• Guest Editorial - A Pony Still Among Humans: Should Sunset Shimmer Return to Equestria or Stay Put at Canterlot High?

    A while back, we opened up guest editorials for the masses of you out there to write up something interesting for the audience here at EQD! Unfortunately, we kinda got a bit flooded. It seems asking people to write things is a pretty good way to open the flood gates on the internet! Imagine that!

    We have dug a few out of the pile, and one in particular has been completed. Sunset Shimmer here needs some love, and guest author Page Turner wants to explore a character that has evolved pretty heavily between her various appearances between the movies, comics, and books.

    Below the break, you will find her article exploring both sides of the argument asking; Should Sunset Shimmer return to Equestria? Or stay at Canterlot High?

    Go check it out!

    (Spoiler Warning: This editorial contains spoilers from Equestria Girls, Rainbow Rocks, and the MLP: Friendship is Magic comics, specifically the Reflections arc and the My Little Pony: Annual 2013).

    Part 1: Sunset Should Return to Equestria

    It’s no secret that the My Little Pony fandom has been divided over the quality of Hasbro’s Equestria Girls movies. Despite any differences of opinion though, the character of Sunset Shimmer is one of the most worthwhile concepts which Equestria Girls and its sequel Rainbow Rocks have managed to generate, and with good reason: Sunset is both a well-written villain and a well-written friend. And this fact begs a question—should Sunset Shimmer, now reformed, abandon Canterlot High and return to Equestria or not?

    Considering Sunset’s popularity, let’s start with the argument in favor of her permanent return to Equestria.

    Sunset Shimmer does not have any natural place at Canterlot High. Her presence, in fact, has arguably created a problem between two dimensions: Equestria’s dimension now lacks a Sunset and Canterlot High’s dimension now has either the wrong Sunset or one too many (more on what might have happened to the original human Sunset later). If we go by the explanations of magic mirrors as seen in the comics (the “Reflections” arc, Friendship is Magic issues 17 through 20), it appears that such prolonged exchange between Equestria and the Canterlot High world could cause both dimensions to align and then collapse into each other. And so a risk remains to both ponies and humans unless Sunset returns to Equestria once and for all.

    Another justification for Sunset Shimmer’s return to Equestria is that, as far as we can see from the two movies, she has served her function at Canterlot High as a source of friendship in that world. With human Twilight off in ‘the city’ somewhere immersing herself in science books and not taking the time to make any friends, the magic of friendship could only come to Canterlot High through the presence of pony Twilight Sparkle. Pony Twilight, however, only enters the human world in order to pursue Sunset. Therefore, Sunset, through her negative actions prior to Equestria Girls and the challenges she forces her future friends to overcome during the movie, actually ends up indirectly bringing the magic of friendship to her school. Having served this purpose, why should she not return home now?

    In addition, if the reformed Sunset comes back to Equestria, she most likely would not suffer any form of punishment from Princess Celestia, who seems to value genuine remorse for past misdeeds very highly. Celestia even openly expresses hope that her student will return one day just after Sunset’s initial departure through the mirror as seen in the My Little Pony: Annual 2013 comic.

    Finally, Sunset Shimmer should return to Equestria simply because, from a fan perspective, doing so would allow her to have more screen time, more chances for character development, and we could learn more about her past. Sunset is a pony at heart, and she deserves as much of a chance to be seen and loved by the pony fandom as possible.

    Part 2: Sunset Should Stay at Canterlot High

    Now we turn to the arguments in support of Sunset Shimmer remaining in the world of Canterlot High.

    To begin, Sunset can learn more about the magic of friendship from staying at Canterlot High than she could from returning to Equestria. First of all, her closest friends are at Canterlot High. They have seen her through the worst and best of times, and because of their love have taught her to be a loving person once again. Second, living in Canterlot High’s world has provided Sunset with challenges that ultimately have caused her to improve her personal character and her understanding of friendship, thus adding to her overall happiness and to the happiness of those around her.

    Another argument against Sunset’s return to Equestria is that she no longer has any place in that world. Sunset Shimmer’s previous role in pony society was as Celestia’s star unicorn pupil. If she returns now, that position would obviously no longer be available to her. However, Sunset can serve an important role at Canterlot High. In the second movie, we see that Starswirl has used the mirror portal to imprison dangerous magical creatures in the Canterlot High universe. If there are other long-forgotten Equestrian threats still lurking in the human world, that world will need someone familiar with magic who can recognize those threats early and mount a defense. Sunset would be an excellent choice for this task.

    Another important function of Sunset Shimmer in the human world might even be to move on past school eventually and out into larger society to share her ideas and experiences about friendship with as many others as possible. In other words, Sunset might be destined to act as a sort of ‘Princess of Friendship’ for the Canterlot High world, thus spreading the magic of friendship throughout an entirely new dimension of people.

    There still remains the potential problem, though, of an imbalance between dimensions from pony Sunset Shimmer remaining in the Canterlot High world. However, I have a theory to suggest that makes Sunset’s whereabouts acceptable no matter which world she chooses to call home. In the comic, when pony Sunset first looks into magic mirror in Equestria, she catches sight of a reflection in the glass—not her own reflection, but one of a very sinister-looking human Sunset. Maybe this is just a ‘trick of the light,’ as Celestia remarks, but I have to wonder if another idea isn’t also plausible. Perhaps human Sunset was an evil-minded girl and could sense the great power of Equestria just on the other side of the barrier between the worlds. Then when pony Sunset jumped through the portal, rather than two Sunsets existing in the same dimension, the evil of the human Sunset combined with the anger and frustration of the pony Sunset to create eventually, well…the impending raging she-demon who tried to turn everybody into an army of mindless zombies, which seemed a little extreme and deranged for a villain who essentially just started out in Equestria as a stuck-up Unicorn Academy drop out. Clearly, some greater corruption must have taken place in pony Sunset Shimmer, and a potential source of the corruption is the original human Sunset.

    At the end of Equestria Girls, the Elements of Harmony flood Sunset Shimmer with the magic of friendship, immediately reforming her. I suspect that what the elements did was free Sunset of the evil that had festered in her from a combination of human Sunset’s sinister nature and her own anger, thus leaving her with only the kind, honest, generous, loyal, and happy parts of herself in tact and ready to accept friendship as a decent pony who now also harbors a permanent kinship with the human world because she literally is a little piece of both worlds combined together.

    The final argument for Sunset’s continued stay in the world of Canterlot High is a simple one: Sunset seems happier at Canterlot High as a teenager than she was in Equestria as a young mare. At Canterlot High in Rainbow Rocks we see Sunset smiling with friends, enjoying a sleepover, and discovering the courage and compassion within herself to fight for her peers. In Equestria, however, the comics (My Little Pony: Annual 2013) show her arrogantly showing off in class, cruelly dismissing everypony who tries to befriend her, and rudely questioning Celestia’s teaching methods. So, if Sunset Shimmer is a happier person at Canterlot High, why not stay there?

    In conclusion, my guess is that, while we may get a Sunset Shimmer cameo sometime in a future episode, the My Little Pony series will not bring Sunset back to Equestria permanently. But ultimately that likelihood is a good thing. Both universes as well as Sunset herself are better from her presence among the humans where she can continue to grow and learn from her past errors, help the magic of friendship spread more easily, and, one day, possibly even discover a fresh and fulfilling destiny for herself in the new world she has chosen to call her home.

    At the very least, she might be able to find human Twilight and get her to come out of her room before she ends up using science and the nearest full length mirror to find herself trotting around Equestria as a unicorn and really, really, really confusing a lot of ponies.

    Keep up the good work, Sunset Shimmer! No one’s ever gonna bring you down!

    You can follow Page Turner either on Fimfiction or Fanfiction.net!