DawnInPonyville

Starlight Glimmer is not OP

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5 hours ago, Harwick said:

 

It's the fact that Twilight's abilities were so carefully seeded into the show that makes Starlight seem overpowered out of nowhere.  You gloss over the backstory and justification that Twilight's abilities are given, but pains were taken to integrate her magic to her character multiple times through the first season.

 

The first things we learn about Twilight, from the initial pilot episode in the first five minutes of the show itself is that:  She studies so much that she has no friends, she apparently lives in a tower full of books with her dragon assistant, she is mentored in magic by the princess-ruler of the land, and magically sends and receives messages from said ruler.  Now, with just that introduction, it's not at all surprising that Twilight is good at magic... and we're barely into the show.  By the end of the pilot episode, we've seen her be awarded the Element of Magic itself, and learn that her mentor is more than 1000 years old.  All in her first appearance.

 

When next her magic is an issue (During "Boast Busters") we are given dialog explaining the magical abilities of regular unicorns, and how they usually only have a little magic related to their special talents, while Twilight's special talent *is* magic itself, allowing her to have all kinds of magic and leading Spike to theorize to the audience that there isn't a unicorn in all of Equestria more magical than her.  Trixie then shows up to make the claim that she's the most magical unicorn in Equestria, before Twilight shows off an insane magical ability that leaves the entire town and Trixie dumbfounded.

 

By "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" we have yet more justification for Twilight's abilities given, as we're told how she idolized Celestia, desperately wanted into her School for Gifted Unicorns, and had a massive power surge when she was linked by destiny to the Elements of Harmony.  We hear Celestia, more than 1000 years old, proclaim that she's never met a unicorn with Twilight's raw abilities before as she not only admits her into her magic school but takes her as her personal student.

 

Again and again through that first season we are given to believe that Twilight is especially magical and shown many indications and reasons for it.  Later seasons would talk up Alicorns and Alicorn magics to a large degree, likewise portraying them as something special above the power levels of normal ponies, culminating in a massive firefight with Tirek visually displaying the combined might of 4 Alicorns held by Twilight (who again is singled out as able to do so for being the Element of Magic) as being equal to the power stolen from most all of the other ponies of Equestria and Discord himself.  That all combines to set a high expectation in the viewers.

 

Then we get introduced to Starlight Glimmer, a unicorn who in a surprise twist is suddenly a match for Alicorn Twilight on a magic level and possibly exceeds her... but that isn't enough of a character trait of hers to bother giving it any explanation at all.  We've had at least 10 episodes that majorly featured the character and the only thing we've learned about her past is that she expressly *didn't* go to magic school.  After all of the careful groundwork to introduce audiences to Twilight's abilities, Starlight is like a record scratch across the narrative.

 

You've actually beautifully illustrated what I was trying to get across in an earlier post:

A) It took multiple seasons for Twilight to have a full backstory and a full character for Twilight even though she was the main character. So it's deeply unfair to expect Starlight Glimmer to be anywhere close to as well constructed after what does amount to a handful of character episodes.

B) That much of what we think we know about Twilight is implied rather than stated through narrative or exposition.

When you get right down to it, people are sore because Starlight arrives on the scene with a "somewhat similar" level of ability to Twilight without having to have gone through the trials and tribulations that Twilight did.

Let me pose a puzzler, would the fandom prefer Twilight to come up against a strong and capable villain who challenged her in multiple ways, but who had exactly 5 minutes of backstory. Or a "one Trick Pony" who got the better of Twilight simply by blindsiding her?

In order to pose a challenge to Twilight, Starlight needs to be powerful. Just like Discord and Tirek needed to be powerful.

This is pretty much a cookie cutter plot for a villain.

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6 hours ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

You've actually beautifully illustrated what I was trying to get across in an earlier post:

A) It took multiple seasons for Twilight to have a full backstory and a full character for Twilight even though she was the main character. So it's deeply unfair to expect Starlight Glimmer to be anywhere close to as well constructed after what does amount to a handful of character episodes.

B) That much of what we think we know about Twilight is implied rather than stated through narrative or exposition.

 

Er... no.   I honestly cannot see how you can come to that conclusion.

A). Everything I listed shy of the Alicorn stuff was laid out in Twilight's first season...  much of it in the very first episode of the show.  We've now gone through 2 seasons since Starlight was introduced, with her starring in 4 episodes in her first season and 7 in her second, and still not a single hint as to how she became this powerful.  It's not remotely unfair to compare that to the amount of explanation we had for Twilight midway through her initial season.  Starlight is not a new character... she's entering her third season, and last season she had more focus than any other cast member.  She's not been lacking opportunity.

B). Everything I listed was flat out stated in the episodes.

 

6 hours ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

When you get right down to it, people are sore because Starlight arrives on the scene with a "somewhat similar" level of ability to Twilight without having to have gone through the trials and tribulations that Twilight did.

Let me pose a puzzler, would the fandom prefer Twilight to come up against a strong and capable villain who challenged her in multiple ways, but who had exactly 5 minutes of backstory. Or a "one Trick Pony" who got the better of Twilight simply by blindsiding her?

In order to pose a challenge to Twilight, Starlight needs to be powerful. Just like Discord and Tirek needed to be powerful.

This is pretty much a cookie cutter plot for a villain.

 

People are calling Starlight "Overpowered" because she's a unicorn who has arrived on the scene as powerful as Twilight with no hint of how she is that powerful.  People in this very thread have told you that they'd be more accepting if there was just a reason given for her power.  If she drained it out of another source like Tirek, then that's something.  If she was granted a ton of power from an artifact, that's something.  If she were secretly a grown Flurry Heart lost in time, that's something.  If she were some kind of special race of being that was inherently that powerful, that would be something.  But they made her a unicorn and gave her none of the explanations that they gave to Twilight to explain why she's so massively powerful.  She just is.

 

It's perfectly fine if that doesn't bother you, but it's not really a mystery why it does bother some people.

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On 17/11/2016 at 3:49 AM, Harwick said:

 

Er... no.   I honestly cannot see how you can come to that conclusion.

A). Everything I listed shy of the Alicorn stuff was laid out in Twilight's first season...  much of it in the very first episode of the show.  We've now gone through 2 seasons since Starlight was introduced, with her starring in 4 episodes in her first season and 7 in her second, and still not a single hint as to how she became this powerful.  It's not remotely unfair to compare that to the amount of explanation we had for Twilight midway through her initial season.  Starlight is not a new character... she's entering her third season, and last season she had more focus than any other cast member.  She's not been lacking opportunity.

The reason that I reached that conclusion is that you showed quite clearly that Twilight appeared on the show with almost no backstory whatsoever. She simply appeared in the pilot episode and the narrative (rather than direct exposition) tells us that she's well educated and skilled in magic.

We're given a one line explanation for this "She's Princess Celestia's student". That is literally all that we know about her background for most of the first season. It's not until episode 23 that we actually find out that she was taught magic in a school run Celestia. She had many other teachers, and there were many other unicorns who studied under Celestia. Twilight simply had more time with her.

To highlight what I'm saying, does the series ever explain what happened in Cutie Mark Chronicles? What was that amazing power that she showed when she hatched Spike?

I really don't understand how you can be satisfied with "Twilight is so powerful because Princess Celestia taught her", or "Twilight is so powerful because blah blah blah magical glowing eye power", yet you don't accept "Starlight Glimmer studied hard because of a bad childhood experience".

Starlight lost a childhood friend because of cutie marks, she threw herself into her studies, and her bitterness pushed her forward. Does she really need any more of an explanation?
 

On 17/11/2016 at 3:49 AM, Harwick said:

Starlight is not a new character... she's entering her third season, and last season she had more focus than any other cast member.  She's not been lacking opportunity.

Starlight had two episodes as a villain in her first season, and two episodes as a villain in her second season. The first time the focus is on the Mane 6 and she's deliberately kept as a mysterious character. The second time the focus is on Twilight and we find out her exact motivations (her childhood experience). She actually gets less screen time than characters like Sugarbelle and Double Diamond.

So we actually know her history and motivations 4 episodes in. Meanwhile, Twilight is still on Apple Buck season. CSGU hasn't even been mentioned yet, and we've not had a single flashback or piece of exposition about anything from Twilight from before the pilot episode.

As for the season 6 episodes, by this time we already know her backstory, and that she became that powerful simply by studying hard. Do we need to be told this again?

Season 6 concentrates on Starlight moving on with her life. The episodes are all character episodes and most of them are based around her problems interacting with other ponies. We find out about her personality, not her powers. The title of the show is Friendship is Magic, not Magic is Magic, after all.

 

On 17/11/2016 at 3:49 AM, Harwick said:

People are calling Starlight "Overpowered" because she's a unicorn who has arrived on the scene as powerful as Twilight with no hint of how she is that powerful.  People in this very thread have told you that they'd be more accepting if there was just a reason given for her power.  If she drained it out of another source like Tirek, then that's something.  If she was granted a ton of power from an artifact, that's something.  If she were secretly a grown Flurry Heart lost in time, that's something.  If she were some kind of special race of being that was inherently that powerful, that would be something.  But they made her a unicorn and gave her none of the explanations that they gave to Twilight to explain why she's so massively powerful.  She just is.

The answer was in the season 5 finale: She studied hard

 

If this is OK for Twilight, why not for Starlight?

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