If an Earthlike planet were fragmented into thousands of fragments (ranging in size from many small city sized rocks up to a dozens of small country sized rocks and a few Australia sized rocks) via a Deathstar type weapon, but those fragments remained in close proximity to their origin and continued to circle their star as a group, would it be possible for life to live on some of those fragments? How about complex intelligent life?
There are two phases that I see - surviving the planetary destruction, and long term survival.
Surviving planetary destruction I could see being difficult. There would be sudden acceleration forces during the split that would likely crush bones, and fragments would hit each other causing damage. Also, gravity would be towards the center of mass so individuals would likely not be able to maintain a presence on a fragment easily. Likely some plant life could survive? And of course cockroaches.
But afterwards, if anything survived, could livable conditions exist? That is to say, could the atmosphere be retained amongst the group of rocks if the mass and therefore gravity of the whole remained? Would there be a possibility of some fragments having habitable temperatures?