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Your Complete Guide to ‘3 Body Problem’ Season 2

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Your Complete Guide to ‘3 Body Problem’ Season 2Netflix 2024

The biggest sci-fi epic of the twenty-first century has finally hit Netflix. And if you think the contemporary setting of 3 Body Problem makes the show feel very down-to-earth, don’t be fooled. By the end of these novels, humanity ends up billions of years in the future—and in totally different dimensions. What starts as a tactile, terrestrial story will eventually blossom into something far more sprawling.

That said, within the eight episodes of 3 Body Problem, it may be hard to see the bigger cosmic picture. And if you haven’t read the books (or even if you have!), the final episode of season 1 may leave you with more questions than answers. So what’s in store for season 2? How far into the future will the show go? And will we ever see those pesky aliens? Here’s a brief guide to what 3 Body Problem could look like.

The following contains spoilers for 3 Body Problem season 1 and Cixin Liu's Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.

Is 3 Body Problem Season 2 Happening?

As of this writing, Netflix has not publicly greenlit a second season. But in several interviews (including on Collider), showrunners David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Alexander Woo have revealed that they envision up to four seasons in total to adapt all three books. Although 3 Body season 1—and potentially season 2—will follow the general plots of the first two books, the showrunners claim that it’s possible the third book (Death’s End) could be split up into two seasons. “The third book is massive. It’s twice as long, I think, as the other two books,” Benioff said. “So maybe that’s one season; maybe it’s two. But, you know, I think we’d need at least three, maybe four seasons to tell the whole story.”

The showrunners claim they’re already working on season 2, with Woo saying that in terms of the writing and planning, “we’re doing it now.” So although there’s not a release date yet—and it seems filming hasn’t started, either—right now there is a very serious plan for a second season.

3 body problem
What’s out there?Netflix 2024

What Will 3 Body Problem Season 2 Be About?

Although the season 1 finale uses elements from all three books, the biggest deal for season 2 is easily the concept of the Wallfacers. This idea comes from the second book, The Dark Forest, and in the final episode of 3 Body season 1, Saul (Jovan Adepo) becomes one of three Wallfacers on the entire planet. His job, in theory, is to come up with a way to defeat the San-Ti in the next four hundred years but not to tell anybody about his plan, since the San-Ti’s spying Sophons can see and hear everything.

In the season 1 finale, Saul becomes a cipher for the second book’s protagonist (and pseudo antihero), Luo Ji. Much of The Dark Forest is focused on the machinations of the Wallfacers, with particular focus on Luo Ji’s complex plan to trick the Trisolarans (San-Ti) into surrendering. At the end of The Dark Forest, after hibernating for two hundred years, Luo Ji threatens to broadcast the location of the Trisolaran star system to other hostile aliens. The big revelation here is the “dark forest hypothesis”: the idea that there are lots of other aggressive aliens out there, too, but everybody is silent about where their planets are in fear of everyone attacking one another.

Therefore season 2 of 3 Body Problem will almost certainly be focused on Saul working out the dark-forest hypothesis and, at some point, hibernating for at least two centuries. The season will also probably include Wade (Liam Cunningham) and Jin (Jess Hong) hibernating and waking up in the future. That’s because everything that happens in Death’s End is kicked off because of their actions involving various spaceflight plans. It’s also possible that Will (Alex Sharp) could appear in season 2, or at the very least, we might catch up to his disembodied brain, out there in that probe, heading into deep space.

In fact, season 1 of 3 Body has already introduced the suspended-animation hibernation technology, and Wade has made it clear he’s headed for the future. Like Foundation on Apple TV+, 3 Body can have its characters step into a tube and end up in a new time, centuries later, without aging a day.

3 body problem
Saul Durand (Jovan Adepo) is shaping up to be season 2’s biggest player.Netflix 2024

Will We Ever See the San-Ti?

Believe it or not, in all three of Cixin Liu's novels—collectively known as Remembrance of Earth’s Past—we don’t really get a good sense of what the Trisolarans look like. Within the reality of the books and the show, the simulation game “3 Body” makes the San-Ti/Trisolarans look humanoid, but there’s no real reason to believe they actually are. Some fans have gone hard on trying to figure out what they look like, but mostly all we know is that they are a kind of life-form that had the ability to dehydrate themselves and rehydrate as needed. Some fans think they look like starfish; others say jellyfish. Or maybe they’re more like the tentacle creatures from Arrival.

The point is: If there’s one way season 2 of 3 Body can expand the novels, it’s potentially by showing us not just the San-Ti but perhaps other alien species in the universe, too.

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