(above photo, left to right: Shane Houghton, Marieve Herington, Chris Houghton, Daron Nefcy, Eden Sher, Adam McArthur, and Esmé Bianco)
Star vs. The Forces of Evil‘s 4th Comic-Con panel this year was shared with another Disney newcomer series, Big City Greens, which recently got a second season renewal from Disney. In attendance for Star vs. The Forces of Evil were series creator Daron Nefcy; the voice of Star, Eden Sher; the voice of Marco, Adam McArthur; and the voice of Eclipsa, Esmé Bianco. For Big City Greens, sitting in were series creators and brothers Shane and Chris Houghton, who also voices Cricket, and the voice of Tilly, Marieve Herington.
The Star portion of the panel didn’t have much to reveal since season 3 just finished airing. McArthur humorously kept insisting that his character, Marco, dies (which anyone who has watched the season 3 finale knows is not true). A clip from season 4 was shown with Marco, still alive, and Star battling using magic without her wand. Season 4 won’t start airing until 2019. That was the only ‘big’ reveal Nefcy would give in the panel.
The rest of the Star panel was spent promoting the new book Disney’s Star vs. The Forces of Evil: The Magic Book of Spells, coming out this September. It is a real-life version of the book Star had on the show, covering all the past queens of Mewni including Eclipsa’s Forbidden Chapter. As it turns out, Eclipsa’s Forbidden Chapter is a guide for dating various monsters, a few lines of which were read by Bianco for the audience. Since Star didn’t have the book for long, she didn’t get much chance to write any spells in it before losing the book to Ludo, so her chapter mostly chronicles her life on Earth in diary form. Sher read a few passages as Star, which included a darling photo of little Marco when he was 6 years old as well as some thoughts about him, much to the dismay of Marco (who objected via McArthur).
The Star portion panel ended in spectacular form with Nefcy allowing McArthur to do the one thing he has always wanted to do since the first Star panel in San Diego: break actual bricks on stage. Past Star panels have mentioned that McArthur is a black belt in several martial arts in real life, and apparently he’s always wanted to show this by breaking bricks. McArthur actually brought several real bricks for breaking. The audience went wild, naturally.
(video courtesy of Carlos Balderas)
Next was Big City Greens‘ turn. Since Big City Greens is a fairly new show to Disney XD, Shane Houghton quickly summarized the show about a country family that moves to the big city, seen through the eyes of brother and sister, Cricket and Tilly. New episodes of season 1, which is approximately 30.5 hours long, will continue to air through August. Clips were shown from the unaired episodes including the full half-hour Halloween special for later this year. Some preliminary sketches of Tilly were also shown, drawn by Chris Houghton back in 2014, which showed Tilly looking more like a bulldog with several jowls. Another artist gave Tilly her current cuter jowl-less look.
Shane and Chris explained that they both grew up in the country, which served as the inspiration for their show. Tilly was based on girls in 4-H clubs throughout the country who do a variety of activities from quilting to science projects and raising animals. Herington came on board the show in 2015 as Tilly’s voice. The Houghtons wanted Tilly to have a lower register and speak in monotone, and Herington came up with Tilly’s voice on the spot. The Houghtons thought Herington’s rendition of Tilly was absolutely perfect.
Chris Houghton and Herington then did a live reading of “Cricket and Tilly Go to Comic-Con” which surprisingly turned into “Cricket and Tilly Go to Comic-Con and Meet Star, Marco, Eclipsa, and StarFan13” with the whole panel! Naturally, Star’s group entered via dimensional scissors.
After the reading was Q&A with the audience. The first question was for Daron Nefcy asking if Star and Marco would actually address their unanswered feelings toward one another given recent events in the last few episodes in season 3. Nefcy would only answer that we should watch season 4. The next questioner asked if the actors had any fun in the recording booth. The Houghtons said that when Danny Trejo recorded for them, the booth was so hot that Trejo actually took off his shirt and went shirtless for the rest of the recording session! Nefcy said she always enjoys voicing StarFan13, but her voice thrashes her throat. Sher said she loves making up songs for Star to sing when the script calls for it, such as “Burritos” which is just a little tune with ‘burritos’ as the only lyric. Sher also said that she and McArthur usually don’t record their lines together due to scheduling, but she does love working with McArthur when they get the chance. Bianco said she loved figuring out how Eclipsa sounded when she was eating the Snickers bar from the vending machine.
Another questioner compared Sailor Moon and Star vs. The Forces of Evil, saying she loved the fact that Star and Marco’s parents knew mostly what was going on with their kids while none of the parents knew what was actually going on in Sailor Moon. Nefcy replied that she had watched anime for kickass female leads. The next questioner wondered how does one create great female role models. Nefcy answered that one should write realistically and not make characters perfect. The Houghtons added that giving a character a distinctive trait also helps.
The winner of a handcrafted Star wand from WonderCon asked the voice actors to pick spirit animals for each of their characters. Sher said Star would pick warnicorn. McArthur said Adam would pick an eagle. Bianco said Eclipsa would pick a 3-eyed crow. Chris Houghton said Cricket would pick a dog. Herington said Tilly would pick a falcon owl. Nefcy said StarFan13 would pick a platypus.
Another questioner asked what was the inspiration behind Eclipsa’s looks. Nefcy said storyboard artist Justin Lee drew the first sketches for Eclipsa. The next questioner asked if there will be a Star album soundtrack available. Nefcy said the show’s composer, Brian Kim, has uploaded some music clips from the show on SoundCloud, and Nefcy hopes that someone on Disney is listening to these requests as well.
The final questioner wondered if Eclipsa actually planned for all the events that occurred in season 3 for the ending in the finale. Nefcy again just answered we just had to wait until season 4 comes out in 2019.The thread view count is