Star vs. The Forces of Evil, “Cleaved” Series Finale Review
After four years of fun and weirdness, it’s over. Star vs. The Forces of Evil, one of the best cartoons of the decade, has ended its run on TV. Unless Daron Nefcy decides to make a movie, but more on that later.
I mentioned this in my review of the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones that I was now looking forward to the finale to Star more than Game of Thrones. After watching the finale on DisneyNow an hour before it ever came on TV, I think I was right to do so. I cannot remember the last time the finale to a cartoon has made me cry so much!
A Fateful Decision
After being backed into a corner by Mina’s army of Solarian warriors, Star realizes that there’s only one choice she can make to save Mewni from being destroyed: she has to destroy magic itself.
While I fear that her decision could have far-reaching consequences, it shows how much she’s grown. Whereas the hyperactive cuckoolander we first met would have balked at this plan, Star’s grown wise enough to realize that the level of power magic gives is too dangerous. Even Hekapoo supports her decision, even knowing that she, Glossaryck and the rest of the Commission will die.
And she won’t do it alone. Marco joins her for the most important mission of their lives as they head towards their destiny.
In a rather clever turn of events, the finale also shows us the real reason why Glossaryck eats pudding so much: it helps people keep their minds in the Realm of Magic. That is genius! But Star’s plan isn’t as simple as she hoped. Try though she might to use the Whispering Spell to destroy the magic, there’s just too much of it.
Meanwhile, Marco tries to fight off the corrupted Unicorns and a corrupted Tom using his karate and the wand. Yes, he’s using the Royal Wand again, which is a cool concept. Sadly, it doesn’t really do anything, as Marco’s not as good at magic as Star is. Luckily, he snaps Tom back to normal despite getting hurt pretty bad.
Our Powers Combined
At that moment, Eclipsa, Moon, and Meteora all show up after deciding that Star was right. And then the past wielders of the Wand show up and help. It may be a little fanservice-y, but it was a nice touch to see the past Butterflys show their support. Even Solaria, the one who created Mina, helps her daugther, and looks at her granddaughter with pride. When Mina tries to interfere, Solaria looks at her in disgust and shame.
“With or Without Magic…We Belong Together”
Together, they manage to destroy the magic, and the realm begins to crumble. Tragically, when Marco asks how he and Star plan to see each other, he realizes that they can’t. Star tries going back to Mewni, but the idea of a life without Marco is something she can’t deal with. She chooses to leave her home behind to be with her best friend and true love.
Turns out, Marco had the same idea, and both of them remain stranded as the Realm of Magic crumbles around them. They don’t care, though. Magic may have brought them together, but with or without it, they know their place in the universe is with each other.
A World Without Magic
And in one final flash of light, it’s over. Magic is gone from the universe, with the Magic High Commission and Glossaryck along with it. Marco, Jelly, and that eagle guy are sent back to their worlds. But without magic, the Solarian warriors return to normal, and Mina’s victims will live.
Even Mina survives, and despite Moon trying one last time to help her, she refuses her help and runs into the woods. I don’t feel bad for her: even after seeing Solaria disapprove of her actions, she won’t let her racist views go.
One Last Spell
The age of magic is over, but just as it looks like Star and Marco will be separated forever, one last act of magic plays out. I don’t know if it was because the Realm of Magic was responding to their statement that, magic or no, they belong together. Or maybe it was that old trope of “magic being born from love” being in play; or both. Whatever the reason, a portal appears on Earth and Mewni, and Star and Marco rush to it as fast they can, only for it to explode.
Two Friends, One World
When the dust settles, something truly amazing has happened. The last bit of magic cleaved Earth, Mewni, and possibly every other dimension into one. Where there was once many worlds, there’s now one incredible one.
None of that matters to Star and Marco, though. The only thing that does matter is the sight of each other right in front of them. Against all odds, they found a way to always be together. The two lovers walk up to each other, too overjoyed to say more than a “hey” and “hi”.
And as the credits roll and pan out to the otherworldly sky that makes up their one world, they probably leapt in each other’s arms, laughed and cried, and then kissed like it was no tomorrow.
Can’t Stop Crying
Everytime I try and watch those last few seconds, my eyes won’t stop tearing up. It’s just so beautfiul. The incredible background, and the joyful music make me start tearing up from happiness . If you read my post on Star and Marco’s relationship, then you’ll know that I think that Star and Marco’s friendship has been a central part of it. They have one of the strongest relationships that I have seen in fiction; their love was strong enough to cleave their two world’s together into one.
When I saw that “Cleaved” was only going to be half an hour, I was worried that it would end being a rushed ending like the final season of Samurai Jack. But I was wrong. While it was the final episode, it was part of nine-episode arc that, in a way, could be considered a movie finale. Some fans consider it to be rushed, and while I wish the fight in the Realm of Magic went on longer, I disagree as a whole. “Cleaved” left me feeling emotionally satisfied with the ending, and it managed to come back to the core aspect of the show: Star and Marco.
This Isn’t the End
But for those not satisified with the finale, something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll see of Star vs. The Forces of Evil. Magic may be gone, but now Star and Marco have a whole new world to live in, and new problems to face as Earth and Mewni learn to live together. There’s plenty of potential for a sequel in the form of comics, a movie, or another TV show! Daron Nefcy has even said that she’d be happy to come back to Star and Marco in the future, so there’s still hope.
In short, I loved the finale. It managed to wrap up the final arc of the show, ensured that our heroes got their happy ending, and was open-ended enough to allow for more adventures to be told. This may be goodbye for now, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of Star and Marco.
I give “Cleaved” A 5/5. Incredible ending to one of the best cartoons of the decade.
Click here to read my review of the final episode of Game of Thrones