A few weeks ago, I gave my verdict on my 5 least-favorite segments, from the second season of Star vs the Forces of Evil.
Now, a few weeks later, I think I’m ready to reveal the 10 story segments that I enjoyed the most out of the second season of the show.
This year’s list is a bit more extensive, given there were over 38 10-12 minute segments this season to choose from. So, let’s dive in and see what I thought!
Note: This Top 10 list only covers the stories that spanned 10-12 minutes. 22-minute episodes like “Bon Bon the Birthday Clown,” “Face the Music,” and “Starcrushed,” are excluded, given the extra time and storytelling makeup.
I won’t lie: trying to come up with the segment to go into the ’10’ slot on these lists, is usually the hardest thing to do. I bounced around segments such as Just Friends, The Hard Way, and Gift of the Card, but in the end, settled on Game of Flags.
This story gives us a little more background into Star’s family (with both the Butterfly and Johansen clans), as well as their yearly game of ‘flags,’ which Star is eager to take part in.
We get some background and insight into how both sides of Star’s family seem to revel in a game that is pretty ridiculous. In the end, Star realizes this, and attempts to make a change to the family tradition.
Most notable in regards to this segment, is how we get to see some more of Moon Butterfly (aka Star’s Mom), being a little more attentive towards her daughter. Some additional information is revealed about Moon, AND, a positive reinforcement from mother to daughter, regarding some things that Star believes in.
When it came to seeing a full return of Star’s ex-boyfriend Tom, I don’t think anyone could have comprehended what this episode would be (well, aside from hundreds who assumed from the promo art, that the two were possibly going to embark on a love odyssey of fan-gasmic proportions!).
Instead, we get the two finding out that despite their dislike of certain things (and each other), they do find common ground on some things, such as their enjoyment of music by the group, Love Sentence.
We get some great music by Brian H Kim, as well as Nick Lachey doing vocals for the song, Awesome Feeling. And, we get Tom and Marco doing a duet, which I think elevated the story in some people’s eyes (and probably won voice actors Adam McArthur and Rider Strong some additional followers on Twitter!).
There’s also a sub-story in regards to a karate master Marco and Tom both like, and while it isn’t the strongest sub-story, where Friend-Enemies took it, was pretty satisfying (and humorous)!
While Ludo has been a major fixture in Season 2, this story stands out, as an example that Season 2 was not going to be like the first season. Most notable, is that Star Butterfly is not actually part of the overall storyline!
The tone of the piece is almost like a nature documentary, as we see Ludo struggling in the aftermath of the end of Season 1, and how a discovery of his, will lead to even more dangerous things later on.
Despite being a pivotal story, Wild ranks lower in the Top 10, due to the somewhat repetitive nature, and Wile E Coyote style humor of the world just treating Ludo like a punching bag. However, as the story goes on, we see him fight back, and re-evaluate his direction in life.
I will admit, my first viewings of this story didn’t really do much for me. But as the season has gone on, it’s grown on me.
It’s a great character study, seeing how Star deals with a dog that won’t let go of her wand. We’ve seen her often being off-the-wall, but in this story, she tries to be logical with a few sub-characters, who get to be the weirdos in the story.
Marco also is pretty much the straight-man of the story, telling Star that she needs to resolve this problem on her own. There’s also an ‘Earth-world problems’ subplot for Marco, showing him trying to drink from a juice pouch.
Most notable in the segment, is a wonderful little piano bit near the end by Brian H Kim, that sounds eerily reminiscent of some Japanese dramas or emotional anime, as the story attempts to cross it’s final hurdle.
Marco Diaz trying to get together with his crush Jackie Lynn Thomas, was like ‘catnip’ to me throughout the first season. When I found out this subplot would be continuing on in Season 2, I was eager for more stories of Marco working through his feelings.
Marco having to deal with the little Naysaya head that tells his most embarrassing secrets, is one story I couldn’t keep off here. The plot-point helps prove that once again, Marco Diaz is the kind of guy who can try to power through the worst of things, if he puts his mind to it.
Plus, we get Star being a caring friend and enthusiastic cheerleader, as she keeps trying to get her ‘bestie’ to ask out Jackie. Pretty much everytime Star was on-screen, I had a smile on my face.
Just like the story in Sleepover, we get a little more information on Jackie, though she’s still somewhat of a character enigma by the end of the piece. However, the final moment was one of my favorites, and is currently my iPhone’s lock-screen image.
In some cases, this story could be seen as somewhat of a throwaway segment, but it has some nice bits buried deep within it’s structure.
The sleepover aspect, as well as dragging Marco into the festivities is rather fun. The typical ‘truth-or-dare’ game ramped up to the inter-dimensional game of “Truth or Punishment,” proves to be quite entertaining, even if at the end, it gets a bit weird.
However, what saves the storyline, is Marco finally admitting his feelings for Jackie, and, we get some further insight into Star’s feelings, as well as a rather interesting analysis of people’s emotions, and how they can change over time.
After her rather lackluster appearance in the season 2 segment Gift of the Card, I wondered if we’d get a proper episode with the former headmistress of St Olga’s Reform School for Wayward Princesses, and lo and behold, we got this!
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting for a full-return of Heinous (as well as her sidekick Gemini, who finally has his name revealed here!), but the storyline was one I was rather intrigued by.
Instead of an all-out brawl, Marco’s parents want him and Star, to find a compromise with Heinous, who has fallen on hard times after being cast out of St Olga’s. Rarely does one get a story where a non-violent compromise is attempted, and it’s resolution proves to be a well-done little surprise, with the return of “Princess Marco.”
There’s also a fun resolution to a money-based gag that has been heard throughout the season.
I have a feeling many will discount this story, but to me, it was one of the first this season, that seemed to get a bit deep, in regards to relationships, and what the future could hold for the characters.
Most notable, was seeing Star get very quiet about realizing that no matter what she wants to do, she still has the duties of becoming a Queen hanging over her head.
There also is the reunion of Marco Diaz, and Tom, Star’s ex-boyfriend. Their small scene seems to play off as rather ‘boring,’ but I feel there’s some interesting revelations about the characters. Tom reveals his thoughts on Star, and Marco reveals his feelings about relationships and couplings (“You can’t make Star be your girlfriend, unless she wants to.”).
Humor isn’t very prevalent in this storyline, but the few moments that it does appear, are still some that are stuck in my head, months later.
Much like Ludo in the Wild, this segment also attempted to do something out of the ordinary.
We get to see where Star Butterfly’s myriad spells ‘live,’ and get the chance to shine a light on a character that seemed pretty insignificant.
This story may not be as entertaining for younger audiences, given how we see Spider and his cohorts dealing with their daily life of helping Star, as well as the question of, “what is my purpose in life?” That storytelling angle of playing to some of the ‘older’ viewers, was definitely noteworthy in my eyes, and made me feel that some of the writers may have brought some of their own life experiences to the table when storyboarding this one.
The ending has a pretty great payoff, though I find it’s smaller, character-driven moments with Spider with a Top Hat being emotional, helped propel this story up the chain.
Yes yes, I know: my favorite 11-minute segment, and Star Butterfly isn’t the main character in it!
When Marco Diaz uses Star’s dimensional scissors, he meets up with Magic High Commission member Hekapoo, who gives him a task to get them back.
This was not just a fun and emotional storyline, but one that got incredibly mind-bending after awhile, managing to put weird and wild together, and come to a place I and many others, could probably never have fathomed!
As the story winds down, it ends up leaving us with plenty of questions, as well as some pretty heavy emotional scenes, underscored by some great music by Brian H Kim, which might be his most emotional piece so far for the series!
Sadly, it feels like the ending was quickly forgotten in stories going forward, but for a brief moment, Star vs the Forces of Evil, made me deeply ponder the ramifications and journey that Marco Diaz had just been on…one that the fans could surely speculate and build upon in fanfiction or discussions outside of the series!
And there you have it: the 10 segments from season 2, that just really impressed me a great deal!
Keep in mind that this list is based on my tastes, and I’m sure there are some who didn’t see some of their faves make the list.
As always, would love to read in the comments what you Star fans think. Did anything match up? Was there a segment that you really enjoyed? Always up for a discussion on the series, as we wait impatiently for what season 3 has in store for Mewni, and possibly, Earth.
As stated in my previous Star-related article, I got a few other things I want to discuss about the season, and hopefully, I’ll have another article soon for you fans out there.
Ok fans of Star vs the Forces of Evil, it’s time I delivered some good news, and bad news. After a show’s season concludes, most reviewers decide to make…some lists.
Given that we had 22 episodes for Season 2 (comprised of three 22-minute segments, and thirty-eight 11-minute segments), I thought I would do like last season, and do some lists regarding the 11-minute story segments.
First up: let’s just get those least-favorite segments out of the way, with this Top 5 list.
*Note: Keep in mind this list only covers the segments that run 11 minutes, not full-length episodes. Given how much extra time is given in full-length episodes to tell a story, this list judges the shorter segments on their merits, and faults.*
This season, saw the introduction of many new characters to the show, several of which seemed to be connected to some very important roles, within the show’s multiverse.
Crystal Clear attempts to give us a little backstory on Rhombulus, and Chancellor Lekmet, who are members of the Magic High Commission.
Rhombulus ends up bringing Star and Marco before Lekmet, claiming that Star is somehow responsible for the draining of magic in the universe. However, as the segment goes on, it just feels like a loud, noisy, and meandering romp.
Each member of the Magic High Commission was given a segment, to show a bit more about themselves, and who they are. However, out of all of them, Rhombulus’ storyline feels the weakest for all members of the MHC.
Rhombulus himself seems to be the ‘muscle’ of the group, acting on his gut first, and asking questions later. In small doses this works fine, but with this story, it feels like director Giancarlo Volpe, was asked to stretch out a concept, that just didn’t feel like it could hold together entertainingly, for 11 minutes.
Star Butterfly shines a bit here, given that she becomes the voice-of-reason to Rhombulus’ little tirades, but even that isn’t enough to make this story appealing. We even get some hints of things that I assume will be paid off in the future…but as some stories have shown, there aren’t any guarantees if that will happen or not.
Maybe Season 3 will redeem this story, but for now, it made my list.
This story plays out as a tag-team storyline of sorts.
We see Ludo running across some rats on Mewni, along with him finding out that he can coax power from his newly-acquired wand, usually when he finds himself getting upset.
On Earth, Star attempts to get out of doing chores, and summons a creature named Cloudy to do her work. However, he ends up making a mess, and Star’s attempts to fix his attitude, don’t go over so well.
After watching more of Season 2, it feels like this story was not meant to give us any easy answers, and to maybe draw our own conclusions about what is happening, let alone how emotions affect the power of the wand.
Ludo’s storyline is the more interesting of the two, but when put together, it feels like a slog as each storyline, goes from one incident to the next. It’s one of the first examples we get of Star’s magic going green instead of pink, showing how her emotions can affect her wand’s magic, but I almost wish it could have been done a bit better.
I like a good puzzle, but this storyline just felt like things got a bit too vague at times.
This is one of those stories that feels like they had a decent concept, but then when it came to building it up…it just ended up becoming ‘filler’ for the season.
After freeing her classroom’s pet hamster Marisol out of sheer boredom, Star is put in detention, and Marco is tasked with getting Marisol back.
Star being thrown into detention, and then working with Janna to help their fellow classmates endure their time, feels like it just attempts to be a wacky adventure, with very little substance. I couldn’t help but imagine a story where Star and Janna go on an inter-dimensional adventure might have been more entertaining, or if the story became a more group-oriented piece, where Star and the detention gang all make it out and run amuck (the story at one point seems to make it like this could be an option, but then just sidesteps it).
Marco’s subplot feels pretty unnecessary, almost like it was a last-ditch effort to somehow include him in Star’s story.
Personally, the title made it sound like a weekend adventure was in store for Star and a couple of her girl friends (like the more entertaining segment, Sleepover). I also feel the story should have had a different title: Coup D’etention.
For Season 2, very little has been mentioned in regards to Marco’s karate training, with just two stories (Red Belt, and All Belts Are Off), focusing on the relationship between Marco Diaz, and his strip mall dojo’s Sensei. While both seemed to meander, All Belts felt like the weaker of the two.
We get a much larger role for Marco’s arch-enemy, the rich little punk named Jeremy Birnbaum, who is chosen by Sensei to represent the dojo.
The underlying message of “you don’t need to be awarded to be considered a good person,” just feels shuffled away til’ the last few minutes, along with a heart-to-heart between Sensei and Marco, that I wish could have been better expanded upon.
Trying to get us to focus on how much of a jerk Jeremy is, and trying to make it funny, is where the story just falls off a cliff for me. Some of the season’s stories can really push my buttons when it comes to humor, but the attempts to make Jeremy’s escapades seem funny, just felt like a lost cause.
I think any fan of the series will have to admit: this segment just felt like a huge letdown!
Following early imagery of warrior-girl Mina Loveberry, many of us were expecting big things from this woman whom Star seemed to look up to. Unfortunately Mina just came across as another ‘looney from Mewni.’
The story is meant to show how sometimes you should follow your own judgement, but it just gets bogged down in Mina doing something weird or strange, every other time she’s on screen.
Marco largely is on the sidelines, making this a story where Star is forced to draw her own conclusions, but sadly, it just feels like a lesser variation on that ‘good girl gets drawn in by the wrong crowd’ afternoon special like I’d see on TV when I was younger.
There’s also some minor stuff about government, that feels shoehorned in in a rather throwaway moment in the last few minutes, and Mina’s reaction to Star’s resistance, feels like a shoehorned concept that could have been better handled with more time.
What’s weird is in the last 5 seconds, there’s a strange little emotional moment, that almost attempts to make us forget Mina’s crazy shenanigans. Sadly, by this point, the damage has been done, and those 5 seconds cannot salvage the story.
Keep in mind that these are just my opinions, and I’m not saying you have to go along with them.
There were a few other 11-minute segments in this season that I did consider putting on this list, but in the end, each of the ones listed here, were stories that I just kept having issues with, when I would go over them after they premiered.
If you liked what you read, leave a comment, and tell me if you have any agreements or disagreements. Or, maybe there’s an 11-minute segment that you felt was deserving of being in this list. Always up to hear what others in the fandom think (other than the constant fanship wars that never seem to end!).
Next time we discuss “Star vs the Forces of Evil,” we’ll talk about something a bit more positive: My Top 10 favorite 11-minute segments, from Season 2! Hope to see you soon in a few weeks for that post!
An Animated Dissection: Is Glossaryck of Terms the ‘Dr Manhattan’ of “Star vs the Forces of Evil,” and other observations about the little blue man
Oh good! You survived that freaky image of Glossaryck of Terms’ diamond-shaped eyes, staring into your soul.
Now that the second season of the animated series Star vs the Forces of Evil has come to an end, it’s time to let loose with some thoughts of my own, regarding what I’ve observed.
I often find my animation-addled brain, teeming with thoughts and anecdotes, that most of the time, tend to fly over the heads of most of the show’s fans (who, if social media is any indication, are addicted to ranting and raving over which of their fanships will win out in the end).
I rather enjoy being one of the more mature viewers in the fandom: watching the series, and searching for story/plot/character threads, that most of the young’uns, may not quite comprehend.
I got a whole mess of stuff to discuss about what the last 22 episodes have wrought, but first, I thought I’d compare one little blue man from the show, and how he reminded me of a (rather) big blue man, from a graphic novel I once read.
*Note: This article is written with the knowledge that the reader, is familiar with the first two seasons of the show, “Star vs the Forces of Evil.” If you do not wish to be spoiled, please turn back now.*
In the first few episodes of season 1 of Star vs the Forces of Evil, viewers were treated to the image of a strange, floating little blue man, who appeared without acknowledgement.
It wasn’t until the 6th episode’s segment, titled Mewberty, that we were formally introduced to Glossaryck of Terms (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor), whom Marco Diaz attempted to seek advice from, as Star Butterfly began to go through…mewberty!
Glossaryck revealed that he was a fixture of Star’s magic instruction book, which contained spells that she could use with her family’s wand. At first refusing to help, Glossaryck changed his tune, when Marco fulfilled his request to get him some pudding.
This led to Marco feeding the little man, who seemed to just give out riddles about how to help Star, with no concrete answers…or so it seemed.
Many things that Glossaryck has done over the course of the last two seasons, seem incredibly ridiculous, and oftentimes, make no sense whatsoever.
Most of the time, despite the way he acts, Glossaryck seems to know what to do, but the big question is…how?
And then, in remembering a scene from the graphic novel Watchmen, I came upon my theory: What if Glossaryck is like Jon Osterman, aka Dr Manhattan, in Watchmen?
In the Alan Moore-written graphic novel, Osterman is a scientist, who is seemingly disintegrated, when he ends up locked in a test chamber, and has his “intrinsic field” removed.
However, Jon is far from dead.
A number of strange things are seen around the labs over the next few months as Jon’s consciousness attempts to re-form him., One day, Jon is successful, and materializes before a stunned crowd of his peers. However, his appearance is different from his original form.
Though taking on a humanoid form, Osterman’s skin is blue, and more attuned to that of a perfect male physique.
As time goes on, Jon becomes less and less human, and soon takes up the moniker of Dr Manhattan. He is able to manipulate matter, and seems to be able to see through time and space.
This ability to see and know all however, leaves him incredibly disconnected from humanity, frustrating several persons he attempted to have relationships with. His pupil-less eyes, often seem encased in a face, whose expressions seem placidly calm most of the time.
One could almost see the same in regards to Glossaryck at times.
Of course, there’s been no proof that Glossaryck of Terms was once a normal ‘Mewman’ who became a magically-enhanced little blue man, but several of the things I recalled from the Watchmen graphic novel, popped into my head when thinking of him.
Much like Dr Manhattan, Glossaryck at times, can be frustratingly vague, as if he knows something is going to happen, but never tells just what will happen.
A prime example is in the segment titled By the Book, wherein he refuses to come out of a box of donuts, and is almost crushed by a garbage truck! However, in the end, he does several things that end up saving the day, and getting Star to perform a specific spell.
The first time I saw this story, and ran what Glossaryck said through my brain a few times, it made zero sense. However, as Season 2 carried onward, I revisited By the Book, and was surprised how it seemed a little less ridiculous!
Another notable comparison from Watchmen, is how Dr Manhattan would wear a rather placid, almost expressionless look on his face, even when something should strike a person as emotional, or shocking. Because of his ability to see the universe as it is (pre-determined, with little chance of alteration), Manhattan often appeared apathetic.
We see Glossaryck wear such an expression, in the story, Raid the Cave.
Using the all-seeing eye spell (from Queen Eclipsa’s forbidden chapter about Dark Magic!), Star is able to find Glossaryck and the book of spells, but strangely enough, he is not at all downtrodden over being captured, nor gives her clear remarks on just where he is (“I’m in a cave. On the ground!”)
He does make a few allusions to the spying spell she’s using, and is only slightly surprised, when Star somehow, manages to alter it, and is able to reach through it! The spell is only meant to allow one to see things, but somehow, with her own magic, Star manages to break through, and reach out to Glossaryck…who shows no propensity to do the same! He even claims that he and the book, are now Ludo’s property!
“Glossaryck, don’t you want to come with me?” pleads Star. “I thought we were, friends.”
“…friends?” he quizzically asks. “Now that’s such a simple concept.”
This admission seems to ‘hurt’ Star emotionally, and the connection begins to collapse!
Star tries a few more times to get Glossaryck to come with her, but he refuses to budge.
“But, I need you!” she cries.
“Maybe, ‘this’ is what you need,” he says, as the portal closes!
The results of what happened, finally allows Star to do something she has feared to do: tell her parents that she lost the book, and Glossaryck! Thinking they are going to yell at her for messing up, Star is surprised when instead, they tell her how they will keep her secret safe, and to “sit tight.”
However, in the wake of this, Star actually does something proactive. Taking a notebook, she begins to make her own spellbook, cataloging the magic spells that she’s made up on her own.
This is a reaction that seems a bit ‘deeper’ than what we experienced in the story, By the Book. When one looks at the end result of Glossaryck not coming back with Star, it feels that he has set things in motion, that may not be comprehensible to Star and her parents at this time.
Unlike some shows that will just give a character a backstory via memory-dump, it seems the Star vs the Forces of Evil writers are wont to make information about Glossaryck so readily available. Instead, it becomes a scavenger hunt, and if one were to go back over Season 2, you can find all sorts of little story hints, sometimes buried deep within a story.
Notable is in the segment Page Turner, where Glossaryck is forcibly pulled away from Star, who is examining a forbidden chapter, on Queen Eclipsa.
This ordeal seems to be one of the few times that we really see Glossaryck being annoyed in a rather primadonna fashion. At first, it’s in regards to the ridiculous security measures he has to go through to reach the Magic High Commission, but then his irritation transfers to Star’s mother, who has called the meeting, to request Glossaryck speed up Star’s magical training.
He then explains that this seems to be common in almost every single Queen he’s trained: sooner or later, they can’t just leave him alone, and make demands on how he should train future successors to the throne.
Of all the Princesses and Queens he’s trained, Glossaryck claims that Queen Eclipsa, was the only one who just left him alone. Of course, this just builds on more questions as to what Eclipsa’s reign on Mewni was like. It seems she is the black sheep of the royal line, and there may be something associated with her past, that could come to light next season.
Of course, some beings in the show’s multiverse, are pretty irked at the little blue man. While we have had Star’s father River give his opinion (“Little guy always creeped me out!”), one who has shown some malice towards Glossaryck, is a member of the Magic High Commission, named Rhombulus.
This was followed up in discussion he had with Star Butterfly, in the segment, Crystal Clear.
Rhombulus explained that some of his frustrations, came from being unable to win an argument with Glossaryck, along with him seeming to be “an all-knowing jerk.”
Someone did point out a rather intriguing thing, in the episode, Bon Bon the Birthday Clown, which might back this up.
Glossaryck ends up going along with Star and Janna to Bon Bon’s seance. During the course of the evening, we see a number of rats scurrying about the cemetery.
As the evening gets colder, Glossaryck nonchalantly asks Star if she intends to use a spell in the book, that has a “little drawing of a rat.”
Star doesn’t care about the page, and in a rather surprising move, Glossaryck sets it aflame, and warms himself!
It is possible, that Glossaryck was anticipating Ludo taking him and the book that evening, and knowing of Ludo’s rat minions, probably felt the spell on that page, might be dangerous later on (it’s never made clear just what the spell would do).
Of course, this is largely speculation, but given the amount of rats we see, it could be possible.
One of the last segments in Season 2, to feature Glossaryck as part of a main storyline, is titled The Hard Way.
Ludo has instructed his bird and spider minions to try and break Glossaryck’s spirit, but in a surprising move, Glossaryck claims he is willing to help Ludo reach his “full potential.”
Unlike Star who possesses an imagination (the “Narwhal Blast” she uses, is a spell of her own invention), Ludo seems devoid of any creativity. This leads to Glossaryck showing him a simple levitation spell from the book, and through positive reinforcement, Ludo seemed excited that he had learned how to gain some control over his wand.
After a positive first day of learning, Glossaryck (much to his annoyance), puts Ludo to bed, but is later awakened when Ludo claims ‘his wand’ mentioned that Glossaryck had shown a certain spell to Star.
At the little bird-creature’s insistence, Glossaryck opens the forbidden chapter, and Ludo is blasted into the air, suspended in the center of a swirling vortex!
Suddenly, Ludo’s eyes go green, and from his mouth, issues forth the voice of Toffee, a lizard-creature, that was supposed to have been destroyed at the end of Season 1!
“Give it up, old man,” says Toffee. “You’ll never get him (aka Ludo) on your side.”
“But I don’t have, a side,” counters Glossaryck.
“You don’t, do you?” asks Toffee, before smiling fiendishly. “…perfect.”
That conversation, was the last we’ve seen of Glossaryck of Terms this season.
When Moon Butterfly and the Magic High Commission infiltrated Ludo’s castle and confronted him, he mentioned that Glossaryck was gone, and he had no idea where he was.
The MHC’s High Chancellor named Lekmet, also thought he had found the spellbook, only to find it was blank, leading the council to believe that what they found, was a fake.
So, that beg’s the question…where are Glossaryck and the book of spells?
My opinion is…they’re now inside the wand that Ludo/Toffee wields!
An earlier Season 2 segment titled Into the Wand, had Glossaryck explaining to Star, that things could be stored within the wand, which is an extension of the wielder’s memories.
Much like Toffee’s finger that was found hidden inside Star’s wand, I am of the persuasion, that Glossaryck and the book, have suffered the same fate, under Ludo/Toffee’s wielding of the wand, and are trapped for the time being!
Of course, there also is the question, of what happens to Ludo when Toffee takes over.
By the end of Season 2, it looks like Toffee may be in total control of Ludo’s body, leading me to assume that Ludo’s soul, is also trapped within the wand.
If that is the case, and Ludo and Glossaryck are stuck in the wand, I could see their story arcs for Season 3, maybe showing the two working through some personal issues Ludo has.
We’ve seen this season, that Ludo is actually little more than a child, the ‘runt’ son of Lord and Lady Avarius (as seen in the episode, Face the Music). The family was extra-hard on Ludo, hoping to toughen him up…which led to him taking over the family castle with a gang of monsters, and changing the locks (which explains Ludo’s castle and minions, that we saw in Season 1!).
As annoying and childish as Ludo can be, I can see Glossaryck trying to help turn him ‘good,’ or clear up his anger issues with his family. It may be a key element to Ludo regaining control of his body from Toffee, let alone possibly destroying the disembodied lizard-creature, who seems to somehow be linked to the magical energy in the universe!
Of course, if the inside of Star’s wand creates a world based around the mind of it’s user…one wonders what horrors are inside Ludo/Toffee’s wand. The big question is, will we see inside it next Season?
This was one of those blog articles, that just struck like lightning!
Oftentimes, it can be the more enigmatic characters in a show or film, that cause the wheels in my head to turn.
A prime example, is my analysis of the character No Face (aka Kaonashi), from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. That analysis, is one of my most-viewed dissections, and is still going strong after almost 5 years!
I will confess that I have been sitting on a dissection of the character Toffee since the end of Season 1, but given how much more enigmatic Glossaryck of Terms has been this season, my brain seemed to just expel all of these thoughts in a matter of hours!
As we close out this little Animated Dissection, I thought I’d make one more reference to Watchmen.
The following quotes happen, after Laurie Juspeczyk is told by Dr Manhattan, that even though he knows what will happen, he still gives the expected responses, as they are meant to be played out. I can’t help but feel that it could very well speak to how Glossaryck fits, into the world of Star vs the Forces of Evil:
Laurie Juspeczyk: “The most powerful thing in the universe, and you’re just a puppet following a script?”
Dr Manhattan: “We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just the puppet who can see the strings.”
And here it is. The big one. The final episode, of a season that changed the rules of the game, for the series known as Star vs the Forces of Evil.
Well, enough with the cute quips. Onto the review!
After the events at the end of Face the Music, in which Mewnian songstrel Ruberiot publicly declared that Star Butterfly likes Marco Diaz, things have been a little odd between the two friends.
It also doesn’t help that Marco’s parents are throwing an end-of-school-year party, and Jackie Lynn Thomas is cozying up to Marco, every chance she gets.
Star’s girl friends decide to take her out, as a way to get her mind off her problems. At another end-of-the-school-year party across town, Star bumps into Oskar Greason (whom she claimed to have a crush on), and the two quickly strike up a conversation.
Meanwhile, Moon Butterfly, and the rest of the Magic High Commission (composed of Hekapoo, Omnitraxus Prime, Rhombulus, and Lekmet), break into Ludo’s castle and confront him…only to have a familiar presence, materialize before their very eyes!
When it comes to final episodes in a season, I think many of us have certain expectations.
In the case of Starcrushed however, much like most of the storytelling this season, the writers of the show weren’t willing to just bow down, and spill all their secrets.
In a perfect world, this episode would have tied up a number of loose ends that we’ve seen so far this season (and carried over from Season 1). As it is, much like Storm the Castle last season, Starcrushed leaves even more loose threads open for us to wonder about!
This could be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, you have those people that are frothing at the mouth for closure, while there are those, in our current ‘mystery box’ era of visual storytelling, who welcome the chance to keep speculating as we go forward.
Star’s storyline here, is a bit stronger than in Face the Music. Storylines about her emotional state have been a part of several stories this season (including one of my favorites, Mr Candle Cares), but here, it meanders a bit too often, as we try to bring to light her uneasiness, being around Marco and Jackie, as well as trying to socialize at the other party across town.
Returning for probably his biggest role since the story Star on Wheels, Oskar Greason (voiced once again by Napoleon Dynamite’s John Heder), acts as a counterpoint to Marco, in Star’s portion of the story.
While the writers do try to give him a bigger presence, his appearance feels more forced than natural. While Marco pursued Jackie Lynn Thomas over the course of these two seasons, Star’s liking of Oskar seemed a bit more of a visual infatuation (I guess it has to do with his eyes?). Of course, Oskar did figure into Star’s Mewberty storyline back in Season 1, but it was never made clear just ‘how.’
We also get a number of cameos from several of Star’s inter-dimensional girl friends, and it was neat to see how she has friends across multiple dimensions, who are there for her when she needs them.
Marco Diaz also has a slightly more significant role in Star’s story as well. Also reeling a bit from what happened last episode, he is also feeling a little uneasy, ping-ponging throughout the episode between Star and Jackie, whom we see several times, trying to get him to unwind.
I can imagine some people wondering why the characters are reacting as they do, but I think these reactions were written by those on the writing team, who may have had real-world experience. I have heard of some people feeling a bit uneasy, when they find out someone they called a friend, may want to be more than that…and as illustrated in Starcrushed, it can be a situation that is not easily remedied.
Much like the structure of Face the Music, this episode focuses on parallel storylines, and just like in that episode, Moon Butterfly’s storyline proved to be the more intriguing of the two.
Most notable, is the chance to see the Magic High Commission in action, though it doesn’t last nearly as long as I wish it could have (plus, Hekapoo’s use of dimensional scissors here, is probably going to earn her even more fan-followers online!).
To me, the highlight of the episode comes when Moon and the High Commission find themselves in a fierce battle, that is probably one of the most intense so far in this series!
Let’s just say that stuff happens, that had me wide-eyed for a number of minutes…and wondering what the ramifications will be, going beyond this episode.
We also get some additional character development for Ludo in this piece. It feels very brief, but the information we’ve gleaned from this episode and the previous one about him, feels like it could lead to something important later on.
Much like the previous episode, this one has a rather somber/serious tone throughout. Even when the show staff attempt to inject comedy into Starcrushed, I rarely found myself laughing. There’s a lot being thrown at us emotionally, and I found myself really trying to process the more serious stuff, rather than the funny stuff.
As the episode comes to an end, it’s final moments seem to pass by in a blur, as events force a number of things to happen in seconds, leading to an even bigger cliffhanger than the previous Season!
Let’s just say, I wasn’t quite prepared for what happened, and found myself rewatching the final scenes, multiple times.
Given where it ends, Starcrushed feels like we’re now caught in the middle of a much larger story. That fast-paced, 8-bit sounding intro that originally brought many of us into the series, feels like a far cry from where we are now. Have we truly moved beyond simply talking about rainbows, and puppies?
Final Grade: B+
Starcrushed ends a 22-episode season, that took Star vs the Forces of Evil, down a much different path than it’s 1st season offered us. It played with story structure, secrets, and challenging our perceptions when it came to characters and their personalities. While it wasn’t perfect, the experimentation that went on following the exploits of Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz, still kept me intrigued over the past 7 months.
While reading this review, you may have seen my constant references to the previous episode, Face the Music. It feels like both that episode and Starcrushed, are linked in a way, where one cannot function without the other.
This episode also has a theme running underneath the main action. It seems to be how some of us wish for things to go back to what they once were…but sometimes, we find that life can’t be so simple.
The attempts to deal with Star’s emotions, let alone the growing threat to the universe, has built the show’s story arc up in a big way. This does make me wonder if going into Season 3 (when it finally does come out), if it can appease or satisfy many of us, who surely know that serious ramifications and consequences, may be on the horizon for Star, her parents, and the Kingdom of Mewni.
And, that’s it!…for now, anyways.
It was recently announced that Star vs the Force of Evil has been renewed for a fourth season, and that Season 3 will start up sometime this year (either in the summer, or fall).
In the meantime, I hope to do some more Animated Dissection articles on Season 2, some of the show’s characters, and much more. There’s plenty to discuss regarding this season, plus, I’ve been sitting on an analysis piece for the character Toffee, for over a year now.
Speaking of much more, the Star vs the Forces of Evil comic book series is still in production, and I intend to review issues 5-8, once they are released.
Plus, next week sees the release of Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension. At over 160 pages long, I am already making plans to pick it up, and let you fine readers out there know what it has to say.
I just hope the book can shed a little more light on the world of Mewni, as well as some dimensions, we’ve only had a fleeting glance of.
Farewell for now, for we shall meet again soon.
The dual-segment episodes are over…now, nothing ahead (for the rest of the season), except full-length episodes!
With Season 2 of Star vs the Forces of Evil winding down, many of us are eager to see if a number of loose ends that we’ve been privy to, will be neatly tied up by the end of episode 22.
But, that episode’s review is for another day. For now, let’s dive into episode 21, the second-to-last Season 2 episode!
At the behest of her Mother, Moon Butterfly, Star allows Mewni’s official songstrel to compose a song about her, for the upcoming Song Day celebration on Mewni. However, upon meeting him, Star has a few opinions about this royal tradition.
Meanwhile, Moon undertakes a small quest of her own, to find and retrieve the Butterfly Family’s spellbook, and Glossaryck of Terms. Her journey leads her to Lord and Lady Avarius (aka Ludo’s parents!), and some additional information about Ludo himself.
The structure of both Star and Moon’s stories, almost feels like they could have been two separate story segments. However, within the episode, director Giancarlo Volpe chooses to intercut between the stories of Mother and Daughter, while giving them time together at the beginning, and the end of the episode.
For Star’s portion of the story, we find her trying to get out of her Song Day obligations, by giving the run-around to a new songstrel, named Ruberiot (voiced by Patrick Stump).
Like most things that hint at her destiny as the future Queen of Mewni, Star tries to buck her obligations to work with Ruberiot on the song. Fortunately, the shirking of her duties, manages to not overstay it’s welcome in the overall structure of the story.
Ruberiot, for the small amount of screentime he has, manages to not be as much of a throwaway character as I had originally thought. Though he seems to be another in a long line of songstrels from Mewni, he soon shows that his views are of a newer generation, yearning to do things a little differently…leading to some interesting choices later on in the episode.
Marco does figure into the story, but unfortunately, he seems like set-dressing for most of it. I had hoped there would be a bit more for him to do, but I guess the writers may have been constrained by time.
To me, the highlight of the episode, is Moon’s journey into The Forest of Certain Death on Mewni, where she meets with Lord and Lady Avarius. We’ve seen evidence that Moon has been less-than-regal in her past, and to see her throw off her regal accoutrements and let her hair down (literally), is something that I and many others have longed to see for awhile now.
There were a few scenes in Season 1, that had me wondering about Ludo’s real age. He often seemed like a petulant child, given how he would whine and yell out loud, in his mad quest to get the royal magic wand.
Of course, given what transpired at the end of the first season, my first question is why Moon and River didn’t try to assist the Avariuses previously. However, in considering the affairs of Mewnians and Monsters, my guess is there is still a social divide between their factions, and Mewmans don’t meddle in the affairs of Monsters on Mewni.
The makeup of the Avarius family, reminded me a bit of the Gaunt household, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Though luckily, Lord Bludo seemed less likely to lay a wing on most who come to call at his door (though as some have pointed out, there may be an abuse issue that Lady Avarius may be trying to ignore, as seen by her right eye in the picture below).
One of the more intriguing characters we are introduced to, is Ludo’s younger brother, Dennis. Of all the siblings that Lady Avarius names, Dennis feels like an important figure, that I am hoping to see more of once Season 3 comes around.
The overall theme of Face the Music, seems to be about telling the truth, and getting past the sugar-coating of certain elements.
The writing of the Princess Song, is a minor item in the story, that follows this train of thought. The songs for Mewni’s Princesses, are not meant to be anything more but ‘happy fluff,’ filling people’s heads with good vibes, but tiptoeing around more important things that the people of Mewni should know about their ruler.
Composer Brian H Kim, fresh off his music work on the segment Just Friends, brings forth a musical piece that attempts to be traditional, yet energizing for the younger citizens of the kingdom. However, given some of the content that Ruberiot sings about, I think I found myself cringing just as much as some of the characters in the show. This is not a knock on Kim’s music skills, but moreso the content of what is contained within Star’s Princess Song.
By the end of the episode, a lot has come tumbling out, and there is a tumult of emotions swirling around both Star, and Moon! It seems both Mother and Daughter, have dealt with secrets they felt they could handle, but unfortunately, the final minutes show turmoil engulfing both of the Butterfly women.
Final Grade: B+
Face the Music is the first full-length episode we’ve had since Bon Bon the Birthday Clown.
Moon Butterfly’s quest into The Forest of Certain Death, along with additional information about Ludo’s family, proved to be the highlight of the episode. I hope we’ll be able to get more information about them in future episodes.
Star’s Song Day storyline, feels a bit trite when compared to the more important stuff Moon is doing. However, it does show that she is willing to compromise, if she can find common ground with some people.
By the end of the episode, don’t be surprised if you feel a little uneasy for both Star and Moon (as well as Marco).
Even though episodes 21 and 22 appeared back-to-back recently, I felt, much like with Bon Bon the Birthday Clown, it would be better to give each full-length episode, it’s own review.
However, you won’t have long to wait for my review of episode 22, Starcrushed. See you in a few days, when I give my opinions, on the final episode that Season 2 of Star vs the Forces of Evil, went out on.
Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 20) – Collateral Damage / Just Friends
Here it comes. Every day, it draws nearer. Pretty soon, it will be upon us, and then, everything will go black.
I speak of course, of the ending of the second season, of Star vs the Force of Evil. Sure, the crew headed by creator Daron Nefcy is hard at work on the show’s third season, but we still don’t know when that’ll start!
Well, we got a few more episodes left until ‘the dark times.’ So, let’s review episode 20!
While cleaning up trash around the school, Star accidentally destroys Otis, the school’s possum statue/mascot. At first, she doesn’t see what the big deal is, but soon finds that the destruction of Otis, has sent the entire school into a depressive funk!
Watching this segment, I suddenly found myself thinking: “when was the last time we actually had a full-on story take place inside Echo Creek Academy?“
For the die-hard fans of the show, there are some callbacks/shout-outs to some characters we haven’t seen in awhile (even the snarky Brittney Wong has a few lines!), and a few more background characters are given a little screen-time.
Interspersed through the story, are remembrances of Otis the possum, as well as some humorous, historical flashback bits, narrated by Marco with a southern drawl.
This style of ‘reminiscence humor,’ feels strangely like some instances I’ve seen in episodes of The Simpsons and South Park. Even the over-the-top reaction by the entire school, seems to resemble the dynamics from the citizen of both Springfield, and South Park.
In a turnabout way, just as Marco became a ‘voice of reason’ to the students at St Olga’s Reform School for Wayward Princesses, Star has her moments here, inside the walls of Echo Creek Academy.
The overall theme of the story is about overcoming grief and loss, and we see Star has been trying to work through some of that as well (given her feelings about losing her family’s spellbook, as well as Glossaryck of Terms). However, just like in the story Brittney’s Party, we see how she is willing to set aside her own issues, and try and do what she does best: perk up those around her, who are having a not-so-good time.
The story feels almost like a reversal of the segment, The Banagic Incident, only instead of Star going off-the-wall, the entire school is, making her the only sane person left to talk some sense into everyone. That kind of storytelling can get pretty annoying, though unlike Banagic, this segment has enough momentum to keep it’s silly premise chugging along.
That pretty much becomes the story’s crutch: it’s a passably-okay segment that gives us a bit more history regarding Echo Creek Academy, but it feels a bit too off-the-wall at times.
Final Grade: B-
Star and Marco are eager to attend an upcoming concert, featuring their favorite band, Love Sentence! However, Star shocks Marco, when she tells him that she has invited Jackie Lynn Thomas to come along with them as well!
Even though Marco is getting along well with Jackie, he still feels nervous that he’ll find some way to mess up the evening. However, Star keeps trying to break him out of his funk, and make Jackie feel included in their activities.
It’s been awhile since we last encountered Jackie, and aside from a minor cameo in the story Mathmagic, this is her first full-on interaction with Star and Marco, since the Bon Bon the Birthday Clown episode.
The trip to get to the concert feels like it meanders, in trying to give us some decent entertainment value. The writers seem a bit too preoccupied in trying to make Marco uncomfortable, and throw all sorts of little things in his way.
A positive is that even after how we saw Star look at Marco and Jackie interacting in the Bon Bon episode, she still makes an effort to not alienate Jackie, and supports Marco’s attempts to be with her. I really love that aspect of the writers showing what an awesome friend Star can be. It was that same kind of characterization, that I felt made the segment Naysaya so good.
Though in essence, maybe the whole inviting Jackie to the concert, was Star’s way of seeing if she could handle seeing Jackie and Marco together? It should be noted that Star acts pretty excited about the whole thing, but maybe she’s trying to gauge her feelings about the two of them.
Of course, where most of the fans who watch the story will probably be most transfixed, is at the concert portion at the end.
Brian H Kim helps give us a new song by the group Love Sentence (with lead vocals by Nick Lachey, formerly part of the boy band, 98 Degrees), as well as a small reprise of one of their songs we’ve heard before.
Of course, it all leads to some moments that, if you’re an emotional person, may leave you unsure just how to feel.
Of the segments that have hit in the last few weeks, this was the one I was most interested in seeing. Sadly, it is punctuated with a fun opening, a meandering middle, and gut-punching ending. However, the beginning and ending bits, manage to override the middle, and pushed my final grade up a bit.
Final Grade: B
Well, that was a pretty okay episode.
Collateral Damage gave us a humorous take on school spirit, and working through grief. More kooky than dramatic, but somehow, it’s one of the few off-the-wall storylines that just clicked with me.
Just Friends looked to be laying on the drama regarding emotions surrounding Star, Marco, and Jackie. It elevated itself slightly above Collateral, but mainly on the strength of what happens in the third act.
And with episode 20, we are officially out of 2-segment episodes for Season 2! Next week, we’ll get two 22-minute episodes back-to-back. There are still plenty of questions still unanswered so far this season, and we’ll have to wait and see if we get any answers.
The next episode I’ll be reviewing, is titled Face the Music, and it looks like Brian H Kim will be giving us some more of the good stuff, as Star will have a Princess Song made, and sung in her honor.
Of course, after the way Bon Bon the Birthday Clown was structured, I think we’re all expecting to find some surprises beyond just the song. See you all back here real soon!