Meanwhile, viewers will have their hands full with Marco Inaros, the leader of the Free Navy, who is holding the solar system hostage. “He’s certainly starting off with the idea of containing the inner planets to the inner planets,” says Daniel Abraham, the other half of the James S. A. Corey writing collaboration. “The thing that he did in season five with the rocks is a great way to show his power and to show the threat that he poses. And then as Earth or as Mars, you’re playing defense. Keeping the enemy on defense is definitely where he’s going.”
And of course there are the necessary changes made following the departure of Cas Anvar from The Expanse, whose character, Alex Kamal, is very much alive through the final novel in the Corey series. The remaining six episodes will have to address the feeling of loss that appears nowhere in the books, and on a superficial level there’s the question of who will pilot the Rocinante since Alex had some significant evasion skills during dogfights.
“When we had this conversations about who was going to pilot, I pointed out to Naren: Holden is a naval officer,” explains Franck. “[He] has the training to fly a ship… and so can slot into that spot. The other thing, though, is he never really did it very much, so he’s kind of bad at it… And that actually is fun to show people pushed into a spot that they’re not entirely comfortable with. It kind of shakes everything up on the crew.”
Shankar also thinks it’s important to show both Holden and Naomi being uncomfortable in the pilot’s seat. “It’s a great way to very clearly crystallize the loss from the season before,” he says. “There isn’t somebody in this chair who’s the right person. People are aware of this, and in the first episode we talk about these things. It does hang over the season.”
In the end, the changes that have been made and will be made in order to satisfyingly conclude The Expanse are not that drastic. Many movies and television shows conclude with a final glance at what might come next after the curtain falls, but instead of suggesting a sequel, the series finale will likely allude to events in the final books in a way that both gives a wink and a nod to those who have read them and entices the remaining audience to think about reading the rest for themselves.
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