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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.

Sub-Trope of Animate Inanimate Object.

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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ojarumaru: In series 19 episode 30, "Kazuma ni amaetai Tamae", a pair of shooting stars, brothers Nagareboshi and Tamae, visit Earth and see Kazuma and Ojarumaru. Nagareboshi wants to be piggybacked like how Ojarumaru is, but Tamae struggles to give his younger brother a satisfying piggyback ride.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: A star creature with human-like legs appears in Season 6 episode 44 and is shown to have the ability to fire energy beams, as well as to fly and teleport.
  • The Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf season Dear Little Wish features anthropomorphic stars as characters, among them the elderly Grandpa Meteor whom the goats help to write down everyone's wishes.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Solaris is an evil sentient artificial sun from the DC One Million event and All-Star Superman.
    • JSA: Aquarius is a rogue living star responsible for the death of Golden Age Black Canary's husband.
    • Superman: Rao, the sun of planet Krypton, contains a giant cosmic entity of the same name who used to be worshiped as a god.
      • Rao is briefly seen in an issue of The Sandman (1989), along with other personifications of stars, at a party where the guests are other gods and members of the Endless.
  • Doctor Who (Titan): In the Twelfth Doctor comics, the Hyperions are an evil race of sentient stars.
  • I Hate Fairyland: In the first issue, Gert slaughters a group of stars, who are shown to be able to speak.
  • Marvel Universe: Several characters are stars, and one theory is that literally all stars in the MU are sentient:
    • The Defenders: Cloud 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.
    • Doctor Strange: Apalla, a creature who aided Doctor Strange for a story arc in Doctor Strange 1974. She used to swear "by the Grand Nebular", whatever that is.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: 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.

    Films — Animated 

    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.


  • The Chronicles of Narnia: 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.
  • 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.
  • The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett has a living sun which, along with a sentient ocean, is seeking an intelligent gas.
  • 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 Howl's Moving Castle, Calcifer the fire demon is actually a fallen star who made a contract with Howl.
  • Almalik, the central node of the massive Hive Mind in The Starchild Trilogy.
  • 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 Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon, stars turn out to be living, intelligent organisms of a sort, as do the nebulae which preceded them.
  • 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.
  • In The Zodiac Series, the Original Guardians were all fallen stars, given mortal form to guide the humans settling their star system. By the modern day, all are long dead and have returned to the stars...with one exception.

    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.
  • In Andromeda, crew member Trance Gemini is eventually revealed to be the living avatar of a sun. Specifically, the sun in the Vedran System. All her kind are avatars to different suns.

  • 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.

  • The sun often depicted as a god in different religions around the world (Ra, Helios, Sol etc.) Of course, these cultures generally didn't realize that the sun is a star.
  • In the Bible, angels are called stars. The implication is that the stars in the sky are literal angels or manifestations of angels in space. They are implied why humans worship the stars through astrology.
    • The Bethlehem Star is called an angel
    • Christ Himself is called the Sun of Righteousness, and He is also called the Angel of the LORD before He became man, so the Sun may be a literal manifestation of Christ.

    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).

    Video Games 
  • Dota 2: Phoenix only looks like the fiery bird that is its namesake; it's actually a living star taking A Form You Are Comfortable With. This is made more apparent by its ultimate, which has Phoenix going supernova and, true to the creature it embodies, being reborn in the explosion.
  • Fallen London: The stars (including our Sun) are the gods of the universe, where they are also known as Judgements. They use their light to impose their own laws, the very laws of physics, upon everything they shine upon. In the timeline where Sunless Skies takes place, they are slowly being killed off.
  • Ristar: The protagonist is an anthropomorphic star creature.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Stars are used throughout the series as powerups, important objects and symbols of power, and it's fairly common for them to be portrayed as living beings in their own right.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: The story's true villain, the Dark Star, is a living, malevolent celestial object that fell from the sky in the distant past.
    • Mario Party 3: In the story mode, the main organizer of the competition is the Millennium Star, a silvery sapient star who is "born once a millennium".
    • Paper Mario 64: The star spirits are living beings in the form of cartoon stars with faces, who are held captive by Bowser. In-game lore even states that young stars are "born" and raised in Starborn Valley.
    • 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.
    • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars: Geno is a sapient star sent to collect the star pieces. He possesses a doll to fight alongside the rest of the party.

    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.
  • 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.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • The now-deleted original SCP-1548, also known as "The Hateful Star", was a sentient star that intended to destroy all of humanity, and it was heading our way. However, in the tale "Video Killed The Radio Star", it reverted directions, and its anomalous properties made it collapse and implode. There's now also a page for SCP-1548-EX which subverts this trope, saying that the Foundation misinterpreted random noise as threats. The star was perfectly normal and burnt out before reaching Earth.
    • The replacement SCP-1548 implies the sun is sapient as it begins generating thaumaturgic patterns and mass ejections which generate a shell around the solar system. The Foundation finds out too late the shell was meant to both hide and protect the solar system from extradimensional invaders which have devoured all other stars in the universe.
    • The SCP-001 Proposal has sunlight turn anyone exposed into horrific blob monsters that worship the sun and try to convert everyone else. It's heavily implied that the sun was sentient and actively chose to do this, but not outright confirmed in the original file. Some tales set in this canon have the sun be malevolent, but others make it a natural event. One even suggests the sun was trying to protect humans from the original SCP-1548, but didn't understand the consequences of its actions.
  • 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