Okay, it’s actually the first four episodes of Season 3, but then, several Disney Afternoon shows did multi-episode stories back in the day, so it’s kinda a welcomed return. But anywho, it’s time for…
…THE BATTLE FOR MEWNI!
And no, I am NOT recapping this again when it’s aired as separate episodes next week. What I AM going to do, though, is say…
…Wow, am I mixed on this right now. I mean, it wasn’t a BAD season premiere, but… I’d be lying if I said that this would’ve been better either as the Season 2 finale or an actual movie. Which is not to say is wasn’t good, by any means, what I mean is– Okay, let’s look at the two-hour event.
Of course, being a two-hour event with 6 11-minute segments and one 22-minute episode, I feel the best way to do that is to do it in bulletpoints, or Acts, with some of the most important parts of what happens over the episodes, so forgive me if this seems a bit rushed.
In Act I, Star and Moon go to a mystical place where they can rejuvenate the Magic High Commission, only to find that the magic has been replaced with black slime. In Act II, we flash back to after Moon’s mother was murdered by Toffee, and she became the Queen of Mewni; after which, she went to Eclipsa for the Darkest Spell, and with it, she blasted Toffee’s finger off, and because of the… (clears throat) darkness of said spell, it is no longer able to rejuvinate. In Act III, Ludo, who wants to write about how he defeated the Magic High Commission, gets fed up with the Book of Spells and kills Glossaryck by burning it in the fire pit, as Toffee had not anticipated but nonetheless rather needed to convince Ludo to hijack Butterfly Castle… which he does at the ending of Act IV after Marco convinces River to be more of a king and he shoos a giant monster away. In Act V, Star takes Moon to Yvgeny’s place where he and his tadpoles live (and yes, I know he’s alright with people calling him Buff Frog, but I’ve just grown to calling him that) and sneaks out after Yvgeny and Moon play a hilariously bigoted board game and introduces us to that fact that there are board games in this universe that, if these kinds of games existed in real life, would be beyond offensive no matter the time. Act VI comes, and Marco escapes to get the dungeon key with help from Ruberiot, Fool Duke and a mime, which River rejects, accepting his fate of being levitato’d into the sky, and in the final two acts, Star confronts Ludo and tells him that Toffee is controlling him through his hand-wand, and then…
…we have a great ending to close it all out. Not exactly the way I would’ve done it, but… it brought me back to when it got real in Storm the Castle or Starcrushed, but in a really damn good way.
Now, as for the thing itself, Daron Nefcy said that the movie was really the first 4 episodes connected into one story arc, as we all know, and it definitely shows. As a four-part season premiere, it’s a good opening to a long-awaited third season. But as a movie, the pacing, even if you didn’t compare them to the Disney Afternoon series premieres, is really abysmal. The episodes are indeed connected, but they feel kinda slow. I mean, they’re not pointless overall, and they piece together with each other very well… except for “Marco and the King”.
I really wanted that first segment with Marco and River to have more of an impact on the overall plot, like maybe they were gonna go and find Star and Moon after Marco convinces him they could be in danger, which gives River both the motivation to gather a force to help them on their quest (after a bit of convincing) and a chance for River to bond with Marco more. But no, instead we have a plot about him being more kingly for the residents, and after all that’s said and done, Ludo comes in with his rat army and takes over. This was the most boring part of the special, and while I knew Ludo was gonna attack at the end, I wish it was better-executed than this. And I understand if you like it– It’s still got a good opening and it’s nice to see River have his own episode to himself. –but, man, it could’ve had more of an impact than how it turned out.
But with that said, the rest of the event holds up pretty well, despite its flaws. There’s a lot of humor, and most of it hits bullseyes (particularly Moon and Yvgeny playing that bigoted board game, and Ludo trying to open the book repeatedly, to no avail); the intense moments here are really intense in a good way, especially for a Disney show– Hell, especially for ANY animated show, for that matter; the characters are still their likable and popular characters; and while I wish it was the Season 2 finale, I’m glad this was how they were starting out the season: It ends one or two story arcs (okay, ONE), and signals the beginning of a brand new one, promising to be bigger and darker than the last.
So, do I have problems with it. Yes? Do I wish it was a lot more cinematic than what we got? Absolutely. But for what it is, it’s a fine way to come back to Mewni and be reunited with our favorite characters. I think we’ll have better episodes as the season continues, but it’s unfair to simply label the premiere as a whole as a waste of time. We DID learn a good deal about Moon’s past, and there WAS a satisfying conclusion to wrap things up.
I enjoyed watching it from beginning to end, and here’s to the new season of Star vs the Forces of Evil, where we’ll have a lot more weirdness and wildness to look forward to over the next few months.
And if you’re still here wondering how the whole thing ends in case you haven’t seen it yet…
…then let’s just say I have the “Keep Reading” bit underneath that for good reason.
I like to think that Thorin’s first words to Eagle!Bilbo are the same as Ashiataka’s to San :3
The company would try to take back Erebor without Bilbo’s help (who is obviously not in the Shire, but with the Eagles), and after escaping the Goblin’s town the company realizes that Thorin is missing. They are ready to go back and find him, but the Orcs attack them before they could re-enter the mountain. At this point, the Eagles (and Bilbo) come to rescue them all, but Thorin is still missing, and it’s Bilbo’s mission to go and find the dwarf king in the Gobelin Town (the Eagles can’t really enter it haha).
Bilbo goes, (encounters Gollum and finds the ring) and finally discovers Thorin in the Gobelin’s prison, deep in the mountain. The Hobbit brings down every single guard in the dungeon (because Eagle!Bilbo is a bamf, of course), and is about to deliver the prisoner, making sure he is still alive, and scrutinising him with curiosity and suspicion (He’s never seen a dwarf before), when the dwarf lets him hear something he wasn’t expecting.