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Starlight is a Bad Girl


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Starlight's Punishment  

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  1. 1. What tier of punishment would be most suitable for Starlight's crimes?

    • Light double-slap to the face. No lunch or dinner for the next week.
    • Throw her behind bars in solitary confinement deep in the Canterlot dungeons for a month and a half.
    • Send her to Tartarus. Lock her in the same cage as Tirek. Let him feast on her magic and rough her up over the next few days... (Note: place competent guards at the entrance to ensure that Tirek does not grow powerful enough to escape).
    • Never-ending nightmares prescribed (and enforced) ala Princess Luna for the next year. Make sure Starlight understands that good behavior may lighten the sentence (slightly), while bad behavior will increase it (substantially). Any fancy spells to prevent sleep or soften her punishment in any way automatically count as "bad behavior".
    • Give her the full fat "Cupcakes" treatment; with all four Princesses on standby to bring her back from the brink of death at the very end (and repeat the punishment once or twice for good measure).
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Ok, so let's cut the bullshit for a sec. We all know Starlight got away with (worse than) murder and barely suffered any consequences. It's clear as day she doesn't deserve all the free handouts and pampering treatment she received in seasons 6~8. For Celestia's sake, she might actually don a pair of wings by the end of Season 9 for all we know. All of this would be far more tolerable if she actually suffered a bit for her crimes against nature. So tell me, MLPforums, how should she have been punished in order to set the Karmic scales back into alignment? Feel free to provide your own suggestions below...

Spoiler

...coming up with punishment scenarios for the poll was, admittedly, much more difficult than I had anticipated o,o

 

starlight_glimmer_crying_by_hendro107_db

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Starlight made up with the only two groups of ponies she harmed in her days of villainhood, the residents of her village and Twilight and her friends. What you call "free handouts" can just as easily be interpreted as chances to atone for her wrongs, and I never saw her getting a paycheck for the work she did for the village and Twilight. That's also not to mention her saving Equestria from Queen Chrysalis, so I feel she's done enough to prove that she's not a bad girl who still needs to be punished. :yeahno:

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She doesn't need atonement. At the time I probably would have locked her in Tartarus for a bit and had Twilight offer to be her teacher the same later. Even if i will admit that she can be a bit sociopathic at times, she's clearly has learned her lesson and is a good girl now.

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I have said this in the past regarding Starlight, and I believe it is worth reiterating here: any mention of proper punishments for her is a misnomer, due to her status as a fictional character. If someone were to genuinely brainwash a town and nearly cause an armageddon through time travel, then yes; severe punishments would be warranted... but whether or not brainwashing and near-cataclysms are morally just is not the point of those episodes; they are merely the delivery mechanism (not to mention, most of Starlight's victims have forgiven her anyhow). Friendship is Magic is primarily focused on entertaining children, while also teaching them valuable friendship lessons along the way, so these over-the-top antics are an inevitability if the writers want to keep the series entertaining.

In other words, it is not so much Starlight's actions that matter, as much as the lesson she learns at the end (the value of friendship, in spite of her experiences). If Starlight were a real individual. then yes; these actions would warrant severe punishment, due to the act that these actions hold severe consequences. These same rules do not apply in fiction because fiction aims to either entertain or teach, and brainwashing and time travel were plot vessels used to do so.

Do connotations matter? Of course; many uncomfortable things can be insinuated in a story if written poorly... but I am quite sure we are all aware that Friendship is Magic does not endorse time ravel.

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This is ridiculous! How many "Starlight is the worst pony and must be punished for her crimes" topics does there need to be? She was already punished in A Royal Problem by that nightmare she had that would have scarred his psyche forever had Celestia not doing Luna's job stepped in to help.

Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh at how "serious" the OP is treating this or be as annoyed as I usually do whenever Muikan claims the CMC should disbanded or Starlight will turn evil again and betray the Mane 6.

Edited by Will Guide
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25 minutes ago, Will Guide said:

How many "Starlight is the worst pony and must be punished for her crimes" topics does there need to be?

I am by no means implying Starlight is "worst pony" material here. On the contrary, I desperately want to like her even more than I currently do. Believe it or not, Glim-glim is actually my favorite pony currently, and has been so ever since S6. I simply cannot turn a blind eye to how her unspeakable crimes were essentially swept under the rug. 

 

31 minutes ago, Lord Valtasar said:

punish her? they all live simply because she decided to let them live, they couldn't defeat her

I like the way you think, mother****er ;) 

 

56 minutes ago, The Recherche said:

I have said this in the past regarding Starlight, and I believe it is worth reiterating here: any mention of proper punishments for her is a misnomer, due to her status as a fictional character. If someone were to genuinely brainwash a town and nearly cause an armageddon through time travel, then yes; severe punishments would be warranted... but whether or not brainwashing and near-cataclysms are morally just is not the point of those episodes; they are merely the delivery mechanism (not to mention, most of Starlight's victims have forgiven her anyhow). Friendship is Magic is primarily focused on entertaining children, while also teaching them valuable friendship lessons along the way, so these over-the-top antics are an inevitability if the writers want to keep the series entertaining.

In other words, it is not so much Starlight's actions that matter, as much as the lesson she learns at the end (the value of friendship, in spite of her experiences). If Starlight were a real individual. then yes; these actions would warrant severe punishment, due to the act that these actions hold severe consequences. These same rules do not apply in fiction because fiction aims to either entertain or teach, and brainwashing and time travel were plot vessels used to do so.

Do connotations matter? Of course; many uncomfortable things can be insinuated in a story if written poorly... but I am quite sure we are all aware that Friendship is Magic does not endorse time ravel.

10/10, would read again. I am very glad you "reiterated" this post for the convenience of myself and everyone else participating in this topic. I do see a bit of an issue with the logic of "FiM is for children; all that matters is their entertainment and teaching positive friendship lessons/ morals" and then the very obvious contradiction in practice of Starlight being shown to commit heinous crimes on a whim with little to no repercussions for her actions, thereby teaching little kids that no matter what they do they should automatically expect forgiveness. Besides that "minor" factor, I agree with everything else you stated and appreciate greatly how well you articulated your point here =^-^=

Edited by JetPistol
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19 minutes ago, Jeric said:

Her punishment should be having to save Equestria from Changeling infiltration. Oh wait. 

Shame they had to make all the main characters completely useless to do that.

That has been my biggest issue with Starlight besides her being a mary sue; The fact that they actively have made other characters incredibly stupid or incompetent to make her seem great. The season 6 finale had all of the mane 6 and princesses be captured with no resistance and the season 7 finale had every single character become brainless morons following Starswirl's every word while Starlight is the only one who thought "maybe forgiveness?" and to nobody's surprise, she was right the whole time. All of this from a character that nearly destroyed time and space yet got a slap on the wrist and main character status.

I don't "hate" Starlight at this point, I definitely did before, but I still think she is a character equivalent of a wrench thrown into the mix.

Oh yeah, and her punishment. One open-handed shlap to the fashe.

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Don't you think this is a bit overly harsh? She hasn't done anything maniacal since Season 5. Why do you want to punish her now? Yeah, she messed up. So what?

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11 minutes ago, Jeric said:

Her punishment should be having to save Equestria from Changeling infiltration. Oh wait. 

Yes, because she did it all by herself-

5cec0345238fd4b49ab1c757ea33d9ff.png

To Where and Back Again was clearly meant as a redemption arc for all the "reformed" villains up to that point. Unfortunately, not all their crimes were of the same magnitude. 

From least egregious to most:

  • Thorax - 2/10
  • Trixie - 6/10
  • Discord - 10/10
  • Starlight 10/10

Thorax gets a pass as his transgressions were quite frankly pretty damn tame compared with any other "bad guy" in the show. Trixie is just at the threshold; she barely gets a pass by the skin of her teeth. Discord. Pure NOPE. But that's ok because he is a character the vast majority of the fanbase PREFERS as a villain (myself included). I like to pretend he's just toying with them throughout the entirety of the show, to be honest. Starlight is a different beast, however.  Her moral compass could have easily been pointed in the right direction had the writers simply provided her with a suitably dark backstory. A tortured soul hurting others as a method of coping with their own agony is easier to forgive than an entitled brat throwing a temper tantrum over her friend being "taken away from her". I understand there are limits to what writers will realistically portray as a "dark backstory" within a children's show, but in that case, I refer you to a prior post of mine:

Quote

To be fair, I haven't seen many people voicing hatred for Starlight recently, but I'll wager a guess at why some people still dislike her. Starlight enslaved a town of ponies for many years. They lived under her tyrannical rule against their own will. Perhaps when they initially joined her cult, they were doing so consensually, but it's pretty clear that many of them had been wanting out for quite some time if their desperate attempts at getting the Mane 6 to help them are any indication. I'd imagine Starlight instantaneously being forgiven of her crimes without any real consequences doesn't sit particularly well with some people... which is even more unforgivable if we take into consideration her extremely weak backstory as to why she went down that road to begin with. I personally find it rather humorous that the writers consider it perfectly acceptable to incorporate such a disturbing concept as a deranged cultist leader enslaving a bunch of ponies, metaphorically castrating them of their Cutie Marks, and disallowing them to partake in any activities deemed inappropriate, etc, etc. But they are unwilling to actually give Starlight a dark enough backstory to at least somewhat justify her actions. And on top of all this, we now have literal Elementary Schoolers getting imprisoned in Pony Hell for arguably less heinous crimes than that of Glim-glim.

1819763.jpeg

^DISCLAIMER: I actually freaking love Starlight Glimmer as a character post-S5. From seasons 6~8 she has been the most consistently enjoyable character to watch and I generally look forward to any screentime she gets. I simply cannot turn a blind eye to obvious narrative shortcomings which paint her in a far less flattering light than she would be otherwise. If you ask me, she could've used a little... *ahem*...  punishment before ascending to Mane 7 status. 

 

4 hours ago, Key Sharkz said:

"Worse than murder".

I can't tell if you're being hyperbolic for comedic sake or you actually believe that.

See my quote above^ 

In addition to @The Recherche's post.

Also...

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Just now, JetPistol said:

Yes, because she did it all by herself-

5cec0345238fd4b49ab1c757ea33d9ff.png

To Where and Back Again was clearly meant as a redemption arc for all the "reformed" villains up to that point. Unfortunately, not all their crimes were of the same magnitude. 

From least egregious to most:

  • Thorax - 2/10
  • Trixie - 6/10
  • Discord - 10/10
  • Starlight 10/10

Thorax gets a pass as his transgressions were quite frankly pretty damn tame compared with any other "bad guy" in the show. Trixie is just at the threshold; she barely gets a pass by the skin of her teeth. Discord. Pure NOPE. But that's ok because he is a character the vast majority of the fanbase PREFERS as a villain (myself included). I like to pretend he's just toying with them throughout the entirety of the show, to be honest. Starlight is a different beast, however.  Her moral compass could have easily been pointed in the right direction had the writers simply provided her with a suitably dark backstory. A tortured soul hurting others as a method of coping with their own agony is easier to forgive than an entitled brat throwing a temper tantrum over her friend being "taken away from her". I understand there are limits to what writers will realistically portray as a "dark backstory" within a children's show, but in that case, I refer you to a prior post of mine:

 

See my quote above^ 

In addition to @The Recherche's post.

Also...

Thorax was never a villain in the first place! :P 

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Just now, FlareGun45 said:

Thorax was never a villain in the first place!

True, but he was still serving under Chrysalis's reign. Perhaps he didn't partake in the same atrocities as his peers, but he also didn't up and desert the hive altogether (which was fully within his power). Pre-transformation Changelings naturally feed off of love in order to survive. It's safe to say that even Thorax must have fed on occasion. That being said it is truly exemplary that he went against his own biological needs for so long (practically starving himself in the process) in order to "do the right thing". He is by far the most sympathetic character of the ones I mentioned due, in part, to this factor. Thankfully, he received a hefty reward after Chrysalis was overthrown. 

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5 minutes ago, JetPistol said:

True, but he was still serving under Chrysalis's reign. Perhaps he didn't partake in the same atrocities as his peers, but he also didn't up and desert the hive altogether (which was fully within his power)

that's actually exactly what he did
 

 

6 minutes ago, JetPistol said:

Pre-transformation Changelings naturally feed off of love in order to survive. It's safe to say that even Thorax must have fed on occasion. That being said it is truly exemplary that he went against his own biological needs for so long (practically starving himself in the process) in order to "do the right thing"

feeding on love does not hurt the one you feed of in any way, so i don't see the problem
 

as for the starlight/cozy comparison, you seem to forget that prisons aren't a place to punish ppl, but to rehabilitate them, and Starlight already proved she changed when she stopped preventing Rainbow Dash from getting her cutie mark, her crimes were in paralel universes so they practically never even existed, as for the village she turnt, again, she has turnt that page, she isn't that pony anymore

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Ok, dissenting view here.

In my opinion, Twilight made the right call - like Princess Luna before her, Starlight wasn't evil, she was mentally disturbed. Her perception of being unjustly treated caused her to lash out, and as a uniquely powerful unicorn (kinda a bad combo, really) she was able to shape the world around her, first running roughshod over the feelings of other ponies in her "village" and then risking the very fabric of Equestrian society in her attempts to get revenge.

Given the emotional support and encouragement of Twilight, Starlight was guided back to a more productive role in pony society; once she was more emotionally stable, she was able to see how her own actions were wrong (well, sorta. her actions in ELTSD are an example of unwelcome backsliding), and while she didn't indulge in the same levels of self-harm as Luna did, she clearly shows remorse and shame for her prior actions.

I consider her actions at the village the greater crime, given she abused multiple ponies for an extended period of time; in that, they would be entirely entitled to seek retribution or at least compensation for that, but as we don't know what really happened when Twi took Starlight back to the village to face the consequences of her actions, we don't know why that wasn't pursued - but while they are entitled to do so, they aren't FORCED to do so.  The villagers seem content with the outcome, and it is their choice.  Their desire to show off how well they are doing without her in the S6 finale may seem a little dubious, but ponies are nothing if not forgiving, so perhaps they genuinely wanted her to see they were doing well and had no hard feelings (and they were graced with multiple royal presences, so it was clearly a win/win)

I just wish 'tia could have done as well during the Nightmare Moon incident - and perhaps she need not have had to banish her sister for so long...

 

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1 hour ago, Lord Valtasar said:

as for the starlight/cozy comparison, you seem to forget that prisons aren't a place to punish ppl, but to rehabilitate them

Perhaps "on paper" that's the purpose of imprisonment, but I think that both within the context of the show, as well as our own reality, most people will admit rehabilitation is only rarely achieved through such a sentence. Think about how Luna (NMM) reacted after being let out of her imprisonment for 1,000 years? Or how about Discord? Or Sombra, or Tirek, etc, etc. If anything, imprisonment seems to cultivate frustration and desire for vengeance within the recipient's conscious. A counterproductive result to be certain. 

Edited by JetPistol
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31 minutes ago, CypherHoof said:

 

I just wish 'tia could have done as well during the Nightmare Moon incident - and perhaps she need not have had to banish her sister for so long...

 

Like I said many times in the past. Celestia couldn't use the Elements to their full power once Luna, who was needed to use half the Elements, became Nightmare Moon. The best the elements could do was imprison for a certain amount of time. Only once the Elements found new bearers in Mane 6 could they be used to restore Luna.

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  • 2 years for fraud
  • 5 years for assault
  • 1 year for forceful confinement of 6 ponies
  • 10 years for charges of attempted of attempted murder.
  • 20 years of high treason against a member of royal family
  • A 10,500,000 bits in fines

May Celestia has a mercy on her soul blah blah, right to attorney blah blah

Edited by R.D.Dash
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Just now, Will Guide said:

Like I said many times in the past. Celestia couldn't use the Elements to their full power once Luna, who was needed to use half the Elements, became Nightmare Moon. The best the elements could do was imprison for a certain amount of time. Only once the Elements found new bearers in Mane 6 could they be used to restore Luna.

Not saying you are wrong - but clearly the problem was never addressed; the fault wasn't in the Elements though, as even after Team Friendship slapped the stupid out of Luna, the problem still remained; Luna's attempt to use the tantabus to keep herself from backsliding amounted to self-harm, and her sister remained entirely oblivious, as always. It wasn't the power of the Elements that saved Luna, but repeatedly, the actions of Twilight, first in /Luna Eclipsed/ and then in /Magic Sheep/, and the actions of Starlight herself in /Royal Problem/ that helped Luna find balance in her renewed life.

If 'tia had been more compassionate and supportive towards her sister all those years ago, perhaps there would have been no need to use the Elements at all.

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The problem with Starlight's redemption is that 70% of it was shown via a musical montage, wasting a good four or five episodes of material, and the rest was during Season 6, which culminated in her saving Equestria.

Which happened WAY too soon and there were only a handful of actual episodes dedicated to showing Starlight changing, most of which had her doing something atrocious then she gets off without so much as a warning.

"Every Little Thing She Does" should've ended with Starlight cleaning the castle alone while the Main 6 go off to do something fun without her to show there's consequences for one's actions, and there's no easy shortcuts with friendship.

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35 minutes ago, CypherHoof said:

Not saying you are wrong - but clearly the problem was never addressed; the fault wasn't in the Elements though, as even after Team Friendship slapped the stupid out of Luna, the problem still remained; Luna's attempt to use the tantabus to keep herself from backsliding amounted to self-harm, and her sister remained entirely oblivious, as always. It wasn't the power of the Elements that saved Luna, but repeatedly, the actions of Twilight, first in /Luna Eclipsed/ and then in /Magic Sheep/, and the actions of Starlight herself in /Royal Problem/ that helped Luna find balance in her renewed life.

If 'tia had been more compassionate and supportive towards her sister all those years ago, perhaps there would have been no need to use the Elements at all.

I was talking specifically about why Celestia didn't just use the Elements to turn Nightmare Moon back into Luna form herself. Not saying you're wrong,  it's just What you were talking about afterwards is a different matter that wasn't really the point of my reminder of a post.

I didn't want people to forget an explanation to that which is a fine example of show, don't tell.

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