Hot off an Amazon pickup and huge buzz at San Diego Comic-Con, The Expanse didn’t have to flex too hard for its Saturday morning New York Comic Con panel. But it still did. The panel started with the season four premiere and ended with an incredible new teaser for the folks at home.
Afterward, the main cast took the stage, minus Frankie Adams’ Bobbie Draper. With only a few minutes left, the panel opened to audience questions, which is when we got to the heart of what this next season is all about: the right and wrong ways to explore a new home.
Both the teaser and the premiere episode ask poignant questions about the very idea of colonization. The series has always used the conflict between Earth, Mars and The Belt to dig deep into how conquest and liberation compete against one another, and showrunner Naren Shankar said the series will continue to do so. “We talked about World War 1 in the first season, and now we’re talking about the European invasion of the Americas,” he said.
Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi, said the diverse cast is an asset to these political discussions. “It allows us to approach in a different way,” she said, before Cara Gee, who plays Camina, chimed in: “I’m an indigenous woman, so for me, of course, I’m going to look at Belter issues from that perspective. That’s part of what makes this story so special.”
Series star Stephen Strait finished the panel by reminding the room why the themes explored in sci-fi like The Expanse are so important. As the teaser (which borrows John F. Kennedy’s famous “moon” speech) says, science has no conscience, and whether it becomes a force for good depends on the man. It’s a message that’s all too real today.
“The thing I always loved about sci-fi is you can use it allegorically,” he said. “You can talk about pressing things in a way that’s digestible for large audiences, and that’s really important today.”
The Expanse season four arrives on Amazon December 13.
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