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File 142903331699.png - (497.74KB , 562x626 , Starlight.png )
36794502 No. 36794502
I caught up with the new season a bit later than most but found the time to watch the first two episodes of season 5, and I have a hard time deciding whether Starlight really was being genuine about cutie marks hurting everyone or if it was just bullshit to get ponies' cutie marks for some other, as of yet unknown, reason.

After their little song and dance she said to herself (and the audience)
> Well, this will certainly provide a boost to our little community. When the rest of Equestria sees that a princess gave up her cutie mark to join us, they'll finally understand what we're trying to accomplish.
which to me makes it sound like she really wants the rest of Equestria to just come and agree with her, and that she genuinely believes in cutie marks causing trouble. Also of note is the word WE in "what we're trying to accomplish". However, what makes me second guess myself simply based on this scene alone is her facial expression, which went from seemingly normal and happy to somewhat, uh, sinister. And the foreboding sound in the background really didn't help make her seem genuine. Her words and actions seemed to somewhat contradict each other. If she was speaking to somepony else or the M6 were within hearing distance this would be more easily explained, but the way the scene is framed makes it clear nopony else heard what she said.

But. When she forcefully removed the cutie marks of the Mane 6 it seemed to be clear she didn't have everypony's interests in mind. I mean, before she'd specifically said that a princess who gave up her cutie mark to join the village would help others understand. Starlight would have to be a lunatic to think Twilight wouldn't mention what happened if anypony, like, saaaay Luna or Celestia, came asking where she was. Then again, maybe she was and that's that, but that takes all the fun out of overthinking, so I'll ignore that possibility. Starlight locking them up in the shack to be brainwashed or whatever also seemed like a very interesting way of handling the situation if she believed in what she taught.

Also, the fact that none of the villagers commented or looked uncomfortable with the ridiculousness of what Starlight was doing was a bit bothersome. Night Glider was the one who said the cutie unmarking was a beautiful experience. Party Favour and Sugar Belle seemed to agree, and it seemed they had all given up their cutie marks of their own volition. Or they were so thoroughly brainwashed they thought they had, I don't know. Sugar Belle did mention that it wasn't like Starlight kept them from their cutie marks, but she didn't want to offend or hurt Starlight. To me her reaction didn't really sound like that of someone who was afraid of their leader, even though it's clear she had the authority to do whatever she pleased.

Moving on, the issue gets muddy again when we reach the end of the second episode and Starlight somewhat loses it. True, it's hard to tell how much of what she said was true or not, but to me some parts stand out.
> It's my magic that makes all this possible! You'd all still be living your miserable lives thinking you're better than everypony else if it weren't for my magical abilities! I brought you friendship! I brought you equality! I created harmony!
>Spare me your sentimental nonsense! I gave these ponies real friendships they never could've had otherwise!
These don't sound like lies to me. If they were, she wouldn't be so, eh, bitchy, about them. She really, really seemed to believe in what she said and that she brought the village happiness. But there's always a but...

> I... I had to, you fools! How could I collect your cutie marks without my magic?
> collect
Why not say remove, instead? Was she actually collecting them for some purpose we haven't heard of yet? Am I simply giving too much weight to one single word?

So... what exactly happened? Was she actually somepony who believed she was being the hero and helped all those ponies (due to some traumatic event in her past causing her to view friendship so differently, no doubt) or was she simply pretending and wanted to take over? If she believed in equality as she said then she simply could have argued that she needed her special talent until everypony else had given up their cutie mark, and the last mark she'd remove would be hers. She still would have lied to the ponies who trusted her, but she could have at least tried to sweet talk her way out of it. She could have succeeded, too. However, if she didn't believe in equality why would she so vehemently speak for it after the truth about her cutie mark came out, even as she was running into the caves.

So, thoughts? Anything I missed? Has this already been discussed in a thread I missed on a quick glance?
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 36794503
I prefer not to think about it too much, because I expect we'll have our answer later in the season.
>> No. 36794504
>>36794503
That is probably the case, yes, though when in the season is anybody's guess. But fair enough.
>> No. 36794506
File 142903517887.png - (199.41KB , 724x1024 , large (6).png )
36794506
I feel like she did genuinely believe in what she was preaching, but also knew that on one would listen to her preaching, thus why she had to resort to trickery and force.
>> No. 36794511
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36794511
I personally think it was a power justifies the means thing. She didn't truly care about her mantra, she was just doing it as a means to an end.

Like cult leaders who don't actually believe their religion, but just want others below them that they have power over.



Her mannerisms and actions to me showed that she wasn't upset about the loss of her community of harmony as her loss of power.
Her lines about the mane six ruining HER life, without a mention of it harming others by disrupting the town's "harmony", plus her yelling at Twilight to shut up instead of telling her she was wrong (Implying that she didn't CARE if Twilight was right or not, she just didn't want to hear anything from her) indicated to me a clear selfish motive.
>> No. 36794541
>>36794502
It's amazing how dictators will dilute and rationalize things to fulfill their twisted mindsets.
>> No. 36794542
>>36794511
>plus her yelling at Twilight to shut up instead of telling her she was wrong (Implying that she didn't CARE if Twilight was right or not, she just didn't want to hear anything from her) indicated to me a clear selfish motive.

Ah, but she could have also said it because in her past she was told it constantly, tried to live by it, seen it fail, and was told it constantly again. To hear it once more would have struck a nerve.
>> No. 36794551
Honest, considering even the show creators said that she "views friendship and harmony very differently from Twilight", I'm willing to believe that she fully believed her cause. Her keeping her cutie mark was, in her mind, a compromise needed to bring her vision into reality.

Honestly, if Starbright gets a satisfactory backstory, I think she may be the most complex villain in the show.

>>36794542
Could also be that she thought that Twilight's ideology was full of crap, and she was REALLY not in the mood to hear her bullshit at the moment.

Last edited at Tue, Apr 14th, 2015 23:13

>> No. 36794559
File 142912175779.png - (529.88KB , 1280x720 , large (2).png )
36794559
>>36794511
>she wasn't upset about the loss of her community of harmony as her loss of power.
I think you can interpret her anger as a reaction of personal loss. I think she was sincere in her beliefs about cutie marks being hurtful, it's just that she derives this from personal experience and projects it unto others. She consistently uses strong language like "flaunt" and "false promise" when it comes to cutie marks and talents, indicating some sort of trauma relating to inferiority.

It could have all been apart of the facade, but there are incidents after when she's exposed that shed light.

Even when her cutie mark is revealed it seems she believes that cutie marks bring unhappiness as when the villagers question this she responds that they'd be "living their miserable little lives thinking that they're better than everypony else" if it wasn't for her. She's quite obviously projecting her own insecurity when she says that and it makes sense she would try to cover for her insecurity by simultaneously rejecting other's talents while glorifying hers like when she states it was her magic, that she was the one responsible for their happiness.

This is shown again when twilight blocks her spell and she says she worked on the spell for years. She's very conscious of her abilities and others being better than her. So when she's upset about the Mane 6 ruining her life, it does come from a selfish perspective, but it is one she believes.

As for her outburst at Twilight I agree with >>36794551
>> No. 36794594
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36794594
> Well, this will certainly provide a boost to our little community. When the rest of Equestria sees that a princess gave up her cutie mark to join us, they'll finally understand what we're trying to accomplish.

She was genuine in spite of the foreboding sound and all that and the reason why is the truth is she's a very unhappy pony that hopes that the end will justify the means: she's staying different in order to eventually convert every pony in equestria, after which, she won't have to worry about any pony being better than anypony else and will finally be able to relax and give up her cutiemark as well - but until this happens, she's going to have to accept being driven by her own selfish desires, and sinister music and such typically goes with that, as that's what she's driven by at the moment (though this is exactly what she wants to change by converting everypony to equality)

she believes in using force in order to get the end (the ends justifies the means mentality), so brainwashing is perfectly fine here and doesn't contradict her aim of happiness and equality for everypony, including herself

none of the ponies were afraid of their leader - they were just thoroughly lost in her philosophy and the culture which reinforces that philosophy to ever think she might be wrong... some ponies, however, who started having doubts, had to be dealt with or it would risk creating disharmony in the community & not only that, but if those ponies weren't forced to stay in the community - there would be some ponies who thought they were better than other ponies, and starlight would never be able to achieve peace, because in the back of her mind, there would always be those other ponies out there in their own community who could one day threaten her community, which means she would never be able to give up her cutiemark (she would be the last one to do so), as she would have to constantly be alert to challenges to the community from outside influences and would be forced to go on pretending, which she certainly didn't want

starlight glimmer took it upon herself to create harmony in the world, without anypony else's help

> It's my magic that makes all this possible! You'd all still be living your miserable lives thinking you're better than everypony else if it weren't for my magical abilities! I brought you friendship! I brought you equality! I created harmony!

she did want to create harmony

>Why not say remove, instead? Was she actually collecting them for some purpose we haven't heard of yet? Am I s...

she said "collect" here instead of remove simply because she was collecting them and storing them as a reminder of the misery they bring

she wasn't just removing them and then they disappear forever - they were still there and needed to serve the function of reminding the ponies of their misery

>etc...

she needed to lie to them about being equal, otherwise the other ponies never would have bought her philosophy. instead of the ponies living harmoniously, like she wanted - they would have just been in the same situation has her: hoping and wishing for that one day when everypony was equal and could live in harmony instead of ACTUALLY living in harmony, thus the lie is necessary in order for all the ponies to live in harmony now. if she hadn't lied, the ponies would have all thought they were special and needed to spread "equality" all over the world by converting everypony/conquering/etc... and there would be no harmony and that's certainly not what starlight wanted - she wanted harmony, and the lie was the only way to create it...

and becoming an equal herself is no good because then the community wouldn't be able to grow and would be at constant threat of destruction from outside forces - so starlight had no choice but to lie and take the defense of the town upon herself in order for everypony to truly live in harmony...

poor starlight glimmer - she just wanted a friend

Last edited at Wed, Apr 15th, 2015 19:56

>> No. 36794595
I've been wondering more about how much the writers/scripters focus on words and such vs the song artists.

In particular, the songs tend to be very precise and syntactic with their structure. You don't accidentally use "emulate" and if you don't have a mouth you cannot scream . For example the end of the song is worded "banded by equality, by our cutie mark." This phrasing explicitly attributes their equality to the cutie mark, and not to a goal or objective of equality, with the cutie mark being representative of the idea or a pact if the latter were the case. This definitely points to the cm and equality being non-consensual, even if they don't realize it.

In respect to SG, she clearly was vain and power hungry, but we can't say whether it was a mere personal directive, or some external force. In some ways, her gathering the cm of the mane six via not-her-magic and non-magic ponies being able to move the cutie marks with magic is a pretty annoying plot hole, but it shows she wanted the marks near her. If we're speculating she's "merely" megalomanical, this were be perfectly in-line with just having a fetish for future power. If she was motivated by external factors, I'd argue her behavior would have been to keep them secured elsewhere.

A bigger question SG raises: What will be the next Twilight-Sparkle-related name-pun? Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer, Evening... Twinklimer?
>> No. 36794597
>>36794595
I'll talk about the song more actually, because of how much effort I believe was put into it:

As SG sings, she is the ONLY one singing and moving - and yet when she is not singing or moving, the 'other' townsfolk are. There's even the pretty menacing part at the beginning, the first time the other ponies begin singing/marching: she's nodding and watching, as if they've been practicing and are following her dance plan, which she is not a part of. (e.g. it's as if she's the maestro)

Of course at the end as well, everypony is symmetrically opposed - except her, the literal center of it. Even near the end, she is not part of the equal sign.
>> No. 36794599
File 142915370743.png - (106.50KB , 476x427 , twi_deadlight.png )
36794599
>>36794595

Evening star.
>> No. 36794600
I think she was an idealist who really believed in equality, she just took it too far and her arrogance led her to betray her own beliefs.

The typical cliché in this type of story is that the leader of the utopia turns out to have only been in it for personal gain, and used the ideals as an excuse. But that reveal never happened in this episode; it seems that Starlight really does believe in equality, even if she doesn't live up to her own ideals.

Of course, there's a very good chance she'll show up in a future episode, so maybe she'll turn out to have been lying the whole time. But I doubt it. MLP has already had plenty of greedy evil villain types. I think the writers are trying to do something different by giving us a bad guy who truly believes she is doing good.

Last edited at Wed, Apr 15th, 2015 20:09

>> No. 36794602
>>36794600
>a villain who truly believes she is doing good
1) 2deep4kids
2) it's a womanmare how dare you womenmares can't be sociopaths only white menstallions can
>> No. 36794603
File 142915436025.png - (254.35KB , 640x360 , nodirection.png )
36794603
>>36794600

i would join starlight glimmer's utopia if i had the chance

of course i would join twilight sparkle's too

i guess i have no direction
>> No. 36794604
>>36794603
You are just a follower.
>> No. 36794605
>>36794602

some 4th wall analysis here, but i think the sinister music thing was needed in order for kids to think "oh - she's the bad guy" sort of thing, but as i explained earlier, it still matches her character - they worded it in just the right way to both keep her character and cue to kids she's the bad guy and that they shouldn't want to join in her utopia
>> No. 36794606
>>36794604

no - im an explorer. big difference
>> No. 36794607
>>36794603
One of the interesting points they didn't bring into focus, which they could later, is the aspect of security and safety of a cult mentality or equality enforcement. It's the more subtle part of the character direction, that Fluttershy was interested, had belief things could be consensual, but it was her friends which made her come to terms that she was wrong (about what was going on, not on how equality and safety are related).
>> No. 36794608
Youtube embed play button
  >>36794606

>video related
>> No. 36794609
>>36794605
The song writer explicitly followed WWII propaganda songs as the basis for Our Town. It may have been designed to be unnerving, but I think only the adults would readily recognize the tunes as unnerving.
>> No. 36794610
>>36794607

i think fluttershy liked the idea of them all being nice because she had spent so much time around animals, and to her the ponies were behaving very much like a group of animals would - just going about doing their thing not bothering anypony, but after they were forced to do something against their will, she was able to see them for what they really were - not animals at all but ponies who forced other ponies to do things against their will, as in - not something a friend would do...
>> No. 36794611
>>36794609

that's true - in spite of all the visual cues of the mane 6, i still want to join her utopia after hearing the song...

the rainbow dash scene during the song is priceless - i would be surprised if any scene in the rest of season 5 matches its pricelessness...

two male pegasai floating over to rainbow dash and putting their hooves on her, while happily floating her to the ground, turning away, and then the leader dashing rainbow dash's hopes and dreams with "EVERYPONY WINS!" ending in rainbow dash lost in questioning thought about her life's ambition is both hilarious and priceless... you can imagine exactly what she was thinking every moment of the scene... simply brilliant
>> No. 36794612
File 142915519725.png - (252.47KB , 1000x1000 , spoiler.png )
36794612
>>36794608
>english
Pic related
>> No. 36794613
>>36794611
I like that the lyricist gave 0 fucks - "ego-filled conceit" and her mouth is agape in a sad, self-aware look. I think that drives the point more than her looking back at her cutie mark, but both are needed to make her reach that point like "shit I am really a fucking asshat aren't I"
>> No. 36794614
>>36794613

i was thinking that she was thinking something like "no that's not what winning is like at all - how could u say that" but now that i think about it - your analysis makes more sense given how she jumps when starlight shouts from behind her as if she expecting to be condemned and sentenced for her ego
>> No. 36794615
>>36794614
The startling is just a visual joke. Watch the song carefully, as RD is brought down, there is nopony behind her. SG just comes out of nowhere, literally.
>> No. 36794618
Youtube embed play button
  >>36794502
I haven't watched this episode and after reading this description,I am not really sure I'd want to.

It sounds like a major canon deviation.
>> No. 36794623
>>36794618

it's not
>> No. 36794643
>>36794506
>knew that no one would listen to her preaching, thus had to resort to trickery
Ah, but the thing is, I'm not sure I agree. It seemed to me the townsponies had listened to her and had given up their cutie marks voluntarily. At least I felt like the way the four named ones spoke to and about Starlight and the cutie unmarking pointed towards that.

>>36794511
>as a means to an end
But since we don't know that end it makes it hard to believe that.

Your point about her being upset about her own position and life being ruined is valid, but I agree with >>36794559 If you had your little piece of heaven and some outsiders came by and ruined it for you I'm sure you wouldn't listen to their lectures.

Any thoughts on her talking about how she was the one who gave the ponies friendships they couldn't have had otherwise, as I don't think that fits with what you say.

>>36794551
Yeah, her backstory would help understand her a bit more clearly, though there are hints enough to speculate a bit. I would argue she isn't necessarily a villain, though I do agree she would be up there.

>>36794559
What you are saying is exactly why I find it hard to see it just as a facade. Good point on Twi blocking her spell.

>>36794594
>collect
Reasonable enough.

I'm not sure about her using force on the Mane 6 here, though. It seems reasonable to conclude she thinks ends justify the means, but I... I don't know. It seemed the townsponies were happy to help force the M6 to believe as they do, so maybe they believed ends justified the means, too. Except for the ones who didn't. The relationship between her and the rest of the village felt complicated and somewhat wrong to me as a whole. I'll get back to that in a separate post, I think.
>> No. 36794645
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36794645
>>36794595
>This phrasing explicitly attributes their equality to the cutie mark
Actually, this seemed to be quite explicitly shown in other parts of the episode as well. See Pinkie whenever she's about to get too Pinkie or Rarity not being able to tell how the curtains were, and how the cutie mark had that dark glow about it. It DID somehow affect their behaviour to bring them closer to some standard in every way. It also brought their physical abilities down to a really low level, as evidenced by how everypony else outran them at the end.

I hadn't caught that from the song. I had noticed how she was the only one who actually sung, though. Everypony else only joined in on the more spoken parts of the song. What initially caught my attention was her "it's like a holidaaaay" while everyone else was way more subdued.

>menacing part at the beginning
And later on when one of them dances out of sync, Starlight lowers her horn as if to threaten her. Of note is how the cutie mark didn't flash here as it maybe could have. It does seem like the whole song and dance was something she had planned and trained the town to do.

>Of course at the end as well, everypony is symmetrically opposed - except her, the literal center of it. Even near the end, she is not part of the equal sign.
Exactly like her house is separate at the and of the road, instead of with all the other ones.

Her relationship with the rest of the town seemed very much like you explain the song showed it. Her house was separate, she sang separately, she was the only one not to smile so broadly, she held a position of power even though everypony was supposed to be equal there. The last one really confuses me as to why the townsponies or Mane 6 didn't comment on it. She might have been the founder of the town but as said, everypony was meant to be equal there. We know she elevated herself, maybe because she was the only one who could make everyone equal, but Sugar Belle's "either all of us are equal, or none of us are" implies the others thought they were Starlight's equals all along. ...how?

>her gathering the cm of the mane six via not-her-magic and non-magic ponies being able to move the cutie marks with magic is a pretty annoying plot hole
What are you referring to here? It was her magic she used to remove their cutie marks, no? The second part refers to Double Diamond being able to get the cutie marks from the vault somehow, though, and that is a very, very good point to make. Also, what are these external forces you are referring to?

>>36794602
>>36794605
That sinister sound cue when she was talking to herself (and at other times, too) seemed to be there only to establish her as the "bad guy". It was certainly succesful, but I do feel it took a lot away from her character, making it seem she wasn't being genuine. 2deep4kids or not, I feel that was a tonal misstep.

>>36794618
I don't know what specific part you are talking about, but the removal of cutie marks is the only one I could think of. It, or at least a similar thing, has been established canon since Magical Mystery Cure where Twilight switched around her friends' cutie marks (and mindraped seemingly all of Ponyville, as well). I don't agree with it in the least, but it's been established.
>> No. 36794659
Youtube embed play button
  >>36794502
Starlight Glimmer wanted to collect enough cutie marks so she could trigger the third impact. Even with their cutie marks removed everypony is different in their souls which are separated by the AT-field. Staff of Sameness can reach over this field and make everypony know what true friendship can be but only when the at-field is completely removed by the third impact can everypony equally know true friendship.
>> No. 36794661
>>36794659
>Staff of Sameness can

The staff is a stick.

Try harder, Anon.
>> No. 36794664
File 142922688834.jpg - (823.77KB , 1280x927 , large (2).jpg )
36794664
>>36794661
dude was making a NGE reference, son
>> No. 36794665
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36794665
>>36794659
>> No. 36794685
>>36794645
>What are you referring to here? It was her magic she used to remove their cutie marks, no? The second part refers to Double Diamond being able to get the cutie marks from the vault somehow, though, and that is a very, very good point to make. Also, what are these external forces you are referring to?
1) She needed magic to remove cutie marks, and when they're not magically restrained, they fly off. There is the consistency that although it is a "vault", it is glass, plain glass. The jars also restrained the cutie marks.

2) how did the non-magic-using pony collect the cutie marks into jars, and open the glass, presuming he did not use magic? The others had to break into the vault, literally.

3) External factors. So far we haven't had a villain which dispatches episodic minions. Reasonably speaking that's a possible upcoming villain. She could have been holding the cutie marks as some source of power for another character, or even could have been fooled herself, by the greater villain teaching her the cutie-mark stealing spell, so they would eventually have them for themself.

If she was taking cm for herself, she'd be more inclined to have a kinda fetish for them, which she did. If she was a minion, she would've been likely to keep the most power more secure, or even show regret or wariness from holding the "most powerful" marks with her.
>> No. 36794763
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36794763
>>36794685

Its possible all you need to keep the marks from flying off is just to keep them contained in a solid and sealed object like a jar or whatnot.

Given how the vault seems designed to be able to slot individual parts of it open, its not impossible for him to just put a jar to where the opening is going to be, slot that specific part open via a lever or something, and get the mark into the jar without leaving an opening for it to fly out of, before covering it with a jar lid.
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