Stardust (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A 2007 film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's book of the same name. While certain liberties were taken, it remains a very faithful adaptation. A young man sets out to find a fallen star for the girl he's in love with, only to find that the "star" has become human...and that three evil witches want to capture her.

Starring Charlie Cox, Claire Danes and Robert De Niro, the film is said to remind viewers of The Princess Bride. Although the movie contains a different ending from the book, it's successful at playing straight many of the often clichéd fantasy elements in an intelligent and entertaining way.

Tropes used in Stardust (film) include:
  • Abduction Is Love: Tristan starts out trying to force Yvaine to come back to England with him to show her to Victoria, then the two subsequently fall in love.
    • Yvaine also gives us this gem, about when she's abducted for love...

Yvaine: But of course! Nothing says "romance" like the gift of a kidnapped injured woman!

Tristan: Couldn't you have done that earlier?

  • Enemy Mine: Sort of. At the end of the film we have a hero / villain team-up (between Tristan and Septimus) to take down a more dangerous villain (Lamia), but the two characters weren't enemies beforehand- in fact, they'd never met (though Septimus did beat up Tristan's mentor, Captain Shakespeare).
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: The 98-year-old Irish sheperd guarding The Wall is somehow proficient in Shaolin Kung Fu in spite of living in 19th to early 20th Century England all his life.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Toward the climax, Septimus vs Lamia.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Subverted twice, then played straight.
  • False Soulmate: Victoria to Tristan.
  • Funny Background Event: When Tristan touches the ruby and becomes king the dead princes are set free. Six of them turn into white balls of light and go up, Septimus' on the other hand turns red and heads straight down.
  • Game Between Heirs: Before he dies, the king of Stormhold announces that his heir will be the one who manages to obtain a ruby he threw into the sky. But it all gets complicated when it crashes onto a star...
  • Gender Bender: The goatherd chap gets this treatment. At least Lamia was good enough to give him a decent rack.
    • Animorphism: Gets this as well - although maybe both at the same time.
  • Greek Chorus: The dead princes.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: In the movie, during the final Boss Battle, Lamia hurls spells and makes rows of windows dramatically explode one after the other but seems persistently unable to hit the protagonists who are running away in a straight line, staying just in front of the explosions. They don't even get a scratch from the flying shards.
    • Arguably Fridge Brilliance. During that scene, when Yvaine and Tristan run away from the exploding windows, they run back towards the witches and away from the only door that they can escape through. So instead of hurting them, the witch just cuts them off and drives them back. Also she needs to cut out Yvaine's heart and eat it, and killing her with broken glass before it's cut out would probably reduce the quality. She' not trying to hit them, shes just terrorizing them For the Evulz.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Captain Shakespeare, he's also a not-so-secret Transvestite.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards:. Tristan's parents might count, though for them it's more that they've been reunited.
  • Hot Mom: Una, since she doesn't age as fast as a human.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In the film, the wall on the border of the magical land is only chest high, yet an old man guards a gap in it.
    • Possibly Fridge Brilliance. Who's to say you'd end up in the same place if you climbed over it than if you went through the gap?
  • Interspecies Romance: Stars and humans. In the book, this means they can't have offspring. In the movie, they have no problem with this.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: The section of Ilan Eshkeri's score (specifically from 3:05 onwards) that plays during the scene at the inn is very similar to Vampire Hunters from the 1992 film Bram Stokers Dracula. Particularly the bass string rhythm.
  • Large Ham: Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare
  • Long-Lost Relative: Una to the princes of Stormhold. Septimus recognizes her before he gets killed off.
  • Macho Camp: Captain Shakespeare.
  • Made a Slave: Twice, to poor Una.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: On this side of the Wall, a star is a giant ball of gas and a falling star is a lump of rock and metal, but on the other side of the Wall stars are immortal women who float in the sky and shine at night (unless someone hits them and knocks them down). A fallen star crossing the Wall turns into a lump of rock and metal.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Bernard checks him/herself out after being transformed into a girl.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The children of the Lord of Stormhold, Primus, Secundus, ... and so on. Una as well, Una meaning 'single' or 'one'.
    • The witches are named after demons from Greek mythology said in some myths to be daughters of Hecate, the goddess of witches.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: The children of the Lord of Stormhold, Primus, Secundus, ... and so on.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Peter O'Toole as the delightfully soft-spoken, black-hearted King of Stormhold, who has encouraged his seven sons to kill each other for years. He is disappointed that more than one of his sons is still standing when he's on his deathbed.

The King: Of my seven sons there are four of you today still standing - this is quite a break with tradition, I had twelve brothers-
Septimus: And you killed them all for your throne before your father, the king, even felt poorly.

  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Michelle Pfeiffer's English accent often slips and sometimes completely vanishes.
  • Opposite Gender Protagonists: Tristan and Yvaine. The trope is used as a vessel for romance. Tristan initially sees Yvaine as a present for his lover Victoria, but he falls in love with Yvaine during their trip back to his hometown. Yvaine comments that, as a star, the violence and wars on Earth make her exhausted, but love gives her faith in the planet, developing the relationship between the two leads. This leads to Tristan rescuing Yvaine after she's kidnapped in the climax.
  • People Puppets: Of the corpse kind. Septimus is animated by one of the witches to engage in a sword fight with the protagonist.
  • Phosphor Essence: Yvaine glows more brightly the happier she is.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Captain Shakespeare's Lightning Pirates don't actually pirate per se, but make a solid living poaching lightning from thunderstorms, so they may be merely The Pirates Who Do Something Else. The career paths of Shakespeare and crew still offer plenty of opportunities to evade the law (Lightning-Marshalls at that), to mass fortunes on the black market and for combat badassery on the high seas in the wild blue yonder, so their Pirate work resumes are still quite aglow.
  • Playing Against Type: Robert De Niro playing a gay pirate captain?
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Presumably the book's Tristran was changed to the movie's Tristan because the latter is simply easier to say.
  • Prisoner of Zenda Exit: Septimus' escape from Captain Shakespeare's ship.
  • Prophecy Twist: Everyone knows that possessing the heart of a star is the key to living forever. Turns out it works just as well metaphorically as literally.
  • The Power of Love: In the movie's ending, anyway.
  • Reality-Changing Miniature: Lamia is able to use a voodoo doll to kill Septimus and then puppet his corpse to fight Tristan.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Seen in the scene where Septimus and his men ambush Captain Shakespeare's boat, in a massive fight, to the tune of the Can-Can.
  • Sky Pirate: Captain Shakespeare and his crew.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Tristran, changing the Bittersweet Ending of the original into a genuinely Happy Ending.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Victoria is a mild example since she's geniunely a stuck-up brat who is sweet to Tristan more out of pity than any strong feelings toward him. However, she does seem genuinely prepared to marry him towards the end, even though she's fallen for someone else.
  • Stealth Pun: When Primus is killed his blood is blue. Whether or not this is true for all natives of Faerie is never addressed, so it counts.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Prince Septimus effectively lobs a sword near the end of the film during the big battle, which hits and kills one of the Lilim.
  • Title Drop: Tristan brings Victoria a lock of Yvaine's hair, which has turned into stardust after crossing the wall. This does not happen in the book.
  • Training Montage: In the movie. Tristan gets a level in badass surgically injected into him by The Captain.
  • Vain Sorceress: Lamia wastes much of her power attending to her looks, which is kind of stupid, as she's casting from hit points, which... makes her look older. Her sisters immediately point this out to her.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Who knew traveling scenes could be so dramatic?
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: Parodied to a wacky extent with the crew. Hilariously subverted with Shakespeare.