In book one of the Starbound Trilogy, published by Disney-Hyperion in the U.S., “These Broken Stars” captivated readers with its epic story of star-crossed lovers and their survival against the odds. Young adults (and older, too!) can’t seem to get enough of Lilac and Tarver’s encounters with disaster, the growing fondness for one another, and touches of paranormal, sci-fi fantasy. 

Written by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, “These Broken Stars” catapulted the reader’s attention to another dimension in time and space. Not your typical science fiction trilogy, Starbound’s “These Broken Stars” introduces its audience to an unlikely duo who must set aside their differences to survive a catastrophic crash that leaves them alone on a seemingly deserted, unfamiliar planet where they encounter more than they bargained for in their search for escape. 

Fans of this first in the sci-fi trilogy were ecstatic about adapting the book into a TV series. There was even some serious chatter about Freeform picking up the series. Known for its focus on teen and young adult programming, Freeform seemed a likely candidate to air the “These Broken Stars” TV series. 

Unfortunately, to the dismay of many Starbound Trilogy fans, the show never became a reality, and there is little to no current information about its production. 

What Is “These Broken Stars” About?

New York Times bestselling “These Broken Stars” tracks the plight of the two main characters, Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen. Aboard the luxury spaceliner, Icarus, Lilac and Tarver survive a catastrophic crash. Worlds apart, the war hero Tarver comes from much different circumstances than his crewmate Lilac. The young war hero comes from a humble past, while Lilac is the daughter of the richest man across the universe and heiress to LaRoux Industries. The unlikely duo gains trust in one another and face the daunting and seemingly uncompromising journey ahead of them, and ultimately fall in love with each challenge they face.  

In their journey across desolate terrain to find help, they encounter apparitions like extraterrestrial beings that forewarn and deliver information from the technological beyond. Through the ET beings, Lilac and Tarver come to learn about the implicit dangers ahead of them. To escape, they must rely on these apparitions to discover the dark secrets of Lilac’s father and LaRoux Industries. This terraforming corporation makes its fortune off rehabilitating unlivable planets. This uncovering further erodes the shaky relationship between Lilac and her father. 

To survive, Lilac and Tarver come to appreciate their differences and become friends. Together, they begin to understand the terraformed planet and the threat it poses to their lives and ultimately declare their love for one another. The two safely leave the planet and return to Lilac’s father’s spacecraft, where they are met with interrogation. Now that Lilac knows the menacing activities of her father’s corporation, she threatens to make LaRoux Industries and the truth about terraforming public. The novel concludes with a cliffhanger ending that leaves readers at the edge of their seats for the second installment of the Starbound trilogy, “This Shattered World.”  

With its fanbase and incredible storyline, it makes sense that “These Broken Stars” was considered for a television adaptation. Eric Balfour—actor, writer, director, producer, and founder of Off the Grid Entertainment— immediately fell for the characters and knew the potential for a screen adaptation. 

Was the “These Broken Stars” TV Series Cancelled?

The “These Broken Stars” TV series was anticipated to air in the U.S. on the Freeform network and Sky TV in the U.K. The highly acclaimed Canadian writer, director, and producer Simon Barry stepped forward to write the screen adaptation of the book. Award-winning and co-founder of Reality Distortion Field, Barry is widely known for producing sci-fi, horror, and fantasy content, including the Netflix series “Bad Blood” and “Warrior Nun.” 

Authors Kaufman and Spooner were, no doubt, thrilled about the prospect of transcending the characters through new media and considered who to cast as the lead roles with Off the Grid’s Eric Balfour as one of the first picks for Tarver.  

However, despite all the anticipation surrounding the launch of the series, “These Broken Stars” never made it to the screen, and there’s little information indicating further development of the series. Since 2016, readers have anxiously awaited the premiere date, but unfortunately, the show may not continue. 

About the “These Broken Stars” Characters

The protagonists, Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen take turns narrating each chapter of the novel. This really helps the reader delve into the personal motivations and choices of each character on a deeper level—especially since the two couldn’t be more different from one another. 

Lilac, a well-to-do space-age teenager and LaRoux Industries heiress comes across as your typical rich, superficial, and privileged girl. As the only child of the most powerful man in the universe, she must adhere to her overbearing father’s demands and show great care with the relationships she chooses. With her shallow and sometimes outright mean behavior, it’s easy to not find her likable, but in time, the reader can come to admire her bravery and enthusiasm. 

Tarver knows little about the life of riches but understands his place on the massive luxury spaceliner Icarus and understands the trouble that girls like Lilac can bring. A decorated military war hero, Tarver’s military accomplishments landed him a scholarship upper-deck seat on the high society spacecraft. His narration provides a fresh point of view, and his military training delivers the necessary skills for survival during their tumultuous journey. 

Of course, there is Lilac’s father, who was not aboard the crashed Icarus. His protective overbearingness inhibits Lilac, and she longs for freedom. More than oppressive in his relationship with his daughter, Roderick LaRoux has a sinister streak and is behind problematic changes to the planet.  

Other characters include a host of extraterrestrial beings and haunting, paranormal whispers that deliver disturbing news about activities taking place on the planet. Soon, the protagonists learn they have more in store than finding a way off the planet. 

Will There Be a “These Broken Stars” TV Series in the Future?

Starbound trilogy fans rejoice at the mention of a TV series; however, it’s largely unknown whether a series will come out in the future. Many fandom sites have done their own casting call for the show and wait in anticipation of its release date. 

Unfortunately, since its initiation phase roughly five years ago, no other information has been released, leaving readers and fans a bit baffled and unsure what’s in store for the production of the series. 

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Heather Reinblatt

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV