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Synopsis:

Twilight Sparkle’s birthday is coming up, and Spike wants to get her a new telescope for it. He goes to Canterlot and meets with Princess Celestia for help, and she refers him to the best telescope maker, Starry Eyed. Unfortunately, he’s out of lenses and the best can only be found on Crystal Mountain. Since Spike will be forced to go alone, Princess Celestia clears her schedule and elects to go with him. Over the course of the trip, the two get in a discussion about how neither of them are used to this; Spike is normally the sidekick and Celestia is normally the “teacher”. They end up getting captured by Rock Lobsters, but Spike gets them out by showing his ability to devour rocks, leading the creatures into thinking they’re next if they don’t let them loose. After getting out, Spike asks Celestia why she didn’t just use her own power to get them out of it. She answers that she could have, but she knew Spike wanted to be an adventurer himself and let him do it. She ends up admitting that out of the numerous threats and foes the Mane Six have faced over the years, she could have stopped many of them herself, but didn’t because she wanted Twilight Sparkle to have the chance to grow. The two finally make it to the top of the mountain, Spike gets the lenses, and they begin to descend only for one of the nearby volcanoes to start erupting. Through a series of mishaps, the two end up stuck in a cave with a large boulder blocking the way. Spike can’t move it, so Celestia ends up blasting it, explaining a teacher also has to know when to step in over a problem too big to be handled without her. The two return, the telescope is made, and Twilight’s birthday is a huge success. Spike suddenly coughs up a scroll, and finds it’s from Celestia to him, talking about how it’s nice that “roles can change” from time to time, especially how someone you hardly know can become a friend.

Review:

One of the hottest topics for debate and fanfiction finally got a comic that addressed it head on.

The biggest thing you can probably get into an argument about in MLP:FIM’s fandom is the value of Princess Celestia. There are some that think she’s this great, noble, and pure alicorn godess. There are others who think of her as one of those star athletes who’s well past her prime and now going on reputation. Still others feel she’s effectively useless as a character, too weak to handle anything on her own. And then, of course, there are the “Trollestia” callers…ones who think she’s basically forcing Twilight Sparkle to do all of her work for her and getting a laugh out of her misery. To be honest, there’s very, very little support for the first theory in the show or even the IDW comic. As I pointed out in earlier reviews, Celestia has been responsible for helping save the day twice: once in the Season Two opener and again in the next episode, “Lesson Zero”, when she undid the Want-It, Need-It Spell. She barely appeared in Season Four, and what times she did was effectively useless, especially with her “derp” moment against Tirek. At the time of writing this, we are four episodes into Season Five and Celestia has yet to even appear outside of the credits.

This arc actually attempted to tackle the issue head-on. Although there’s a plot and action, this arc is mostly all about the dialogue between Spike and Celestia where the topic is brought up straight to Celestia: why didn’t you step in and save Equestria instead of having Twilight Sparkle doing it? And what’s the answer?

Well, it’s not as profound as one might think. It’s definitely not too incredible, there’s no magic reason for it, and it’s basically what every fan was kind of thinking deep down in their hearts. I can see how numerous fans might not think of this as a very good reason. Ultimately, whether you think Celestia’s reason is good or bad depends on the light in which you view the show.

Me? Well, I realize that this show is not only not principally about Celestia so her character naturally has to be in the background for a great deal of it, but that it’s about Twilight Sparkle and her friends and their growth. As a result, I find the answer to be somewhat fitting. Celestia isn’t out to immediately save the day herself every time something comes up. She wanted all along for Twilight Sparkle to grow to the point where she would become an alicorn herself and eventually the “Princess of Friendship”. And if you see things in that light…hmm…yeah, you can understand why Celestia doesn’t like to do things that much. Her goal was for Twilight Sparkle to grow into that point, and she wouldn’t have done that if she had done all of Twilight’s assignments for her.

Ultimately, the “friendship” aspect of this comic is overshadowed by this compared to the interactions between Spike and Celestia. Honestly, Spike has had opportunities on the show to grow and show his value. It’s Celestia who needed them. And the “big answer” in this comic doesn’t account for times in which Celestia’s information has indeed seemed to be a bit mean spirited (such as in the Season Three premiere), crazy (“Keep Calm and Flutter On”), or just plain wrong (Season Four finale). But…it does do a little more for her image.

So why this might not be the big cosmic answer we were all looking for and may not make us see Celestia in too terribly a new light, I give the writers credit for at least tackling that problem. It deserves some points for that.

Fun Facts:

Appleloosa…apparently has a duke. O_o

The same secretary OC Celestia had in her micro-series is in this one. Her name is Raven.

As another nod to how Celestia doesn’t like always doing things the “easy way”, note that she walks most of the trip.

Celestia signs her scroll to Spike: “Celestia”, not “Princess Celestia”.

Rating:

3 Stars out of 5

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