an old friend — Clarissa Mao, whom he rescued from a maximum-security prison that was destroyed when the rocks hit the Earth.

We know that Avasarala (Aghdashloo) should be back, too — and newly reinstalled as the UN General Secretary. And she finally has Bobbie Draper (Adams) officially working for her.

And terrorist Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) is still on the loose, having destroyed the fleet protecting the ring gate. And now he's got Mars officially on his side.

Not returning is Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman), who was killed earlier in Season 5.

And definitely not returning is Rocinante pilot Alex Kamal. Actor Cas Anvar was accused of sexual misconduct in the summer of 2020. After a third-party investigation, it was announced that he would not be returning to the show. His character wasn't originally supposed to die in Season 5, so there was a good bit of mystery about how that would be handled. In the end it was abrupt, but also done in a way that paid tribute to the character. 

One dark horse who may return could be Thomas Jane, who played Detective Joe Miller and The Investigator in the first four seasons. While his characters are believed to be dead, Jane was around for Season 5 — serving as director for an episode.

Does that mean Miller or The Inspector might be back for Season 6 of The Expanse

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.