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Champions of Equestria

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Description

When I went back to watch and finish MLP:FiM in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic, I was kinda surprised that, even after the ending of Cutie Remark and even when Starlight apologized after the events of Every little thing she does, she kept manipulating other characters with either her magic or her vocabulary and then getting away with it without the show adressing those issues ever, which is… kinda creepy.
While I was finishing the last 3 seasons, I’ve read some defenses on Starlight in Derpibooru last year that were very weird and pretty biased, but two particular comments really got my attention: “Starlight doesn’t like to be judged because nobody likes to be judged” and “manipulating other characters and making the same mistakes are part of what makes Starlight great”. I found these defenses very scary and creepy, so I’ve made a whole fanart based on these comments.
To be fair, I don’t think every single Starlight fan is this defensive (I was lucky to meet some polite fans that love her, which is kinda cool). I’m only talking about the loud minority, the agressive fanboy group, the minority who thinks you shouldn’t question Starlight, the minority who always says “you wouldn’t get it”, the minority who takes every question as a personal attack and goes full Brie Larson mode, the minority that manages to make you feel horrible for questioning some creative decisions instead of being a yes-man, the minority who takes an argument and intentionally gets it misconstrued so he can say “hey, help me to annoy this guy, I can’t do it on my own”.
When it comes to Starlight Glimmer (and depending on who and where you talk about it), I think the debate has reached a high level of heat that it’s imposibble to logically discuss it. I think most of the blame is on the writers who have splitted their audience this way. I’m not justifying the bad behavior, that’s not the point. I’m saying that, if you made your fanbase angry and divisive by a questionable series of crative decisions you made (to the point where having a debate of this character became an awful experience), maybe you should take a closer look at the creative decisions you’re making.
And at least I’m not mad, because, as toxic, manipulative, negligent and creepy Starlight is, I don’t think she broke or ruined the show. Starlight hasn’t ruined anything. I still have my favourite episodes. I still have the 2017 film, I still have my favourite characters, I still love the show for what it is despite its problems. And, to be honest, I actually liked her in 3 episodes: The beginning of the end, The ending of the end and A Hearth’s warming tail. That’s more than enough for me. But overall, she’s just a character that completely ignores any sense of heart and responsibility. Besides, after writing an alternative idea for her to work as a character, I don’t have much else to say about her. The least I could do is to have fun.

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Comments

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Background Pony #94BB
This is like a Jim Garrison cartoon. Full of shitty takes and senseless labels. I’ll just do the obvious ones.
1.) Discord almost got yona killed by a bugbear and starlight banished him from school grounds. If someone set a bear lose on children in a school, how are they the victims when they’re rightfully banned from it.
2.) Twilight consented to the hypnotism and it was Pinkie coming in and interrupting it that caused it to go wrong.
3.) She didn’t mind control the three ponies. A bottle full of raw anger broke and infected them. It was a complete accident.
4.) I think you just hate starlight and do whatever mental gymnastics you can to justify it. You can’t just say “I hate this episode because this character was in it”. You NEED to find whatever reason you can, no matter how flimsy.
If you don’t like the character just because, that’s fine. Making posts like this though? You may not realize it but you’re basically saying “only an idiot would empathize or like this character” when you go out of your way to make them far worse than they actually are. I think the trope is called “Ron the death eater”.
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Smitty1991
Lunar Supporter - Helped forge New Lunar Republic's freedom in the face of the Solar Empire's oppressive tyrannical regime (April Fools 2023).

And even if she would take her time, that also doesn’t make sense when we see this in 2019.
I’m not against redemption themes in movies and TV shows, but you have to actually earn it. This is why Sunset Shimmer worked in Rainbow Rocks. This is why Tempest Shadow worked in the MLP movie. This is why Diamond Tiara worked in Crusaders of the lost mark.
I love how you deliberately leave out the fact that not only did Twilight consent to hypnosis, but that Pinkie Pie accidentally interrupted it, just so you have an excuse to keep complaining about Starlight and make her out to be a bad character. Nice going.
@XD-385
And what does that mean?
Smitty1991
Lunar Supporter - Helped forge New Lunar Republic's freedom in the face of the Solar Empire's oppressive tyrannical regime (April Fools 2023).

Twilight saw Starlight joining them as a gamble, but she doesn’t have a lot of choice as she couldn’t defeat Starlight with magic lasers and this is the only way left to prevent her being a future problem.
You mean to tell me that she couldn’t have easily thrown her in Tartarus like they did with Cozy Glow?
Megalobronia
Solar Supporter - Fought against the New Lunar Republic rebellion on the side of the Solar Deity (April Fools 2023).

Nintendo Nerd
Yeah, yeah, and similarly, fools can easily imagine that Trump actually won the 2020 election. Just because something can be imagined doesn’t mean that a take like that doesn’t sound completely delusional and reliant on ignoring contrary info and implications.
Ha, as if the G5 production team actually pays any significant attention to the goings-on on a pony porn forum. This debate is entirely contained where they’re not likely to look of their own initiative, and for the past few years, it’s gone absolutely nowhere. There’s hardly any take you can think of to shit on Starlight that someone hasn’t beaten you to either saying or calling total bullshit on. It absolutely should go away because it’s entirely unproductive and about as good an example of refusing to let things go and keep moving forward in favor of childishly death-gripping at the past as its focal point was.
^ Both of these ^
Interesting how this artist only replies to people who agree with him or make poor counterarguments. But completely ignores the ones who call out his inaccurate portrayal of the characters.
Pretty much shows how ridiculous his entitlement is. I’m usually respectful of other people’s opinions, but I can no longer tolerate how this guy thinks Starlight had malicious intent after Season 5.
TOMNICE
Magnificent Metadata Maniac - #1 Assistant
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice
Artist -

Hungarian G1 pony fan
Interesting how this artist only replies to people who agree with him or make poor counterarguments. But completely ignores the ones who call out his inaccurate portrayal of the characters.
nocKode
Non-Fungible Trixie -

local flash sent enjoyer
i dont think this image is accurate at all but this image is stil really funny to me,like in a unironic way. a sarcastic never truly changed glimmy from s5 still using magic to get what she wants, using it to entertain and amuse herself and trying to rule equestria while discord and celestia are the only ones who realize what shes trying to do and try to stop her. that could make for a fun ask blog
Dulset

Yeah, the show never really addressed ANY of Starlight’s main issues, and just kept on rolling with her bullshit.
As someone who can’t stand Starlight, I do at least have to admit that after two whole seasons of completely lacking in empathy, she seemed to have learned to feel it in the season 8 finale. Temporarily, at least.
Alexlayer
Perfect Pony Plot Provider - Uploader of 10+ images with 350 upvotes or more (Questionable/Explicit)
The End wasn't The End - Found a new home after the great exodus of 2012

Eternal Flame
Yeah, the show never really addressed ANY of Starlight’s main issues, and just kept on rolling with her bullshit.
The BEST they managed was to make her not-so-annoying in the last couple of seasons (at least that’s how it felt to me, but then again, maybe I just grew numb to her bad writing by that point), but they never bothered to actually address anything significant. Hence what we’re left with.
Clearly, she was SOMEONE’s new favorite OC in the writing team, given how much she reeks of Creator’s Pet.
But at least, the show’s finally over, and thank goodness for that. It was a fun ride, with its ups and downs, but best for it to be finished than to continue with its growing issues.
Background Pony #DE0B
Starlight joining Twilight, and overcoming her biggest problems are two different things
See, now thinking like that means opening oneself up to nuance, and not treating being good and evil as just a switch one can flip at a hat’s drop. Starlight making a heel-face turn of her own volition after being convinced by Twilight is not the solution to her internal issues. That would require she be taken down with the Elements of Harmony- instant slate wiping. Watching her actually slip up and keep trying, even if it lasts multiple seasons, to fix herself is what appeals to those who do like her.
I don’t see a hypothetical S10 episode where Starlight manipulates her students as being likely.
I really don’t see her as a likely candidate to bully the deaf either
Don’t worry, that just means you haven’t deluded yourself into thinking obvious nonsense against all evidence.
Background Pony #371A
Starlight joining Twilight, and overcoming her biggest problems are two different things. Sure, much of what she achieves had been done before, but unlike before Starlight serves as something of a project for Twilight in particular, helping her own character development in a way. The school would have never happened if it wasn’t for Twilight’s eventual success with Starlight. It’s as much about Twilight maturing into Celestia a capable leader as it is about Starlight herself.
Starlight’s access to powerful magic makes changing her personality even harder, since its use is so tempting. It’s what encouraged her to be such an impulsive pony obsessed with finding quick fixes. Twilight had the same problem of magic over-reliance in earlier episodes. Even she messed with free will in Lesson Zero and screwed up so badly that Celestia had to step in. Starlight is intended to be a proto-Twilight, and shares many of her flaws, but that is what makes her the ideal student for her.
I don’t see a hypothetical S10 episode where Starlight manipulates her students as being likely. The last time she did anything remotely like that was in S7, and it was already much less frequent by then. If they made an episode where she did manipulate her students, It would be a Non-Compete Clause type episode where they forgot all character development. In other words, a poorly written one. It’d be like if there was a S5 episode where Twilight mind controls Spike to get him to do his chores or something.
I really don’t see her as a likely candidate to bully the deaf either, even in S6 she was never a mean spirited, discriminatory bully. If anything she tries too hard to make friends. Heck, even when she was fighting against Twilight she did so by discouraging bullying! Even if it was solely to mess with Twilight, it leads to a funny exchange and was a nice touch.
On the topic of her magic, it’s also worth noting that while Starlight can remove a cutie mark, besides the inherently meaningless equals sign nowhere is it mentioned that she can create a new cutie mark. She can swap cutie marks between ponies, but not permanently. Twilight had already done this as well. Starlight could not break the CMC’s whole arc if she had been there. At least not without resorting to time travel.
Starlight’s reasoning for her early actions is shown, but it’s never treated as a just excuse and her remorse is genuine. I don’t have a problem with this, because there is never a justifiable reason for atrocities, but that unfortunately doesn’t stop them from happening.
Background Pony #DE0B
By the way, quick note: Don’t try to defend Starlight because her friend moved away or whatever. That’s not an excuse to brainwash and torture entire villages of innocent ponies. It’s honestly ridiculous.
The same can easily be claimed for just about any set of evil acts & corresponding motivations if framed just so. No motivation, noble or otherwise, excuses that evil, so pointing out the ridiculousness means very little. No inciting incident that could lead to what happens in Starlight’s village would make it a reasonable response.
I don’t think this debate should go away because, by deliberately ignoring the problem, it could set a questionable dangerous precedent in the future.
Ha, as if the G5 production team actually pays any significant attention to the goings-on on a pony porn forum. This debate is entirely contained where they’re not likely to look of their own initiative, and for the past few years, it’s gone absolutely nowhere. There’s hardly any take you can think of to shit on Starlight that someone hasn’t beaten you to either saying or calling total bullshit on. It absolutely should go away because it’s entirely unproductive and about as good an example of refusing to let things go and keep moving forward in favor of childishly death-gripping at the past as its focal point was.
Background Pony #DE0B
I can easily imagine an episode in, say season 10, where Starlight is a teacher in school because Twilight wanted her to be a teacher and she quickly manipulates her students. Or an episode like A Silent Voice but with Starlight constantly bullying a deaf-mute pony until she says sorry at the very last minute.
Yeah, yeah, and similarly, fools can easily imagine that Trump actually won the 2020 election. Just because something can be imagined doesn’t mean that a take like that doesn’t sound completely delusional and reliant on ignoring contrary info and implications.
Ring Team
Silly Pony - Celebrated the 13th anniversary of MLP:FIM, and 40 years of MLP!
Lunar Supporter - Helped forge New Lunar Republic's freedom in the face of the Solar Empire's oppressive tyrannical regime (April Fools 2023).
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Artist -

@Background Pony #371A
The show already had episodes with characters trying to overcome their own weaknesses and personal obstacles. Call of the Cutie (where Apple Bloom has a constant fear of missing out because of cutie marks), Sonic Rainboom, Green isn’t your color, Suited for Success, Luna Eclipsed (where Luna is trying to fit in Ponyville even though she’s afraid that many ponies are afraid of her), etc. Probably my favourite example (and also one of my favourite episodes) is Putting your hoof down, where Fluttershy gets progressively asertive to the point where she eventually got too agressive and too mean to her friends, showing consequences on her actions in an emotional way.
The main difference between these episodes and the Starlight episodes is that they don’t use magic, manipulation, huge Dragon Ball laser beams or cutie mark swaps to talk about compassion, empathy and anxiety.
It also doesn’t make sense that “it takes time” when, again, she didn’t take time in changing her sides at the end of Cutie Re-mark, not to mention there was no character progression in that ending. And yeah, Twilight listened to Starlight, but when she decides to go back to manipulate anypony in the next seasons (let alone everypony) or to use magic to get what she wants, it’s like she doesn’t even care about Twilight’s advices and it invalidates her personal wish to change.
I don’t think a character like this is supopsed to work properly in the show when the writers did the bare minimum. Not to mention that, when a character learns her lesson at the end of an episode, that character quickly goes back to her shenanigans in the next episode of after 5 episodes. That not only happened to Starlight, but also characters such as Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. That’s probably why these three ponies are so messed up. In fact, if we got more seasons and more episodes instead of 9 seasons, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got more episodes where Starlight ends up using magic and manipulation as the solution to a friendship problem. I can easily imagine an episode in, say season 10, where Starlight is a teacher in school because Twilight wanted her to be a teacher and she quickly manipulates her students. Or an episode like A Silent Voice but with Starlight constantly bullying a deaf-mute pony until she says sorry at the very last minute.
So yeah, you can talk about empathy, anxiety or any other heavy theme without using magic to do so, especially a spell that completely rewrote the established rules and lore about cutie marks and severely invalidates the personal aspect and the point of having a cutie mark. You don’t need your character to play God to talk about empathy, especially if she keep doing the same mistakes over and over again.
I don’t think this debate should go away because, by deliberately ignoring the problem, it could set a questionable dangerous precedent in the future. I liked the G5 film because of the chemistry between the characters. They don’t depend on magic to solve an issue, so hopefully the G5 won’t repeat the Starlight situation.
By the way, quick note: Don’t try to defend Starlight because her friend moved away or whatever. That’s not an excuse to brainwash and torture entire villages of innocent ponies. It’s honestly ridiculous.
Background Pony #371A
Have you ever tried to change something in your personality to overcome a weakness? It’s really not easy, and for some traits it’s practically impossible. I’ve tried for decades to rid myself of social anxiety. Still can’t do it. It took the Mane 6 years before they overcame a lot of their issues, and even then negative traits still show through now and again, so why would Starlight be any different? Starlight wants to change, because she has so much to gain by doing so, but actually doing it is another matter.
Starlight went along with Twilight for a few reasons. Mainly because Twilight was willing to listen to her, and offer her a chance at friendship, which is something nobody else bothered to do since she was a child. Starlight’s flashback is a cry of help. Twilight sees this for what it is and answers it in the most sympathetic way she can, practically making the choice for her. That’s also the reason it doesn’t work when Starlight tries the same thing on Chrysalis. Chrysy doesn’t want genuine friendship, but Starlight always did. She just didn’t know how.
I watched Rainbow Rocks last night. Sunset is very remorseful and fully reformed already at the start. It’s just others that require convincing. With Starlight it’s the other way around, her past gets brought up less often by others (this makes sense, only Twilight and Spike witnessed her absolute worst and most dangerous actions), but she herself has a lot more lingering issues to deal with.
Sunset is reformed by the rainbow lasers, removing her demon form, and seemingly causing her to see how ridiculous she sounds from someone else’s perspective. Twilight gives her a brief monologue but she’s already crying by then. Starlight is talked down with words because she was listened to, was treated respectfully and given a second chance at something meaningful to her. That comes across as far more appropriate and realistic to me. She doesn’t just magically have empathy now, but the Princess of friendship is going to help her to stop being a loner. It’s a start.
Ring Team
Silly Pony - Celebrated the 13th anniversary of MLP:FIM, and 40 years of MLP!
Lunar Supporter - Helped forge New Lunar Republic's freedom in the face of the Solar Empire's oppressive tyrannical regime (April Fools 2023).
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Artist -

@TOMNICE
You forgot her sacrifice at the end of the film. She did it not because Storm King didn’t grant her wish, but because now she believes it’s the right thing to do.
Ring Team
Silly Pony - Celebrated the 13th anniversary of MLP:FIM, and 40 years of MLP!
Lunar Supporter - Helped forge New Lunar Republic's freedom in the face of the Solar Empire's oppressive tyrannical regime (April Fools 2023).
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Artist -

@Background Pony #371A
The “redemption takes time” argument is something I’ve been hearing since last year, when I tried to finish season 7. For many people, Starlight making the same mistakes is very realistic. I’ve heard a lot that it wouldn’t be believable that Starlight would instantly be better because that would require some time.
You know what Starlight instantly did that required no time whatsoever, like a blink of an eye? Switching sides at the end of Cutie Re-mark.
If she instantly changed her mind at the end of season 5, I’m pretty sure she could change her attitude right away by the same logic. You can’t act like “this takes time” when she instantly changes her mind at the last second in Cutie Re-mark. Not only that, but seeing her manipulating everypony with her magic makes the end of Cutie Re-mark pretty meaningless. It’s like the Logan Paul situation when he electrocuted some animals.
And even if she would take her time, that also doesn’t make sense when we see this in 2019.
I’m not against redemption themes in movies and TV shows, but you have to actually earn it. This is why Sunset Shimmer worked in Rainbow Rocks. This is why Tempest Shadow worked in the MLP movie. This is why Diamond Tiara worked in Crusaders of the lost mark.
Background Pony #371A
Isn’t this sort of the point of Starlight’s whole character? That redemption takes time, and that if pushed into a corner it’s easy to snap back into old habits? It takes her a lot longer to improve than Sunset, because she’s that much more troubled. The only social interaction she’s seen doing until she joins Twilight is manipulation.
That, combined with her temper and impulsiveness, make Starlight unstable and potentially dangerous. Twilight saw Starlight joining them as a gamble, but she doesn’t have a lot of choice as she couldn’t defeat Starlight with magic lasers and this is the only way left to prevent her being a future problem. She does improve with time. By the time Starlight switches Celestia and Luna she did it without thinking, and immediately regretted it. Consciously she knew it was a bad idea, but had already done it by the time she could think about it.
Trading the carriage was wrong, but it’s not like she did anything manipulative. She just sold something that didn’t belong to her in exchange for something she saw to be of higher value. Immoral, but not evil.
Discord was deliberately antagonizing her, to the point of insulting Starlight to her face, as well as endangering the students she was supposed to watch over. She kept her cool for a while, but it’s not that surprising for her to lash out by the time it got to that stage. Even Twilight probably would have snapped sooner or later.