Well, it finally happened. After months of speculation, leaks, then an official announcement, we’ve now witnessed Twilight Sparkle become an alicorn princess. What did I think of how it was pulled off? Aesthetically not too bad, story-wise exceptionally lifeless and didactic. It was as if the whole “destiny” part was an afterthought compared to the milieu of colorful, dancing, well-choreographed ponies. It’s a disappointing end to a very haphazard season to say the least. But alas, that’s not what I’m here for, that subject matter is for another time. I’ve come on behalf of the Devil as his tenuous advocate, and say that Alicorn Twilight can be a force of good for this show. Not that she will be, but that she can be.
After going through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief regarding Twilight becoming an alicorn (I’m pretty sure a lot of people invested in this show did the same), I eventually came across this quote by Soviet rocket scientist Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky:
“A planet is the cradle of mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”
Ponyville for better or worse was our (and the Mane Six’s) cradle for three seasons. We, alongside them, lived, loved, laughed, and learned about the magic of friendship along the way. Sure sometimes the moral of the story was obvious, but the way each episode traveled toward that destination was unique and wonderful. However, do you honestly expect them to stay forever in the cradle? Especially Twilight, who would be relegated to lifelong studentdom with no actual end in sight?
A radical change was needed to move us and the series forward. Stagnancy leads to decline, and if a show (especially a popular one) cannot inject itself with something so to ignite new ideas and new frontiers, then it may be consigned to the dustbin of history. Did that necessitate Twilight having to become an alicorn? I don’t know, she was only that in the last part of the episode. What I do know is that it did inject the show with new possibilities and opened up the door to the proverbial undiscovered country. Anything more along the lines of Twilight being promoted to Celestia’s master apprentice, or anything of the sort where she’d still be a unicorn would have not changed anything. She’d still be the perpetual student, always learning but never going full speed toward new frontiers.
At this point it seems moot to even debate whether it was a good idea, it’s a fait accompli. What matters is what they do with it. Story Editor Meghan McCarthy said the production crew is developing a mythos to go along with Twilight’s new status, and suffice to say we have to wait and see what they do with it before condemning it entirely. It is not what happens that makes things bad, but it’s what you do with it that helps to either ameliorate the sudden change into something livable, or more importantly to make it enjoyable. Take heart because while Twilight is an alicorn, the core dynamic of six main characters is for the majority part unchanged. There’s no Cousin Oliver to add to liven up the show, they’re sticking to the team that works. There is also a writing crew that isn’t afraid to leave Twilight out of the loop in some episodes, so we may not have to deal with seeing her all the time. There are 26 upcoming episodes and a direct-to-TV movie for us to enjoy, so long as they address the alicorn issue in a way that makes sense and is acceptable (as well as address other issues rushed episodes and, more importantly, season 3’s Rarity episode deficit). Finally, and most importantly, there is already a rich world built into the show. A world that may give way to rousing adventures that would be impossible without Twilight being an alicorn, material to make us believe this change led to truly out-there stories that we could not fathom happening if Twilight was just her old self.
However if one or all these factors (especially the last one) is not the case, then all this pomp & circumstance may be all for naught. For the moment though, give them the benefit of the doubt. You at least owe the production crew (a surprisingly class act, no matter what comes their way) that much. If they impress you and things are okay, stick around. If they don’t, then well…there it is, too bad.