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In the Pale Starlight

Ever since I started reading fan works last spring, I’ve realized how much creative freedom they give fans. They’re not restricted by censors, age ratings, or executive meddling. As a result, fans are free to take a story they love and push how far it can go. For example, if they didn’t like the direction of a show went, they can rewrite it in a way they’ll enjoy. Which is a good thing if a lot of fans feel like a show wasted some great ideas. Case in point, this next fan work, In the Pale Starlight, takes the more mature themes of Disney’s magical girl show, Star vs. The Forces of Evil and sees how far they can be taken. As it turns out, very far!

In the Pale Starlight

Author: LordCornwallis

First Published: July 14th, 2019

Type of Fan Work: Alternate Re-Telling

Status: Ongoing

Synopsis

After Jackie breaks up with him because she knows he can’t forget about Star, Marco decides to move to Mewni full time so he can spend time with his best friend and become a knight. Like in the show, though, he realizes his timing’s less than ideal. Star’s gotten back together with her ex, Tom, and is more focused on being a better Princess. Thus, it’s off to the Knights of the Wash for Marco. Unlike in the show, though, Marco’s first quest almost proves fatal for the young man, but also brings the two closer than ever before.

This near-death experience makes the two teens how much they mean to each other. Before they know it, love begins to blossom between the two best friends! Despite their newfound happiness, though, the forces of evil still lurk in a dimension struggling to rebuild following Toffee’s Invasion. In the shadows, a conspiracy is brewing against the Kingdom, one that threatens to upend the Butterfly Family. Can Star and Marco uncover this new threat to her home before it’s too late?

Star vs., But Now Rated M for Mature

The first thing that needs to be established is the age rating for this story. It falls squarely in the range of PG-13 and R-Rated stories, for several reasons. Secondly, Star and Marco have been aged up to age 16; again, for purposes. 

First and foremost, Pale Starlight gets very violent; Game of Thrones level violent. For example, take the first chapter where Marco fights the Lint Monster as he does in the show, the writer describes his near-fatal injuries in detail so vivid that it made my stomach churn. His arm was fractured, he had a gash across his face, and he was barely able to stand from blood loss. This sets the standard for the story, and it maintains it throughout the whole story.

The second reason why this story is M-rated is due to the romantic aspects. Star, Marco, and their friends are aged up to 16. LordCornwallis says this is to make the more mature Starco situations more believable. As with the violence, the writer does an excellent job of describing the events in great detail. 

Personally, I enjoyed the writer’s decision to make this story an M-Rated one. The show already dealt with some heavy adult things like institutionalized racism, unrequited feelings of love, and the mistakes of the past. Add in the fact that it got a lot past the radar (“smooch buddies”), and this feels like a natural transition. 

A Vicious New Enemy

While I still think Meteora will eventually play a role, for now, the story has a new antagonist. One who, while not as crazy or power-hungry as the show’s villains, is just as deadly. Enter Duke William Appleton, the biggest jerk in all of Mewni.

Even though he’s only twenty-two, Appleton’s already the wealthiest person in Mewni. He’s even wealthier than Star’s family and thinks that gives him the right to treat everyone like trash. Worse, he’s also Star’s cousin through his mom’s side, and after Star, he has the best claim to the throne. Not content with what he already has, though, Appleton’s plotting to seize the throne for himself. To that end, he’s undermining the Kingdom through any means necessary. And he sees Marco as a genuine threat to his plans, one that he will go to great lengths to get rid of.

It’s hard to say if Appleton’s a good villain, as the story’s not over yet. Here are my two cents, though. As villains go, he seems very two dimensional, especially when compared to the villains found in the show. Like Toffee, he’s good at manipulating events behind the scenes to get what he wants, and is a deadly warrior with a cruel streak. However, he also wears his emotions on his sleeve and easily gets angry. He’s like Joffrey, only smarter. Given how the story’s progressing, though, I can see him becoming a dangerous enemy for the main characters, especially Marco. The guy has a hate-on for the boy!

No Disney to Hold it Back

In my honest opinion, In the Pale Starlight is an example of what the show could have been like if it didn’t have to be restrained by the fact that it’s a kid’s show. By Disney. LordCornwallis is a passionate fan of the series and sees how much potential it has as a means for storytelling, and he channels that passion very effectively. The end result is a Star vs. story for older fans who wished the show could have explored its more adult side without those pesky censors. Plus, the scene where Star and Marco admit their feelings is ten times sweeter than it was in the show. No offense.

If you’re one of those teen or adult fans of Star vs., then give In the Pale Starlight a look. It doesn’t get as much love as it should.

Click here to see my other reviews of fan fiction

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

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