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Film / The Space Between Us

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The Space Between Us is a 2017 teen romance/science fiction movie starring Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino.

Sarah Elliot, an astronaut leading a colonization mission on Mars, dies after giving birth to the first human being born on Mars. 16 years later, her son Gardner travels to Earth in hopes of experiencing the planet for the first time, meeting an internet friend Tulsa, and uniting with his long-lost father. Unfortunately, he can only survive on Earth for a limited time due to spending his entire life accustomed to Mars' gravity.

Not to be confused for the 1999 film.


  • Artistic License – Biology: Gardner would be severely deformed having gestated in zero gravity among numerous other issues.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Gardner and Tulsa enjoy interactive texting... completely ignoring the 4-20 minute speed-of-light comm lag between Earth and Mars. It is implied that the computers in the colony use quantum tunnelling to communicate between Mars and Earth which could bypass the speed-of-light limit.
  • Berserk Button: Tulsa is not a big fan of being lied to as she tells Gardner when she refuses to believe that he was born in Mars.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gardner is forced to return to Mars in order to survive. However, it's implied that Tulsa will be joining him up there before long.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tulsa doesn't believe Gardner truthfully saying that he was born on Mars and that his mother was an astronaut, initially contemplating on leaving him behind in the middle of the highway. She finally realizes Gardner was right after he collapses and is hospitalized due to the atmospheric pressure on Earth.
  • Death by Childbirth: Sarah succumbs to eclampsia immediately after giving birth to Gardner.
  • Dies Wide Open: Sarah dies this way.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Gardner's quest to find his father ends in failure, he tries to commit suicide by drowning in the Pacific Ocean, where his mother's ashes were scattered.
  • Get Out!: Tulsa orders Gardner out of her car for supposedly lying to her about his origins.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tulsa might be snarky and hot-tempered at times, but the heart of gold part becomes evident as she starts softening up around Gardner and genuinely wants to help him locate his father.
  • Light Worlder: Gardner, due to having grown up on Mars.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: It doesn't get much more long-distance than between Earth and Mars.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Subverted - after finding the man shown in a picture with Sarah, Gardner discovers that he's his uncle, not his father. However, Nathaniel turns out to be his real father.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Used in Gardner and Tulsa's love scene as the film has a PG-13 rating.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: A notable aversion, since Gardner's intolerance towards Earth gravity due to being born in Mars is a major plot point.
  • No Social Skills: Gardner, due to having spent his whole life on Mars with only a handful of humans, a robot, and old-school movies to teach him how to interact with others.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tulsa is called that because she's originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her real name is never revealed.
  • Race Against the Clock: Nathaniel and Kendra have to find Gardner and bring him back to Mars before he dies from exposure to Earth's increased gravity.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tulsa's rant about people lying to her when she believes Gardner's claim that he's from Mars to be a lie:
    Tulsa: You know, I don't like to be played, Gardner. That's what it is. Mars? Some weird disease? People have been lying to me my entire life, which is whatever, 'cause people suck. They suck. They lie. They use you to get what they want, and then they just throw you away. And the thing is, I didn't even like Calculus. No, just Mr. Hall's always drunk and nobody can understand what he's saying, but he doesn't care what we do on our computers. So that's what I looked forward to. To Calculus. To talking to you. So get out!
  • Toplessness from the Back: After the two make love, Tulsa's bare back can be shown when Gardner uncovers part of her sheet.