Light of the Sun and Stars a New Review
Hey, everyone, and Merry Christmas! I know that I said I’d be on break until after Christmas, but I had some free time, so I thought I’d go back and look over old posts. See if I could spice them up. Then I remembered the review that I did for this Star vs. Fanfic in July 2019, Light of the Sun and Stars. In hindsight, I could’ve done better with it. So, as a Christmas gift to ThDorkMagnet, I’m going back and doing the review over. Now more in-depth, with better clarity!
Light of the Sun and Stars
Written by: ThDorkMagnet
First Published: July 13, 2017
Type of Fan Work: AU
Since he was born, Marco Diaz has never seen another Mewman like him. He’s never gone far outside his home, never had any friends, or enjoyed all life has to offer. All he’s known are the Monsters who raised him. And while he loves his adopted family, he can’t help but long to see the world. Yet the Monsters cold leader, Toffee, refuses to let him leave. But when an innocent walk in the woods leads to a terrifying punishment from the lizard man, Marco’s father, Buffrog, realizes he’s no longer safe with them, and, in the dead of night, sends him away, telling him to go and never look back.
Now all alone, Marco doesn’t know where to go, or what to do. Until, by chance or by fate, he’s found by a certain blonde, magic-wielding princess. Before he even knows what’s happening, this girl, Star Butterfly, brings him to her home, showing him a universe full of wonders that he never knew existed. Yet for all the joy they both bring, neither Star nor Marco can escape the secrets of their pasts. Together, though, they may change not just each other’s lives, but their entire world, forever.
Unlike the show, where the primary setting was Earth before switching to Mewni, Light of the Sun and Stars focuses almost exclusively on Mewni. However, ThDorkMagnet must have taken notes on compelling world-building as they rebuild Mewni from the ground up.
One big change to note is Mewni’s relationship with Earth. Whereas in the show, Earth was more or less isolated from everyone, here they’ve been an established part of the Universe for decades. Mewni tried to conquer them once, but when that failed, thanks to humanity’s scientific know-how, they gave up. Now the two are firm allies, with humans traveling to and from Earth at their leisure.
Another big change is that here, cheekmarks are a universal trait for Mewmans, with each one giving a Mewman an innate talent or trait. DorkMagnet says they got it from RWBY, but it reminds me more of cutie marks from My Little Pony.
The last thing to know that this fanfic puts a lot more focus on the Monsters and their lives. They’ve got their own society away from the Mewmans, but like in the show, they don’t have it as nice as them.
Now, for the characters themselves.
The Main Characters
ThDorkMagnet manages to stay more or less faithful to the character’s portrayals in the show. Whatever they have to change, they do a great job of justifying it in the writing context.
Unlike in the show, here Marco’s reimagined as a Mewman. Well, half-Mewman. His father was from Earth, and his mother was Mewni. His parents were the only people to try and help the Monsters, making them beloved by them. Thus, they took him in as a baby when his parents died. And while he may have been one of their hated Mewman enemies, the Monsters grew to love him, anyway. Except for Toffee.
Initially, Marco doesn’t seem to have much in common with his canon counterpart. He doesn’t know how to fight, he’s not as streetsmart, and his lack of self-confidence and insecurities are initially more prevalent than in the show. However, these are less of actual personality traits and more the result of his isolated upbringing. Once he gets out to see the larger world, his true personality starts to shine through.
At his core, this version of Marco’s comparable to Steven Universe. He’s got a childlike curiosity about the world and is eager to learn as much as he can about it. Many find his enthusiasm, compassion, and genuine desire to be nice to everyone to be very charming, helping him make friends fairly quickly. More importantly, like Steven, Marco seems to bring out the best in others, often without meaning to.
Marco’s not without his problems, though. Besides the insecurities mentioned above, he’s got a deep-rooted fear of Toffee that seems to haunt him for a very long time.
When we’re first introduced to her as she’s practicing spells in the woods, this version of Star looks like the same happy and upbeat girl fans of the show know and love. And for the most part, she is: she’s kind, friendly, helpful, and draws people to her like a magnet. Being the first person he ever meets from the outside world, Marco’s instantly drawn to her. He thinks she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen.
I did say for the most part, though. It’s established early on that this version of Star has more in common with her counterpart in the latter half of the show. In other words, she’s more responsible and level-headed than she was in the pilot, trying to do her best to help the Kingdom of Mewni. She’s already trying to use her magic to help other people and, most notably, opened her family’s castle to those orphaned by war. It’s this very nature that leads her to take Marco in with few questions asked.
However, these actions aren’t entirely by choice. Different circumstances forced her to mature far earlier in life than she does in the show. While avoiding spoiler territory, let’s say that she went through a very traumatic experience that left her emotionally broken when she was younger. While she seemed to recover from it, those closest know that it’s partially an act to keep people from worrying about her. On top of this, her parents are away on business when the story starts, leaving Star to run the Kingdom on her own. In other words, she’s got a lot of issues to work through, but no one knows how to help her. That is until Marco comes into her life.
The show’s resident troublemaker, here Janna’s reimagined as one of Star’s closest friends. Star first met her trapped in an abandoned village when they were kids. While Janna was initially hostile to Star, the latter’s willingness to help her won the former over. From then on, Janna’s lived in Butterfly Castle with Star, spending her time researching the weird and getting into trouble. Oh, and her Mewman Trait lets her turn into a bat. Fitting.
On the surface, Janna seems to be the same weird girl from the show that loves to mess with others (much to Marco’s dismay). However, DorkMagnet gives her a lot more emotional depth as time goes on. And it takes a character I already liked and makes her a thousand times better! Without going into spoiler territory, we learn that part of her tough act is a front to keep her from getting close to others. This came about because someone very close to her that she thought she could trust abandoned her when she needed them the most. Yet, she can’t help but open up to Marco when he wants to help her.
Oh, and for JanTom shippers out there, rejoice.
Jackie Lynn Thomas
Like in the show, Jackie was born on Earth to human parents, who she got her love for sports from. And while it has yet to be revealed, I think DorkMagnet implied that she lost her parents to a freak sporting accident on Mewni. However, Star was there to give her a hand and take her in. Now, she’s living in Butterfly Castle as Janna’s roommate and the voice of reason.
The big difference between this Jackie and the one in the show is that she’s not meant to be a love interest for Marco. At all. Instead, she’s more like a big sister to Marco, always there to help explain things he doesn’t understand or help him with something. And DorkMagnet manages to make it work very well here! In the show, Jackie could be very nurturing and encouraging to others, so it fits with her personality.
Of the many Monster characters in the show, Buffrog had to be my favorite. After Ludo threw him out, we saw how kind-hearted and fatherly he was, becoming one of Star and Marco’s closest friends and allies. In Light of the Sun and Stars, that paternal nature’s on full display when it comes to Marco.
For context, Buffrog was a close friend of Marco’s parents before they died. He vowed to keep their son safe in honor of their memory, but due to Toffee, he couldn’t bring him to other Mewmans and had to raise him under the lizard’s eyes. When it became clear Toffee would never let Marco be free, Buffrog felt he had no choice but to send his adoptive son away, kickstarting the story.
At his core, Buffrog is a good person who’s forced to do bad things. Things that he’s deeply ashamed of and desperate to atone for, especially when it comes to Marco. While this makes a very good father for Marco, it can also lead him to do very dangerous things in the process. Part of his ongoing arc is to come to terms with his past and to learn to forgive himself for his failures.
There are plenty of other characters in the show that appear in this story, by the way. Some in ways that you may not expect!
The Villains are Scarier
Star vs. the Forces of Evil never lacked for any colorful villains throughout it’s run. Some were better than others, admittedly. In Light of the Sun and Stars, though, the big villains managed to get an overhaul that makes them even more menacing.
I owe it to the fact that the restraints of Disney don’t confine fanfics. Case in point, we have Toffee.
By far the best villain on the show, ThDorkMagnet takes him and cranks the evil factor up to 11. As a result, we get a Toffee that’s not restrained by the standards of children’s cartoons that the show had to follow. And the result’s downright terrifying.
Retaining the hatred of Mewmans that his counterpart has, Toffee rose to become leader of the Monsters many years ago. By the start of the story, he’s led them in a brutal war to reclaim Mewni from the Mewmans for years. And he’s winning! He’s razed hundreds of villages and slaughtered countless Mewmans to the point that no Mewman has seen him and lived. He’s less of a person and more of a boogeyman to Mewni.
While already a formidable warrior, Toffee’s greatest strength lies in his ability to manipulate others to do what he wants. In Light of the Sun and Stars, through a mixture of fear and charisma, he forces the Monsters under him to obey his commands even when they know its wrong. Perhaps more chillingly, though, is how he’s able to emotionally manipulate Marco for years, making him feel guilty for wanting to leave. It’s the epitome of a toxic relationship.
I compare this version of Toffee with Claude Frollo from Disney’s version of Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both are psychopaths with an unwanted ward that they keep imprisoned through emotional abuse. The big difference is that, unlike Frollo, Toffee’s willing to resort to physically beating Marco to force him into line.
All told, this is one of the most effective uses of Toffee that I’ve seen.
If you want to learn what happens to Toffee, and what the show’s other big villains are like, then I urge you to read the story.
A Meaningful Title
One of the more abstract things I love about this story is the title. There’s a good reason why the story’s called “Light of the Sun and Stars.” It’s referring to the relationship that Star and Marco develop and how much they mean to each other.
Star becomes this shining star that draws Marco in, lighting up his world and showing him things he never thought were possible. Conversely, Marco’s warmth and kindness help Star begin to recover from her past trauma, something that everyone around her notices. Marco becomes her sun, radiating warmth and making her happier than she’s been in a long time.
The way Star and Marco’s relationship develops may seem cliche to some, but I love it. The way they quickly become friends and the most important people in each other’s lives is delightful. I couldn’t help but feel it tugging at my heartstrings a bit. Everyone needs at least one friendship like the one Star and Marco have.
Yes, they do fall for each other. The cute thing about it, though, is that Marco doesn’t even realize its love. All he knows that being around Star makes him happier than he’s ever been. It makes you want to go, “aww.”
A Fan Fiction On Par With the Show
Light of the Sun and Stars is one of the best fanfictions that I have ever read, hitting all the right notes. It keeps the show’s mythology intact and remains faithful to its source material. At the same time, it’s not afraid to come up with new and original stories, each of which ends up being very entertaining. ThDorkMagnet updates every two-three weeks, and she says that she plans on continuing it even though the show’s over. That shows that she’s committed to seeing this story through to the end.
As far as I’m concerned, ThDorkMagnet’s a true fan of Star vs., and it shows in the care and attention to detail She puts into her writing. If you haven’t read Light of the Sun and Stars yet, then I urge you to do so. Its one fan work that you won’t be able to stop once you start.
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Animation, Blog Posts, Disney TV, Fan Works, Star vs. The Forces of Evil, TV Shows
Well, colour me intrigued! I’ll have to go check this out now.
Thank you for writing your review; I really liked how you managed to go in depth about the themes and characters without a bunch of spoilers.
Happy New Year!