From the beginning, the Atrian Seven were the ones chosen to integrate into Marshall High. But with each subsequent episode, it became more about all the fascinating characters, both Atrian and human, that were introduced in the rich world of STAR-CROSSED.
On the Atrian side, there was Roman, Drake, Sophia, Teri, Castor, Vega and Saroya – though we should probably include Zoe and Beaumont.
Then on the human side, there was Emery, Julia, Lukas, Grayson, Eric, Taylor, Gloria – and spicing things up from time to time were Mr. and Mrs. Montrose, Mr. Burke and Ms. Benton.
All their lives came together at two pivotal points: Arrival Day and Integration Day.
Arrival Day was the day the Atrians’ spaceship crash landed on Earth, just outside of Edendale. It was the day that humans and Atrians took immediately to arms and forever cemented the violent distrust between them. Also spawned that day were the warring, vengeful factions: the Trags (Atrian dissidents) and the Red Hawks (human terrorists).
For 10 years, the Atrians were kept sequestered and isolated in a small area near their crashed ship, known as the Sector. Made up of old shipping containers, which the Atrians called “pods,” the Sector was more like a make-shift internment camp to hold the aliens until the humans could figure out what to do with them. Because the the Atrians had fled their dying planet, they had no home to return to and the Atrians needed the refuge and resources that Earth could survive so their species could survive.
But humans, even after 10 years, were not inclined to trust people that come from another planet and believing that while the Atrians may look human, with the exception of their tattoo-like markings, they could not actually be human. Unfortunately, ten years of separation had done little to ease mankind’s fears.
Then came Integration Day, the day that seven of the Atrian teens were selected to attend a nearby high school to see if Atrians and humans could successfully integrate and accept each other. That’s the great thing about teens – they do not always share the irrational fears of their parents and elders. Teens tend to assess people based on their own impressions. So Integration Day was a key pivot-point as the Atrian Seven arrived at Marshall High and began to show the humans just how similar they were.
It helped that one of the Atrian Seven was Roman (Matt Lanter), who as a little boy had met Emery (Aimee Teegarden) that fateful day on Arrival Day. As young children, Roman and Emery had bonded over spaghetti, a string star, and the simple fact that their hearts were open and willing to meet each other and not fear each other. Emery’s instincts had been to feed and keep Roman safe, and he too felt as protective of her when the military came looking for him. At 6 years old, he bravely stood in front of young Emery – willing to sacrifice his life for hers. Fortunately, a biological anomaly saved him: Roman was born with two hearts — if we all could be so lucky. Imagine the capacity for love with two hearts. Regardless, it was a brave and selfless act – one which was forever ingrained in Emery’s memory.
So on Integration Day, Emery was curious to meet the Atrians, remembering the young boy who defended her and seemingly gave his life to protect her all those years before. Perhaps her curiosity and openness was infectious as her friends Julia (Malese Jow) and Lukas (Titus Makin Jr.) were also just as eager to get to know the Atrians. Then, there was Roman. He recognized Emery instantly. But she had not recognized him, thinking he had died 10 years before. It did not matter. Once Roman realized that the girl who had befriended him all those years before was Emery, it was as if destiny were pulling them closer together.
Thus, the least Roman could do once he saw that Emery’s best friend Julia was dying was to help her. He risked everything to save Julia, revealing the special healing properties of Atrian herbs and their blood. It was another selfless act, but one that came at a price – one that ultimately put all the Atrians at risk simply because their blood could heal.
It also soon became apparent that Roman and Emery were closer than either the humans or the Atrians felt comfortable. It was a step towards integration that seemed to ignite ugly insecurities and fears on both sides. But the prejudices of their elders could not stop love from blooming. Roman and Emery had fallen in love when they first met 10 years ago and being thrown together again, that just sparked it anew.
And they were not the only ones. Taylor (Natalie Hall) was also immediately drawn to Drake (Greg Finley) and did not hesitate to say so when the first opportunity presented itself. Unfortunately, it was a comedy of errors as Drake was initially under the impression that Taylor was also Atrian; but once he found out she was human, the pull of attraction and love was too strong to ignore.
In addition, Roman’s sister Sophia (Brina Palencia) also fell under the spell of humans and would tell anyone who asked how she felt about Taylor — for Atrians have no qualms about who they love. Love is love and they listen to their hearts. Lukas was also a bit smitten with Sophia, a love that was repaid when Sophia saved his life as he was dying.
Right away it was clear human and Atrian integration was a huge success. Even the initially dubious Eric (Jesse Luken) and Grayson (Grey Damon) were ultimately won over. And as later found out, Gloria (Victoria Platt) was not only the national security advisor in charge of human/Atrian integration at the school, she had a half-Atrian child born out of a love-bond with Roman’s deceased father.
So the lines separating humans and Atrians were slipping away. Their interests were too aligned. Both wanted to survive and seemed to understand that the key was working together; and that each had something significant to offer the other. Plus, the pull of attraction between the two species was encouraging them to embrace integration and welcome each other into their lives.
The STAR-CROSSED story was not just about love breaking down barriers, it was about the joy of discovering what both species could offer each other. The Atrians’ blood could heal, but they also had advanced weaponry and technology – not to mention their unique herbs that could promote healing, hallucinations, or sudden death. Then the humans could offer a resource-rich planet and a love that ignited a fire in each of them. So maybe destiny did have a plan and bringing the Atrians to Earth was just a part of it.
Thirteen episodes seems like not enough to tell the tale of all the fascinating characters populating the STAR-CROSSED world. Atrian — human — it did not matter. Each had something unique and beautiful to offer. The rich tales of how they were going to conquer the fears and prejudices on both sides has only just begun.
It is painful to say goodbye to such a rich and rewarding television show. STAR-CROSSED introduced a fascinating world we all want to spend more time in and it created characters that we genuinely fell in love with:
Roman – the Atrian boy who loved a girl enough to risk everything to save her and her best friend.
Emery – the human girl who loved the same Atrian boy enough to also risk everything to save him and his people.
Julia – a human girl desperately trying to keep the Atrians’ healing secret while falling in love with a human boy.
Eric – a human boy learning to think for himself and discovering he was not the monster inside that he feared, who also fell in love with a human girl.
Taylor – a human girl determined to love the man she wanted, even if he was from another planet.
Drake – an Atrian boy, who was surprised to discover that his heart loved a human girl and it made him reevaluate everything he thought he knew about humans.
Lukas – a human boy falling in love with an Atrian girl, even if she did not feel the same, and who would do anything to protect his friends.
Sophia – an Atrian girl unabashedly in love with a human girl and willing to save a human boy who loved her.
Grayson – a human boy initially taught to hate by his parents who then learned to evaluate his beliefs on his own and falling for a girl that unfortunately had already given her heart to another.
Teri (Chelsea Gilligan) – an Atrian girl who loved an Atrian boy, despite the fact he did not love her back and who would kill to protect him.
Gloria – the champion of human/Atrian integration all because her son was half-Atrian and she wanted to create a world where both species could live in peace.
Saroya (Louise Lombard) – an Atrian mother determined to protect her son no matter what the cost, even if it meant her freedom.
We also loved the villains of the show: Vega, Zoe, Beaumont, Castor, Ms. Benton, Mr. Burke, Mr. and Mrs. Montrose. They made the STAR-CROSSED world a bit more interesting and unpredictable:
Vega (Merle Dandridge) – a fierce Atrian, leader of the Trags, who felt it was imperative to strike back at the humans whenever they could in order to protect their species.
Zoe (Dora Madison Burge) – a hardened Trag, who had her markings removed so she could live amongst the humans as the perfect sleeper-agent ready to strike.
Beaumont (Tahmoh Penikett) – a loyal Atrian protector serving Castor, who ultimately gave his life once his double-allegiance was exposed by Vega.
Castor (Johnathon Schaech)– Roman’s ambitious uncle who believed only he could effectively lead the Atrians, but whose methods in achieving power pushed him to try to kill everyone in his way.
Ms. Benton (Stephanie Jacobson) – a human scientist eager to solve the mystery of the Atrians’ healing abilities and sell it to the highest bidder.
Mr. Burke (Douglas M. Griffin) – a henchman for hire, working with Ms. Benton, which led to him making some rather dubious decisions.
Mr. and Mrs. Montrose (Tom Hillman and Deena Dill) – Grayson’s parents, leaders of the Red Hawks, ultimately exposed and berated for their blatant bigotry and prejudice.
In STAR-CROSSED’s final episode, the fate of both humans and Atrians remains in the crosshairs. Vega had Saroya build a weapon, known as the Suvek, which Zoe stole and intends to use on the humans; and it will be a race to see if anyone can stop her before it is too late.
Unfortunately, due to forces outside of the show, STAR-CROSSED may never get the chance to show us how their story ends. Written with the hope and intent of getting a second season, the show ends on cliffhanger, leaving so many questions and fates unanswered.
So is the life of a television series. It is never certain how long we have the opportunity to cherish a television show; and as viewers we just have to appreciate the journey as long as it goes. In the case of STAR-CROSSED, it was a loving and eventful journey. It took us into an incredible world where we wanted to live for a while, with characters we wanted to bring into our homes and call friends. As a result, it had a deep impact on all its fans — the outpouring of love for it has been warm and welcoming, and a bit sad as its story is ending too soon.
Yet we celebrate its journey (shortened as it is) in its final one-hour episode. Cliffhanger or not, it was a glorious tale. We fell in love and felt loved in return.
We celebrate that and hope that it leaves everyone with memories of the stories it did share and a teaser of the stories it could have told.
You are invited to share in that last episode with a live-tweet with the cast, writers and producers for both the West Coast and East Coast airings of STAR-CROSSED on Monday, May 12th at 8 pm ET/PT on the CW.
It may be STAR-CROSSED’s last hurrah, but we are going to enjoy and appreciate every second it gave us. STAR-CROSSED was thrilling, exciting and a gloriously delicious world to fall in love with. We remain thankful for that gift.
“Star-Crossed” cast (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)