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Twilight Sparkle's Greatest Accomplishment: Creating the Unity Crystals


Misty Shadow

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(edited)

Yes, I went there. 

https://www.deviantart.com/cloudmistdragon/art/The-Importance-of-the-Unity-Crystals-in-MLP-956978736

Opening

Twilight Sparkle did a great service to Equestria in making the Unity Crystals. This, I know for sure, is a controversial statement. However, I’ll even go a step further and say that what Twilight was revealed to have done to help Equestria in the second issue of the G5 comics is her greatest accomplishment in the series we know of thus far.

I’ve already never seen why Twilight making the Unity Crystals was such a bad thing. However, what led me to take that step further and say that what she did was a great thing? It’s not simply because I can break down in extensive detail how the criticism of Twilight sealing away the magic of the ponies into crystals, describing it as “character assassination” and “making her a dictator”, is entirely ill-founded. It’s also because I can break down in extensive detail how Twilight sealing away the magic of the ponies into crystals helped Equestria in ways so many fans have never considered and is the kind of accomplishment that Twilight could have never matched beforehand. I’ll begin by touching on why the disparaging of Twilight as a corrupt leader for her actions is irrational, as I’ve done in the past.

The Greatest Misunderstanding About Twilight in G5

If you read my “Top 10 Bunk Criticisms of G5” list, you likely remember what I wrote about how the criticism of Twilight’s supposed character assassination in creating the Unity Crystals was founded on false information. At the time I made that list, I was mainly rebutting this bunk criticism with what had been revealed in the second episode of Make Your Mark Chapter 2, Growing Pains, where a message from Twilight reveals that she created the Unity Crystals to stop Opaline from taking over Equestria and stealing its magic.

This flew completely in the face of the false narrative that was being promoted for months since Issue #2 of the G5 comic’s release, where people were reproving this expansion of G5’s lore as writing Twilight to be acting as an autocrat and forcing the ponies to come together after Opaline stirred up division among them. In actuality, she was just trying to protect them from falling under Opaline’s tyrannical rule, not being a tyrant herself. Now that it’s been confirmed that what had been perceived to have happened didn’t transpire, you would think that would be all. But no. I later found out this criticism was even more bunk than I once thought.    

Another thing Twilight often gets criticized for in creating the Unity Crystals was taking magic away from the ponies, something they not only have the right to, but something that is shown to be very important to Equestria. The problem with this criticism is, contrary to popular misconception, Twilight never denied the ponies access to their magic. It was always explained in the comic that the magic wouldn’t leave Equestria so long as the ponies lived together in harmony after the Unity Crystals were made and explicitly shown that the ponies still had their magic before their tribes were segregated.

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It wasn’t something Twilight abruptly jumped to do either, another criticism I’ve heard with her creating the Unity Crystals. Discord explained that Equestria had been terrorized for many moons of unrest with things happening that were so terrible, he couldn’t speak of them. Things had clearly gotten so bad that Twilight had no choice but to do what she did.

DiscordG5Comic.thumb.jpg.2161a3ddb7ff764b6ced8d28f1c6147d.jpg

I meant what I said at the start. Out of every fallacious G5 criticism that’s been made so far, this is the one that can be debunked most thoroughly. However, since I’ve already done a thorough enough debunking of it in my aforementioned list, I’ll leave it at this. Now that you know the truth that Twilight had nothing but good intentions in creating the Unity Crystals if you were previously uninformed, I can move on to explaining why this was her greatest accomplishment.

Saving the World with Her Own Magic

I’m sure the million-dollar question that has been on your mind from the start is, “How can Twilight’s greatest accomplishment be creating the Unity Crystals when she and her friends saved the world in Friendship is Magic numerous times?”. Because in almost all of Twilight’s world-saving endeavors, she needed help from not only her friends, but other ponies and outside forces. It’s a recurring pattern throughout the show, Twilight having to depend on others to help her pull through. She always used the magic of friendship to overcome her greatest adversaries, not her own magic.

One notable exception was The Cutie Re-Mark, where Twilight held her own against Starlight Glimmer with her own magic, not magic she borrowed from the other princesses like when she first fought Tirek, and was able to convince Starlight to change her ways by herself. However, think about it. Twilight wouldn’t have been in the threatening situation she was in with Starlight had she and her friends succeeded in apprehending her in The Cutie Map. More importantly, if all Starlight needed was a conversation in order to change her mind, is this really the kind of personal achievement you’d consider greater than protecting Equestria from the worst threat we’ve seen so far?

That’s not an exaggeration, Opaline is indeed the worst threat to Equestria we’ve seen thus far. What other villain in the show have Twilight, her friends, and all of Equestria failed to defeat? The most powerful villains they faced in the show, Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Queen Chrysalis powered by Grogar’s magic, tried something similar to what Opaline tried, turning the citizens of Equestria against each other, and failed. Why did they fail? Because of the Student 6’s efforts, not Twilight’s. Yet in the G5 comic, who stops Opaline from doing this, bringing Equestria back together before the pony tribes decide to split apart again? Twilight. Using her own magic.

It is true that Discord credits “The Mane-ificent 7” for setting things right and Sunny credits Twilight’s friends for helping create the Unity Crystals. However, who clearly sealed the magic away, made the Unity Crystals what they are, and effectively saved Equestria with only a spell? Twilight. Her message clearly states that she summoned all of her magical strength in order to place the magic in the crystals, not her friends. Could Twilight have ever done this at any point before in FiM? No. This Twilight we see in the comic is Twilight at the pinnacle of her power.

It makes sense for Twilight’s greatest accomplishment to be made at this point, since this is her at her most powerful. It also makes sense from a writing standpoint, as Twilight’s character arc is finished. This is what she can do with her full potential realized. And even with this full potential realized, it still took everything she had, making this feat all the greater. Not only did she save Equestria from disaster in this moment, she saved Equestria from disaster for generations. I’ll conclude this writing after elaborating on this point.

Saving Future Generations with Her Own Magic

Another popular misconception about the Unity Crystals, this one being inspired by a bunk criticism I have yet to tackle, is that because of them, ponies won’t just lose their magic if they fight, they’ll also be sucked into a void if the fighting gets out of control. This bunk criticism is that Twilight “doomed the ponies to be forced to get along.”

First of all, the ponies were already “being forced to get along” because of the Windigos. For all we know, Twilight could’ve permanently gotten rid of the Windigos, but I digress. Second, who makes the rules with how magic works in Equestria? Twilight, or magic itself? Twilight said that magic is alive and always changing. And even back in her time, how did magic work? It’s right there in the title of her show. It’s how they always defeated the villains in the end. Friendship is magic. Finally, the reason why the ponies were almost sucked into a void in the Make Your Mark series premiere was not because of the Unity Crystals. It was because of the recently returned magic they had not yet stabilized causing damage to the Unity Crystals after their hate made the instability of the magic much worse.

It's also because of the Unity Crystals that earth ponies can now use magic, meaning they have much less incentive to feel inferior to the other pony tribes and are therefore far less susceptible to the influence of hate propaganda about the other tribes. Furthermore, the ponies are now in a much better position to fight back against Opaline than they were during the time of Twilight’s reign. This was no happy accident, as Twilight showed with her message that she knew ahead of time that earth pony magic would activate, calling magic more powerful than it’s ever been. She knew from facing Opaline that she couldn’t be defeated unless ponies in future generations had access to stronger magic...as well as a strong alicorn to lead them.  

Without the Unity Crystals, where would Sunny Starscout be? They not only gave her a reason to push on with her quest to reunite all of ponykind, they also made her an alicorn. However, a convenient coincidence that this happened, I think not. After all, Sunny lives in the place where the Unity Crystals were meant to be brought together and the episode of Tell Your Tale, Starscout Code, reveals that she and her friends are part of a prophecy. Yes, Twilight even knew from her own experiences that this strong alicorn who would lead the ponies in the future would also need friends. That prophecy is also something that Sunny and her friends would have only been able to put together through exploring Zephyr Heights and Bridlewood Forest and using earth pony magic.  

Take a moment to muse over all this. Can you appreciate just how much thought and care Twilight actually put into her plan for the generations that would follow her? The level of foresight she had? And then can you look back at what so many believed about her and think that her creation of the Unity Crystals was just some reckless action of a desperate despot? Or can you accept the fact that she did all this because she deeply cares about Equestria? I’m not writing from the standpoint of an apologist. I’m not writing in defense of Twilight. I’m writing to laud Twilight. To honor her for saving Equestria from a villain none could defeat with her own magical prowess, keeping the magic safe for generations, and giving the future generations the resources they needed to save Equestria from this villain themselves. All of this was accomplished through the creation of the Unity Crystals. I rest my case.

Conclusion

This is where what I know for sure will be my most controversial MLP essay yet ends. I’ve never made any promises to always play it safe, there’s a time and place to take risks. I already know this writing is not going to change the minds of people who will never accept G5, but I'm confident it can change your mind if you genuinely wanted to give G5 a chance but were dissuaded from doing so by G5 criticisms rooted in fallacies. Honestly, however, this isn’t even really about G5. I’m more or less just incredibly tired of the pretense that a character who will always have a special place in my heart was done dirty by what has clearly been done in honor of her. The creation of the Unity Crystals is far from Twilight’s greatest folly, it is actually her greatest accomplishment yet.   

Edited by CloudMistDragon
Added images.
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  • 1 month later...

From one 2011-ponyfan-who-loves-G5-to-another, this is a super cool theory and I love the effort you put into articulating it! I don't have a detailed reply for you right now (I hope to write one later) but wanted to bump this thread to give it some well-deserved attention.

I hope others take the time to read this too because the penultimate point:

On 2023-04-07 at 12:59 AM, CloudMistDragon said:

Take a moment to muse over all this. Can you appreciate just how much thought and care Twilight actually put into her plan for the generations that would follow her? The level of foresight she had? And then can you look back at what so many believed about her and think that her creation of the Unity Crystals was just some reckless action of a desperate despot? Or can you accept the fact that she did all this because she deeply cares about Equestria? I’m not writing from the standpoint of an apologist. I’m not writing in defense of Twilight. I’m writing to laud Twilight. To honor her for saving Equestria from a villain none could defeat with her own magical prowess, keeping the magic safe for generations, and giving the future generations the resources they needed to save Equestria from this villain themselves. All of this was accomplished through the creation of the Unity Crystals. I rest my case.

really drives it home how G5 doesn't assassinate Twilight's character at all. This theory is, as you so articulately put it, well supported by canon and does a lot to reconcile the perceived lore gap between the generations.

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Oh, I see you cross-posted this to your blog, where you got a very thoughtful comment from @Props Valroa.

I'm quoting that below because I think this whole theory works better in the forum format than the blog format and I think their response is well worth reading and adds to the discussion. As a future tip, I think you may have seen better results with responses to this theory by posting it in only one place (this thread) and then making a short blog post linking to the thread (as opposed to pasting the same text in two places, which splits attention and makes readers have to decide which version they'll respond to).

 

On 2023-04-07 at 9:32 PM, Props Valroa said:

@CloudMistDragon

Taking a read of this, above all, I commend your effort and thought you put into this theory. It is extremely interesting to read.

My problem with G5, is not G5 itself - but how it is written. The concept of G5 being a seemingly post-apocalyptic outcome to G4 is something I find to be compelling. My problem is that the "Downfall" of the old Equestrian order happens so soon right after the conclusion of G4 in the canon. If I was to personally suggest anything to the writers, it would be that Opaline comes about at least a few hundred years after Twilight assumes power over Equestria, that way, everything the characters in G4 doesn't seem to be in vain. My problem with the canon, is how Opaline seemingly comes about right after Twilight becomes leader of Equestria, leading to the downfall of how things once were. That timing just doesn't add up to me, at all, and the fact it's canon to me just shows that the writers like to shoehorn in a ton of world impacting events into a small timeframe. This seems very strange to me. I have not read the G5 comics, and knowing how the comics were separate from what was shown on screen - I do not know if it is the same case here or not. 

My biggest problem, is the unity crystals being some sort of cliche "let's all work together and the magic will work right", even if that is what the show itself is about, just feels cliche to me. We have seen the trope of having different races, etc, coming together for some utopian dream in MLP and other genres so much, it's very hard for it to impress me. If I remember correctly, when the ponies have magic and are fighting, there is some anomalous magic that breaks loose - this seems to act as another measure to enforce the cliche. When ponies fight, there is (X disaster) that occurs relating to magic, enforcing the narrative that they have to work together. Let's think for a moment if that wasn't the case. The ponies fight over their differences, and it's far harder to convince them to work together as a result, why not have it so the act of convincing the ponies to work together has far greater weight and meaning to it, rather than it being enforced by the magic itself? 

If Magic was created, and contained in the Unity Crystals - wouldn't it have then also gotten rid of Opaline's long lifespan? I am assuming, of course that the long lifespan that alicorns enjoy is based on their magic. If the Unity Crystals is the source of magic in G5, and it being absent for so long, where does Opaline's long lifespan come from, alternative to that? If the Unity Crystals truly do contain all of the world's magic, than surely there could be some way to release the world's magic back into the world itself rather than within a seemingly unguarded artifact - that's another question I have too, why are the Unity Crystals under so little protection? Why doesn't Opaline come by herself and take it - since Misty doesn't seem to please her? Doesn't all of the world's magic being contained within a physical artifact seem rather dangerous, knowing that it could be physically destroyed, stolen, or corrupted using other types of magic to suit anyone's whim?

These are just general questions, you don't have to answer them, as they are things only the writers themselves know. I may have misread or misunderstood things in G5, so it is entirely possible that I misunderstood some things.


Your interest in Twilight Sparkle is fascinating, though in my personal opinion, I wouldn't have had Twilight Sparkle or G4 connected to G5 in any other way other than mythology. Having the potential for Twilight Sparkle or the Mane 6 to still be "alive" is something I am anticipating, and it is something that I will not personally like to see. G4 is in the past. Let it rest in the past. I do not wish for the writers to lean too hard into nostalgia or sentimentality by coming up with some pillar-esque arc in which the Mane 6 were frozen in time and brought back to life or something of that sort. Seeing Twilight Sparkle in the G5 pony style has felt rather uncanny to me, to be honest.

As for Sunny, I don't consider her an alicorn. She may have alicorn magic, but she isn't physically ascended into becoming one. Her wings are temporary - and not fixed. For that reason, I don't consider her a "True" alicorn" like the others were. I do like how Sunny has been portrayed thusfar, however. 

This is all just my opinion, though. I just have so many questions about G5.
 

 

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