For many people, the ‘Teen Titans’ cartoon from the early 2000s was their first introduction to DC lore beyond the basic members of the Justice League. A solid mix of western and eastern animated styles, the show enjoyed clever writing, relatable characters, and one of the most iconic voice casts in the history of the medium. And one of the biggest jewels in the show’s crown was Starfire, the alien princess from the planet Tamaran who was still trying to get used to this whole ‘living on Earth’ thing, but was determined to protect her friends and maintained her sunny disposition in the face of a metric ton of adversity. Voiced by Hynden Walch, the character was a beacon of hope in a usually pretty dark show.
She always made an effort to be upbeat and was a key piece of the team. But there were a lot of things about her that were, for lack of a better word, odd. Some of her weird mannerisms and nonsensical traits can be attributed to her alien heritage and upbringing, but there were several instances when it was more a matter of the writers being liberal with their creative freedom than any semblance of internal logic. While they can never drown out the popularity and enjoyability of her character, it’s worth examining just a few things about Starfire that simply don’t make any sense whatsoever.
24 How Did She Get Her Costume?
The episode “Go!” in season 5 was a late-game origin story detailing how the five core members of the team first assembled. In the narrative, Starfire first came to Earth after escaping her Gordanian captors but she is shown wearing a set of armor under a black version of her more well-known uniform at the time. By the end of the episode, she has changed into her usual purple two-piece with absolutely no explanation as to how she acquired it.
23 Why Didn't She Wear Her Crown?
In the episode “Betrothed” in season 3, it was revealed that the royal family of Tamaran is marked by a face-framing headgear, the same kind that Starfire’s sister Blackfire was seen wearing in her first appearance. Later, it’s shown that Starfire was wearing the same kind of crown when she came to Earth only to abandon it when she changed to her more traditional garb. But as a proud member of the Tamaranean race and of the royal family, why wouldn’t Starfire wear her crown more often.
22 Why Is Her Hair Neon In The Spin-Off?
While it is reviled by fans and is still considered a subpar spin-off of the original show, ‘Teen Titans Go!’ is still on the air and even got a feature-length film out of the deal. Though it made many, many changes to the original show, one of the only real physical changes was the color of Starfire’s hair, which was changed from a rich scarlet to an annoyingly bright pink. While the general color palate of ‘Go!’ was much brighter than the darker original, this color change really has no actual purpose.
21 Why Does Her Entire Society Wear The Same Clothes?
In “Betrothed,” viewers got their first look at Starfire’s Tamaranean society which she’d been talking up for the majority of the series. While the architecture and geology of the planet were suitably alien, one of the defining traits of her people were that they all seemed to wear the same combination of matching purple outfits. This is a pretty standard archetype of alien societies as it further demonstrates how different they are from humans, but it still doesn’t make sense.
20 How Did She Beat A Powered-Up Blackfire?
The rivalry between Starfire and her older sister Blackfire came to a close in their fight on Tamaran over the throne. During the battle, Blackfire’s alien powers were augmented by the Jewel of Charta which made her measurably more powerful than her sister. Nevertheless, Starfire prevailed in their battle through sheer force of will, as these things tend to go. But there’s no real explanation given as to how she was able to overpower Blackfire and therefore no reason why she should have won.
19 Why Is She So Naive For Her Age?
One of Starfire’s defining characteristics is her naivety. She generally is willing to believe the best in people and takes them at their word, even if it doesn’t make sense to her. While this has endeared her to fans of the show, it really doesn’t make sense when you learn that she’s far from a curious child. In fact, she’s over 150 years old. Granted that’s in Tamaranean years and it's likely their planet has a faster revolution period than Earth, but it’s still weird that she’s so unknowledgeable at her age.
18 Why Didn't She Have Some Of Her Powers From The Comics?
Starfire’s powers not only make her stand out among her teammates, but are pretty cool in their own right. Flight, invulnerability, and super strength are all par for the course for superheroes, but her laser vision and signature starbolts are unique to Tamaraneans in the show. But in the comic source material, she had a handful of other abilities that, for whatever reason, never made it onto the show. For example, she can control her body temperature to the point where she can melt steel with a touch. That never showed up in the cartoon.
17 Why Didn't She And Robin Get Together Sooner?
While it was hinted at for a good portion of the show’s run, Robin and Starfire only cemented their relationship in the TV-movie series finale. This makes sense seeing as Robin was such a tight-laced leader that he rarely let his emotions come into play. But Starfire was always an emotional being as he powers were directly tied to her feelings. If she was aware of how she felt about Robin, why didn’t she make a play sooner? They could have been dating for entire seasons before the show ended if she had.
16 How Did The Team Fall Apart Without Her?
The episode “How Long is Forever?” is perhaps the most heartbreaking of the show’s run. In it, Starfire is jettisoned years into the future. There, she discovers that without her presence, the Teen Titans fell apart and most went off to live sad, pathetic lives. But while Starfire is undoubtedly a valuable member of the team, it’s never explained how losing her led to the team’s disintegration. For example, how can she be blamed for Beast Boy going bald in his old age?
15 Why Are Her Powers Inconsistent?
Starfire and Raven’s power sets were explained to audiences early in the show during the episode “Switched,” wherein the two girls traded bodies ‘Freaky Friday’-style and had to adjust to each other’s abilities. Starfire explained that her powers come from her emotions, with a different positive emotion fueling a different power. But if that’s the case, how is she still able to fly when she’s too sad to feel “unbridled joy?” It appears that her powers aren’t so much tied to her feelings as they are to writers’ convenience.
14 Why Wasn't Wildfire Used In The Cartoon?
Though the ‘Teen Titans Go!’ spin-off comic series of the original cartoon didn’t have any real impact on the show, one bit of trivia that fans often miss is that Starfire and Blackfire had a long-lost younger brother named Wildfire. Wildfire made a brief appearance in the comics, but it turned out to be a ruse by Madame Rouge. However, this still left a huge element to Starfire’s character unresolved and could have made for an entire Starfire-centric season had it been used in the cartoon.
13 Is She A Savant?
Despite being unfamiliar with Earth culture and not being a particularly fast learner, Starfire is clearly proud of her alien heritage and loves to celebrate Tamaranean holidays and sing Tamaranean songs (which generally involve a lot of screaming.) But at one point she makes the offhand remark that she has completely memorized the 6000-verse Poem of Gratitude. How can she have such a remarkable memory but not remember how conjunctions work? Either Tamaranean schooling is stricter than anything humans can imagine or she’s intentionally holding out.
12 Did She Force Her Sister Into Marriage?
A major plot point in “Betrothed” was that the alien Glgrdsklechhh was promised Starfire’s hand in marriage, but that didn’t work out. As a throwaway joke at the end of the episode, Blackfire expresses disgust in the blob-like alien who apparently tries to hit on her as a rebound. However, in the animated short ‘Blackfire’s Babysitter,” it’s shown that not only did they eventually get married, but had a litter of kids together. Based on their interaction in “Betrothed,” the only way they could have gotten together would be if Starfire somehow had a hand in it, perhaps as punishment.
11 What's Up With Her Growing Up?
The transition from childhood to adulthood is never easy for anyone, but it is especially difficult for Tamaraneans, who suffer a quick, bizarre, and unique transformation. For Blackfire, it was merely turning purple for a couple days, but Starfire wasn’t so lucky. She slowly gained more and more hideous traits over the course of several days before entering a chrysalis state that is apparently an alien delicacy. Talk about a hormone imbalance. Fortunately, the whole ordeal is wrapped up in one episode, but it never addresses the evolutionary course that Tamaraneans had to take to develop this process.
10 Why Does Silkie Never Grow Up?
One of the best innovations of the original ‘Teen Titans’ cartoon was Starfire’s pet mutated larva Silkie. Acquired from Killer Moth after his defeat, Silkie was a comic goldmine and demonstrated Starfire’s nurturing personality. However, Silkie was a baby giant mutated moth who, over the course of several seasons, never seemed to age, crystalize, or undergo metamorphosis. In retrospect, this was a huge missed opportunity as seeing Starfire try to come to terms with a giant Silkie having to leave the nest would have been a touching moment.
9 Why Can't She Learn About Earth Culture?
It’s implied that Starfire has been chilling on Earth for some time in the cartoon, long enough at least for Titans Tower to be built and for the Teen Titans to be an established team. So why is it that she still gets surprised and confused by Earth customs and traditions? She has an established friend group with enough variety to keep her in the loop about pretty much every facet of Earth culture but she still has trouble adjusting after all this time.
8 Why Didn't She Return To Tamaran?
Among her many powers demonstrated in the show, Starfire is shown to be able to fly and survive in the vacuum of space. While that is unusual in and of itself, it’s also some pretty standard superhero nonsense. What’s really weird about it is that it means Starfire could return to Tamaran at any time after she escaped from her Gordanian captors. Instead, she chose to remain on Earth with the rag-tag group of misfits she eventually became friends with, leaving her people in the dark as to their princess’s whereabouts.
7 Why Was Her Flaming Hair Left Out?
Starfire has always had a number of defining physical characteristics from her green eyes to orange skin, but one of Starfire’s most unique traits in the comics is her big, curly red hair that turns into pliable flame when she flies fast enough. For whatever reason, this was left out of the cartoon, possibly for convenience as it would have been very difficult to animate it into all 63 of the episodes Starfire shows up in. Still, it feels like a loss considering how cool it would have looked.
6 How Do Her Allergies Work?
As a gag, the cartoon establishes that Starfire, as well as Tamaraneans in general, are allergic to chromium and suffer from explosive sneeze attacks as a result. In the show, they make it sound like chromium is a rare substance and doesn’t affect Starfire often, but in reality chromium is an ingredient in stainless steel, one of the most common industrial metal alloys in the world. So Starfire should be blowing up entire blocks with her violent sneezes anytime she passes a stray screw.
5 How Can She Cook Alien Food With Earth Ingredients?
One of the running gags of the show was Starfire’s passion for sharing her culture’s culinary exploits with her friends who routinely had to hide just how disgusting they found her cooking. But how was she able to keep cooking alien dishes when she was supposedly marooned on Earth? By design, Tamaran was vastly different from Earth and didn’t share any flora or fauna, so she couldn’t have been able to improvise based on similar tastes. Then again, this is a girl who drinks mustard like soda so clearly she has a different set of taste buds.
4 What Exactly Are Her Starbolts?
One of Starfire’s key powers are her starbolts, bursts of green energy that she and seemingly most Tamaraneans could throw from her clenched fists. After their puberty cycle, they can even shoot similar energy blasts from their eyes. But it’s never explained exactly how starbolts are generated or what they consist of. Are they photon blasts? Do they have some kind of fire or heat base? Are they semi-sold plasma disks? Any of these could be the case but it’s never confirmed what they are or where the energy required to create them comes from.
3 How Does Her Internal Anatomy Work?
Despite being an alien from a completely foreign planet, Starfire shared the same general anatomy of a human. But it turns out that similarity is only skin deep. On the inside, Tamaraneans have nine stomachs. It’s unclear just where they’re stored as Starfire is pretty fit as far as cartoon characters go, but the fact that she’s got nine of them floating around in her intestines somewhere means that it’s likely the rest of her physiology is equally as strange.
2 Why Did She Trust Blackfire?
Starfire was initially excited the first time Blackfire showed up on the ‘Teen Titans’ cartoon. She greeted her sister as just that and even briefly struggled with some inadequacy issues before her Blackfire’s treacherous nature was revealed. However, in the canonical comic spin-offs, it was revealed that it was Blackfire who sold Starfire into captivity in the first place. With that in mind, why would Starfire be overjoyed to see the sister that betrayed her? The obvious answer is that it was a retcon, but it’s never addressed.
1 Why Does She Say "The" Before Every Fifth Word?
A defining trait of Starfire’s speech pattern was a verbal tick where she’d arbitrarily insert the contraction “the” unnecessarily before certain words. While it was initially pretty endearing, it got played out pretty quickly and eventually became a parody of itself that they’re still leveraging in ‘Teen Titans Go!” But Starfire learned English by kissing Robin, which supposedly transplanted the entire language into her mind. She should have as good a mastery over the language as him. So why doesn’t she understand how basic, elementary school grammar works?