• Editorial: Why I Love Me Some Starlight Glimmer, and How She Kinda Saved the Show For Me!

    Note: Expect an editorial from the other side of the Glimmy spectrum after this.

    We've had yet another season to really get to know Starlight Glimmer, and she remains a largely polarizing figure within the fandom. Several episodes have been dedicated to her adventures in friendshipping, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down a whole lot if the next season. Many a pony fan dislikes this expansion on the mane 6, arguing that it takes the spotlight away from our core horses, and the storm rages on because of it.

    Here on the internal EQD side, we join you all in have mixed opinions on the pone. Consider it a microcosm of our comment section dumpster fires that happen every time a post about her pops up! Some love her, some think she's the worst thing to ever happen to the show. With this in mind, we are going to be rolling with both sides. 

    If it wasn't obvious, I'll be doing the positive side~  Expect some negative Glim from someone else in a few days. Continue below!

    I don't think it's any secret that I've always loved the Starlight. Before we really got to know her, I was beyond entertained at our little cult leader/communist dictator's first introduction to the series. Everything from her crazy marching song to the completely off-the-wall insanity that makes up her character brought on a wild contrast to our usually colorful happy world that was a lot more thought provoking than the usual FiM Villain.

    Since then, we've had plenty of time to get to know her, but it still feels like there is so much more to discover. She has a sort of warped world view that makes it difficult to really categorize her into a specific personality template. It's her big positive, and something that always bothered me about the mane 6. I love them, but they've always fallen into very specific tropes bad Vs. good tropes that get old over time. Glimmy on the other hand is kind of a wildcard. She seems like the logical and down-to-earth pony one moment, then completely throws it the window the next. Or as one of our pre-readers Aquaman puts it:

    The appeal of Starlight to me is the notion that her unconscious stress overload response is to try to take over the world

    And that's what I really love about her. In a world where Twilight has largely matured and no longer sets off accidentally detrimental plot-warping explosions, Glims has stepped up and taken that concept to a levels that make her mentor derps look like a toddler accidentally spilling their drink. Twilight's magical fixes were usually a last ditch effort sort of thing. She'd go through a few phases (lesson zero for example) then resort to magic when everything else fails. But Starlight? No steps, no delay. She feels right at home casting completely experimental grand magic with seemingly little real care for the consequences, and it fuels some of the most entertaining episodes in the series.

    But why doesn't she ever learn from her mistakes? I think she does... but in her own particular way. Starlight's character growth is slow and steady. Where we usually see a big obvious lesson at the end of a Rainbow Dash or Applejack episode followed by them completely ignoring all of it for their next romp, we get a lot of gray area from Glimmy. She cherry picks specific things that she truly screwed up as examples of what not to do (and constantly brings them up), but she also draws on the positives of her bad experiences that she can put toward something else. She was a dictator and essentially brainwashed an entire town, but she also learned good leadership skills and takes command during the season 6 finale. She mindcontrolled the mane 6 to save time on friendship lessons, (which she admits was wrong), but she still saw a whole bunch of potential for a line of mental spellsand wanted to brainstorm how to improve it in the end.

    Does this make her evil? ...Kinda? She's hyper curious and definitely not afraid to stretch the boundaries of what is and isn't ethical. I wouldn't be surprised if she was secretly hoping to wander into a situation where she could switch two ponies cutie marks just to see what would happen. Her knee-jerk reaction just so happened to target the lunar and solar rulers of Equestria. A chaotic little scientist, but with incredible magical powers that regularly get her into trouble.

    This leaks into her general personality as well. She kind of adopts Spike's logical role with an added layer of snark and chaos on top. Rock Solid Friendship is a good example of this. When Ponk is slaps cowbells on her and Maud, she throws them aside in an almost rebellious or victorious sort of way. When Pinkie wakes her up, she immediately tells her to buzz off because her food combination is ridiculous. And the best part about it? Trixie fuels everything.

    Who would have thought my new favorite pony would be tied so closely to my old one? Trixie is anything but a good influence on Starlight. She's selfish, even more spontaneous, and regularly drives her nuts. It adds such a fun dynamic to both of their characters. The ending monologue between the two of them in "All Bottled Up", where Starlight brings up the lesson of not using magic to solve problems, followed by Trixie essentially throwing it out the window because it wouldn't be any fun, is pretty much the pinnacle of this. Starlight's giggle of agreement solidifies the idea that she only really applies some of what she learns. Friendship lessons are only partially useful in her eyes. Deep down... she's always analyzing how she can do whatever wild spell she experimented with better, and this keeps her beyond interesting.

    With this lack of respect for blindly following what should be "the good side" or authority in general, she once again saves the day at the end of season 7, allowing the pillars to avoid being locked back up and rescuing Stygian from the pony of shadows. I love that we have a pony that bends the line between good and evil like that. A lot of the time, it backfires. Sometimes though, great things come from a little bit of risk-taking.

    Truth be told, before Starlight was added I was getting kind of bored. The mane 6 are awesome, don't get me wrong... but they have been explored to death. Their personality types tend to be pretty one-dimensional now, especially with Twilight becoming a princess. She was always my crazy little sorceress, but those days ended pretty quickly at the end of season 3 when her episodes shifted into focusing on her princess duties as opposed to dealing with problems by accidentally causing more problems. Starlight brought it back, and did it in a way that I think is an improvement. I miss the nerdy magic dynamic of Twilight's unicorn days, but Starlight's chaotic version is exciting in it's own unique way. I never would have "quit" pony, but she definitely refreshed the show for me.

    Feel free to comment or flame away with your opinions! Algernon will be doing the followup pointing out the negatives, since it wouldn't be fair to only have one side. Expect it in a few days.