I haven’t been writing much for SVTFOE because I got a lot of feedback from everyone saying they wouldn’t like that kind of content on this blog. So I’ve decided to take my thoughts for SVTFOE to Cartoon Universe’s YouTube channel. This is the first of what I hope will be quite a few analyses on Star Vs. I’ll be posting the transcripts for those videos on this blog.
This might change, if there’s overwhelmingly negative feedback like last time, but I feel like it’s an okay compromise since it’s a little more discreet. With that, let’s get started!
Eclipsa has always been
the enigma of the Butterfly family. While each queen of Mewni has her own
motif, and chapter in the book of spells, Eclipsa is unique in that she seems
to have an entire domain as her motif, that of the darkness. In other words, while
the other queens all occupy slices of the realm of “light,” Eclipsa, it seems,
is the exclusive occupant of its diametric
This is, of course, as
far as we’re aware of in the canon of the show. We know that of all the
chapters in the family spell book, only Eclipsa’s has a connotation of being
forbidden, requiring Glossaryk to unlock it.
Given the intrigue surrounding
the character, Eclipsa’s re-emergence in the narrative raises some questions
about where Star and the series are heading.
What initially was a
struggle for power between “good” Mewman’s and “evil” monsters, was shown to be
much more complex.
Mewni is a kingdom rife
with inequality, with leaders who care about their subjects but at the same
time view them as easily suggestible and lesser than themselves. Monsters,
likewise, are not homogenous, and suffering from poverty, under the table politicking,
Over the series, the
“evil” has taken many forms, from Ludo’s attempts to steal the wand, to
Toffee’s manipulation and destruction of many of the characters.
Amid all of the
interpersonal conflict, though, there has been another steady narrative going
on. Star herself has been changing throughout the series.
One thing to recall is
that Star was originally sent to Earth so that she could better be trained to
be a queen. Coming to Earth was a compromise she made so she wouldn’t be sent
to St. Olga’s. Interpreted this way, a
lot of the series is geared towards Star’s becoming more and more becoming of
someone who deserves to be the Queen of Mewni.
From being able to fight
and defend her kingdom to being able to deal with other people in a mature and
diplomatic way, Star’s experiences are honing her to be a better person and a
better Queen, and the series is documenting that.
Something that is
generally agreed upon is that Star is
maturing. She’s made many personal sacrifices for the things she cares about,
destroying her wand (not once, but twice), risking her life, leaving her life
on Earth in order to protect her friends and her kingdom.
After the Battle for
Mewni mini-movie, there is seemingly little else to prevent Star from being
considered a true queen. In Queen Moon’s words, Star wasn’t just “a happy child” any more. She has
become significantly stronger, more patient, more selfless, and more
responsible than when she was first introduced.
At the same time, it
appears as though the “evil” she’s supposed to be against is reformed, or vanquished,
marked by Ludo’s commitment to reflection and Toffee’s apparent destruction.
It’s striking that the
end of the Battle for Mewni showed Eclipsa’s crystal being fractured. But her
appearance as a potential threat to the main characters might be subtler than
those of the previous antagonists.
What Eclipsa Represents
Eclipsa made her first
appearance in Into the Wand, on her tapestry from Star’s memory of the Grandma
room. And her status as a member of the family was until then kept hidden from
Star, as we learn in Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension.
The Butterfly family likely
felt that Eclipsa’s very existence was too dangerous for Star to know about at
this point in her life. Later, in Page Turner, the Magic High Commission react
with much fear that Star is reading Eclipsa’s chapter in the book.
But then, when we
finally see the end of the episode, she appeared unaffected by the new
information presented to her.
In the end, all her
reading amounted to Star’s using only one spell, the all-seeing eye, a spell
meant to watch someone else without their knowing.
From the way the older
characters reacted to Star’s reading Eclipsa’s chapter, we had expected spells
on murder, death, and in general of a much darker nature.
It’s worth noting then,
why a surveillance spell is up there alongside those of say, Eclipsa’s spell to
kill the un-killable monster.
It may very well be that
the show is framing things like consent, choice, and nonviolence as important
values that need to be upheld. And this puts in clearer perspective, why
Eclipsa is so feared in the first place.
A persistent theme in
the narratives of Eclipsa is simply her person.
Eclipsa isn’t often viewed by the characters as a previous queen of Mewni, or a
great and powerful wielder of magic in so much as she’s simply Eclipsa.
In the show, her name
needs no introduction, and she herself requires no qualifiers. When characters
mention her, all of the weight her name carries speaks for itself, and the
listeners react with corresponding awe and horror.
And we gather then,
based on context, all these other facts about her.
In Into the Wand, we
recognise her as a previous queen because of her presence in the Grandma Room.
In Baby and Page Turner, we get a glimpse of just how powerful Eclipsa’s magic
is and the fear she brings with her.
Yet we’ve seen similarly
powerful magic users before. Rhombulus was able to contain her, and based on
Baby’s assessment, Star’s power could Rival Eclipsa’s own, but they don’t elicit
the kind of fear that invoking Eclipsa’s name does.
Something unique to
Eclipsa, then, is a certain self-orientedness we don’t see in other queens,
which, coupled with her power, makes her both unpredictable and terrifying.
For instance, while the
other tapestries in the Grandma Room, both from Into the Wand and the Guidebook,
showcase previous queens of Mewni in terms of their motif, a great act they did
for the kingdom, or something they stood for, Eclipsa’s entry is very personal.
“Eclipsa Queen of Mewni to a Mewman King was wed, But took a Monster for her
love and away from Mewni fled.”
Unlike those of the
other queens, Eclipsa’s tapestry is very focused on her private life. Even the
image on the tapestry captures an un-queenly aspect of her life, her being held
by a large demon, wearing a ring on his finger.
From the episode Moon
the Undaunted, we know that the tapestries don’t capture the moments in the
exact way they happened. Even Moon’s blasting off Toffee’s finger was stylised
for the tapestry.
This highlights the idea
that the representations captured are great and decisive moments in the lives
of the queens.
For Moon, it was being
able to intimidate the un-killable monsters and preventing them from attacking
the kingdom. That act not only saved Mewni, but cemented her role as a strong
and capable queen, earning her authority in the eyes of much older parties.
In that way, Moon’s
moment had large- and personal-scale implications worth recording.
If Eclipsa’s decisive
moment was her choosing personal interest, that is, her demon love, over her
kingdom, then the large-scale implication is apparent. Mewni’s queen had left,
and her daughter, or the next Butterfly in line would be queen.
On a personal level, it
tells us a lot about Eclipsa. She’s not only aware of her own power, but she’s
also very confident about it. Her identity isn’t tied to being a queen or to
Glossaryk himself said
that the only queen who had never bothered him with questions was Eclipsa. Her
character has a large focus on interiority, and it’s likely she made a lot of
her decisions on her own.
individuality on its own, doesn’t seem to be dark and evil. That in itself ties
in with many of the show’s themes about prejudice and making judgements.
What that individuality
and stubbornness has brought, though, is a lot of very powerful spells that impinge on
the lives of others. A common theme linking the spells for “Power of darkness,
forces of evil, eternal suffering, blah, blah, blah” that Star saw in Eclipsa’s
chapter is their disregard of others.
When spying on Marco,
Star would have rather seethed on her own rather than be honest about her
feelings, or at least talk to her friends so that things wouldn’t have been as
awkward. And the use of that power was intoxicating, because she was calling
these shots on her own, seemingly detached from the mercy or wants of others, but it
didn’t respect Marco or Jackie’s privacy.
The act of killing
someone else is the ultimate disregard for their being an individual, because
it likens their life as something worth much less than the life of the killer. Toffee’s
attempted erasure of Star and Glossaryk, particularly in the context of means
to an end, exemplifies that.
The reason Eclipsa’s
chapter and dark magic in general may be so dangerous is its promotion of this
very impulsive and self-oriented worldview, which is probably not something to be supported
in a queen, who is to be responsible for many individuals.
The theme of singularity
in Eclipsa is even more apparent now, as she appears to be the last of her
generation of Butterflies, being Star’s ninth great-grandmother. She’s been
encased in her crystal, alone for hundreds of years.
Now that she’s
returning, the carefully crafted narrative that things were always a certain
way, or that a princess always had to follow certain steps before becoming a
queen, could change drastically.
And the final draft of my newest print for Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend! My poor fingers hurt from churning this out as fast as I have, but I think it’s well worth it! Based on the classical fresco “God Creates Man” but now it’s “Star Fucking Obliterates Toffee” (with Ludo’s help but that’s later).