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Sentient Stars

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Ah, the stars. They've fascinated skywatchers throughout all of human history. Now, it's been well established that a good way of highlighting how other your fantasy world is is to put a different sky above it. And as it happens, one of the recurring methods of doing this in fiction is to make the stars literally living entities, optionally ones who can take human form and come down to Earth. The details of how these beings act vary wildly through fiction; sometimes they're fairly human, sometimes they're horrific otherworldly Eldritch Abominations. Either way, one major underlying implication of this trope is that our understanding of the universe is nowhere near as sophisticated as we'd like to believe.

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See also Celestial Body (where a character visibly resembles a constellation), Stars Are Souls, The Face of the Sun, and possibly Genius Loci. Sinister Sentient Sun is a sub-trope.


Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • Several characters in the Marvel Universe are stars, and one theory is that literally all stars in the MU are sentient:
    • Cloud, briefly a member of The Defenders, was a living nebula, a celestial body that becomes a star, that came down to Earth and took on the form of a recent car crash victim.
    • Apalla, a creature who aided Doctor Strange for a story arc. She used to swear "by the Grand Nebular", whatever that is.
    • The Guardians of the Galaxy's Star-Lord's origin story involves "the Master of the Sun", the ruler of our own system's star. Eventually, though, that was revealed to be a ploy; he was just some kind of evil lizard alien thing.
  • The DCU
    • Rao, the sun of planet Krypton, contains a giant cosmic entity of the same name who used to be worshipped as a god.
      • Rao is briefly seen in an issue of The Sandman, along with other personifications of stars, at a party where the guests are other gods and members of the Endless.
    • Solaris is an evil sentient artificial sun from the DC One Million event and All-Star Superman.
    • Aquarius is a rogue living star responsible for the death of Golden Age Black Canary's husband.
  • In the Doctor Who (Titan) Twelfth Doctor comics, the Hyperions are an evil race of sentient stars.
  • In the first issue of I Hate Fairyland, Gert slaughters a group of stars, who are shown to be able to speak.

    Fan Works 
  • Triptych Continuum: The Sun is alive, and can communicate and give advice to Celestia, if she wants to connect to it. But doing so is dangerous.

    Folklore 
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    Literature 
  • As seen in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the stars in the sky of Narnia are alive. Every so often they get tired of shining and take a break by coming down to Narnia in human form. Which can actually interbreed with normal humans. In The Last Battle Father Time calls them all down when it's time to bring an end to Narnia.
  • The main character in Stardust promises to find a fallen star and bring it back to a girl he's courting. When he actually tracks the star's point of impact into Fairyland, it's a rather sharp-tongued young girl named Yvaine.
  • In A Wrinkle in Time, some stars are sentient enough to join in the fight against the Black Thing. The protagonists witness one star go supernova in a Heroic Sacrifice to fend it off, and Mrs. Whatsit mourns the loss of her previous life as a star.
  • Frank Herbert's ConSentiency series novel Whipping Star. During the course of the story, Saboteur Extraordinary Jorj X. McKie discovers that the alien creatures known as Caleban are the physical projection of intelligent stars.
  • Almalik, the central node of the massive Hive Mind in The Starchild Trilogy.
  • In Dogsbody, all stars have living spirits. The spirit of the star Sirius is framed for murdering a dwarf star, and banished to Earth to search for a vital piece of evidence — and, in the process, forced to be reborn as a mortal... a mortal dog, to be precise.
  • In Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, stars turn out to be living, intelligent organisms of a sort, as do the nebulae which preceded them.
  • The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett has a living sun which, along with a sentient ocean, is seeking an intelligent gas.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "42", a living star tries to take revenge on the crew of a mining ship after they use an illegal solar mining device to extract fuel from its core.

    Magazines 
  • During The '60s, a periodical children's digest titled Humpty Dumpty Magazine ran a series of panel comics called "Twinkle, The Star That Came Down From Heaven." Twinkle is described as an actual star, though he's less than six feet tall. His head has the classic five-point shape atop a body with a harlequin pattern. Twinkle likes to comes to Earth and assist forest animals and stray pets. One story arc introduced Compy (a shortened form of companion star), who looked very much like Twinkle, just smaller and prone to mischief.

    Religion 
  • The sun often depicted as a god in different religions around the world (Ra, Helios, Sol etc.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Star Pact Warlocks in Dungeons & Dragons 4e make Faustian bargains with the stars themselves, which are horrific Lovecraftian nightmares living in "the Far Realm" (where D&D's more bizarre and otherworldly monsters come from).
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    Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • In Paper Mario 64 the star spirits are living beings who are held captive by Bowser.
    • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel feature the Lumas, tiny living stars that expand into entire worlds when fed enough star bits, then collapse into black holes, and then become Lumas again, in an endless cycle of reincarnation.
    • In Super Mario RPG Geno is a sentient star sent to collect the star pieces. He possesses a doll to fight with the rest of the party.
  • The stars (including our Sun) are the gods of the Fallen London settings, where they are also known as Judgements. They use their lights to impose their own laws upon everything they shine upon. As of Sunless Skies, though, they are all slowly killed off.
  • The protagonist of Ristar is an anthropmorphic star creature.

    Web Original 
  • All stars in Nebula are sentient, and the Sun is one of the main cast members. He's depicted as an enormous humanoid being with skin made of fire and his head the physical Sun itself. He has a fiery temper and a domineering personality, though he sees it as his duty to look after the rest of the solar system and does his best to protect it from outside threats.
  • The SCP Foundation's SCP-1548, also known as "The Hateful Star", is a sentient star that intends to destroy all of humanity, and it's currently headed our way.
  • Nina from Rain Quest is an anthropomorphic star. Considering that she spent her life drifting through space alone, it's unknown whether or not the other stars are alive too, but considering that the game takes place in a world where all the characters are anthropomorphized objects seen in the sky, it's possible.
  • The eponymous Star Powers, which are sentient, masquerade their energy patterns as regular stars.
  • Starwalker: The fact that this is true is important, because Star Killing happens in the story, due to the protagonists, by way of the star step drive.

    Western Animation 


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