Cleaved (Star vs. the Forces of Evil)
"Two shows with final seasons many consider "divisive" at the very least and if they're blunt, "Horribly botched disasters"... fitting they ended on the same day then lol"— The Rise & Fall of Nickelodeon
"Cleaved" is the thirty-seventh and final episode of the fourth season of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and it marks the series finale.
Star and Marco face their final conflict after Star announces her choice to destroy all magic.
Why It Should Be Cleaved Away
- Being part a bigger problem with the four-part finale, including this final episode, as it wouldn't happen at all due (also being a bad plot twist, as well) of her mother, Moon, is somehow literally can't let go of what Eclipsa did on her from the final couple Season 3 episodes, despite beginning to knowing that Eclipsa's daughter–then-now called by from her–Meteora (formerly Miss Heinous), was that giant monster, attacking Mewni and "couped" the Mewni throne as the rightful heir, to the real Butterfly dynasty. Was resulted in her becoming the bigger main anti-villain/antagonist in the four-part finale, for this confusing reason.
- What makes matters worse is that in the end, they act like Moon is okay, even though she messed up BIG TIME.
- The finale (including the final previous three episodes that make up, a four-part finale) feels like an hour-long season finale instead of a series finale.
- Similar to "Phantom Planet", it’s also very rushed!
- Plus, the promos for the finale didn't help to treat it like this either.
- Destroying magic is a terrible thing to do to stop Mina, Furthermore Star outright commits GENOCIDE and easily gets away with it which is especially shocking because this is an action normally done by the VILLAINS. Sure, death is prohibited in kids' cartoons like Invader Zim. But how did Disney not prohibit the idea of killing every single magical being the fans all loved off?
- Star and Marco become an official couple, which just clichéd because BFF couples became overused in cartoons (especially throughout the 2010s) including Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable from Kim Possible, Lincoln Loud and Ronnie Anne Santiago from The Loud House, Manny and Frida from El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, etc. Most of the aforementioned couples were much better uses of BFF pairings, this couple here is just rushed. Not to mention this was also demanded by very vocally toxic Starco fans!
- The ending was rushed, where are the other supporting characters of the series such as Jackie and Janna? It just ended with Star and Marco saying "hey" to each other.
- Star is extremely selfish. She doesn't show any care or sympathy over the lives she ended due to the destruction of magic, her only concern is that she won't be able to see Marco again. If this was her idea of destroying magic all because it’s a problem for everyone (it’s how people use it as a problem) and didn’t care about the world in danger now that magic is gone, then she’s the unintentionally true main antagonist of the finale!
- And because of this, Toffee was killed for nothing!
- Star’s decision to destroy magic is completely hypocritical as she does it partly because of the bigotry against monsters but she fails to take into account that she is wiping out beings who are made of magic and most of them look like monsters as Star herself pointed out in a season 3 episode. By doing this and saying that she now hates magic, she came off as racist towards magical beings.
- The genocide Star commits combined with the revelation of Toffee being right makes the season 2 finale and the acclaimed Battle For Mewni Arc completely pointless.
- Mina is not killed or arrested in the ending, she instead runs to live in the forest claiming her ideas will continue, meaning she is still a threat!
- This is also another attempt by writers these days to force mercy on children viewers.
- The poor writing has unintentionally made Mina appear sympathetic. As much as she's is portrayed as being a hate-filled irredeemable fanatic, seeing her past as a shy lowly peasant girl who got infused and mind broken with magic and being the only one of her kind makes her present persona quite tragic especially as it was never made clear whether she truly hated monsters or it was introduced and amplified by the permanent effects from Solaria's magic. And after centuries of being dedicated to Solaria's cause, her hero and the one who made her a Solarian warrior, she finally meets her ghost and begs her for help only to receive a death glare from her and left to be drowned by the Unicorn.
- The finale is emotionally manipulative as it includes intense scenes such as Marco being stabbed by a cursed unicorn head only to brush off the curse and be healed moments later.
- The cutaway scene that shows Rhombulus and Omnitraxus dead as portraying it positively is unfunny and distasteful given that they were both victims of Star’s genocide and before that, their characterizations were completely butchered in the final season by turning them evil out of nowhere.
- The finale along with the last season also completely tarnished Lekmet’s legacy and made his sacrifice, which was supposed to be heroic be in vain.
- Sequel baiting: Although this is supposed to be the series finale, this episode leaves a lot of plot threads dangling, creates multiple plot holes, and raises more questions than answers. And due to the extremely negative reception this finale received along with the fact that the creator of show cannot take criticism, many of these threads and other possible paths to continuation of the series will never be resolved.
- An unfortunate implication, as shown in the end that some civilians are running in terror about Earth and Mewni being combined. Which can cause even more fantastical racism/speciesism (Humans (and latter extant anti-Monster Mewmans) against Monsters (and latter extant pro-Monster and natural Mewmans)) and a global species/race war to start. Causing the remaining Human governments, militaries, or EVEN organizations like NATO and the UN to get involved as they will see that the Monsters exist!
- Hypocrisy: This episode and some episodes before have portrayed Mina’s attempted genocide as bad and wrong yet the writers chose to have Star commit a genocide herself on magical beings and portray that as good and no big deal. Star stopped Mina from committing genocide by committing genocide on a different species.
- Overall, this was a horrible way to end an otherwise good cartoon.
- Technically, Star's insane plan to destroy magic, including her heritage wand's powers, was unfortunately justifiable, if her mother didn't make this fanatical race war happen.
- Star and Marco aren't permanently separated, which is very touching.
- The finale is open-ended, leaving the potential for fan fictions and future series to pick up where it left off.
- Star and Marco staying in the crumbling Realm of Magic together was touching.
- Good animation and voice acting as usual.
- To die-hard fans, it might be considered a satisfying, if not complete, finale.
- The creators are now finally working on a feature film finale to hopefully tie up the series better.
Many fans, cartoon critics, and even people who aren’t fans of the show online consider this one of the worst, if not the worst series finale in television on par with Game of Thrones (season 8)'s finale (which coincidentally also aired its series finale that same day). Some have even gone as to say that they wished the show should have never been story-driven in the first place.
Despite the finale being critically panned, Daron Nefcy defended it during a Reddit AMA weeks after the finale's airing, saying that she wrote an ending she was happy with, and rudely dismissed the legitimate criticism by saying that the fans feeling it was rushed was just them "unhappy" it was ending and wanting more, but that statement angered the fans further as it revealed that she cannot take any criticism of her show whatsoever.