What is the OPA in The Expanse?
The OPA represents the Belters, a group of people born and raised in the asteroid belt. They struggle for unity and representation in a galaxy of factions and division, with Earth, Mars, and the OPA itself the main powers.
The OPA is a science fiction epic in itself, with Belters born in the outer reaches of the solar system, controlled by corporations and organizations, and wanting to unify their people to have a say in the future of their planets. The OPA is both a political body and a terrorist organization, depending on who you ask and which faction you’re discussing. It represents the people of the Belt, who feel mistreated by Earth and Mars, and wants what’s best for them. However, opinions differ on the OPA’s methods and leaders, and some factions resort to radical actions like protests, riots, and attacks. This jeopardizes the legitimacy of the non-terrorist factions.
The Expanse OPA factions
The Expanse OPA is not a single entity but instead consists of many factions with different agendas and means of operation. Some of these OPA factions include:
Fred Johnson, a former UN Marine, tries to unify the OPA into a political entity. However, his radical past, which includes being known as “The Butcher of Anderson Station,” and his questionable tactics, lead some to question his actions. Johnson later becomes the de facto leader of the OPA.
OPA liaison and member Anderson Dawes envisions the OPA becoming a legitimate political party. He justifies fanatical attacks and is willing to bend rules or break the law, while charismatic Camina Drummer leaves Dawes due to ideological disagreements. Drummer is still supportive of the OPA’s goals but is uncertain of her next move. The Expanse: A Telltale Series follows Drummer’s story after leaving Dawes.
The OPA’s future
The OPA represents the Belt and its people, who want what’s best for themselves. The Expanse shows strains in the OPA’s supply lines and struggles in face-to-face combat. Despite this, the OPA struggles in face-to-face combat, and in the Expanse TV show, Belters are mostly used as shock troops and cannon fodder, some believe these shortcomings may be rectified in the future.
There are many different OPA factions, with some seemingly legitimate organizations and others consisting of radical Belters. The OPA struggles in face-to-face combat due to lack of unity and attacks on their supply lines. Despite this, the OPA controls important stations like Tycho Station and gives them an edge in potential conflicts.
The OPA’s future seems uncertain, but its fight for representation and rights is one of The Expanse’s main storylines. If you want to learn more about the other factions in The Expanse, check out our guide to the Earthers, Martians, and the United Nations.