Daron Nefcy, the creator and executive producer of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, is really excited about the show’s second season (which begins at 10:30 a.m. on July 11) and so are we.
The first season of the series—about a princess exchange student named Star (voiced by Eden Sher) who wreaks all sorts of magical havoc on our world—was an absolute blast. The series is gorgeously animated and full of heroes and villains; and more than that, it’s relatable. Star is a young girl who is battling the awkwardness of high school (been there), while also dealing with the potential threat of otherworldly monsters (not so much). People really responded to the character and the series itself; there’s a whole wall in the Star vs. the Forces of Evil office, covered with girls dressed up as Star–with hearts painted on their cheeks and demon-horned headbands. To watch Star vs. the Forces of Evil is to become obsessed with Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
But as truly incredible as the first season was, Nefcy says the second season is poised to be even better.
“I’m super excited about season two,” Nefcy told me recently, at her office at Disney Television Animation. “I feel like second seasons for any show are when things really begin to gel. You’ve found out what works and you keep doing it and you do it better. It’s been really great to have this opportunity to keep going with this story. There are 22 episodes in season two so we had a lot longer to play around with the characters. And my crew is so wonderful. I feel like something gelled in season two and everybody has been so awesome and gets the world and gets the characters and gets to run with that.”
She says that in many ways, this season is the fruition of what she wanted to do when she first created the character—while Nefcy was still a student at the California Institute for the Arts. “Star initially was a younger character. She was a girl who wanted, more than anything, to have magical powers. But through force of will she could make things happen, “whether it’s throwing glitter at a bully’s eye,” she said about the original version of the series. “But as it evolved, it was fun to age her up a little. Now she’s 14, she’s a freshman in high school, and the magical powers are real. And all of that stuff went together and led to these bigger magical plots, which I always wanted to do as well.”
Those larger magical plots are something that will feature heavily in season two as well: “It’s gotten more sequential, which is something I always wanted to do. It naturally keeps creeping in that direction.”
As to what else people can expect from the second season of the series, Nefcy promises that you’ll “learn more about Star’s parents and see more of [Star’s home world] Mewni,” and “find out what happened to Star at the end of last season.” (Spoiler alert: her magical wand changed … and it’s unclear whether or not that’s an entirely good thing.) Also in the cards: a new outfit for the highly “cosplay-able” Star (of which fans have already been making their own), and a host of amazing guest stars, including “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, and Patrick Stump, joining series regulars like Eden Sher, Adam McArthur, Alan Tudyk, and Jenny Slate.
One of the things that is really appealing to Nefcy about the second series of the show is that Star is a different character now. “I’m always into a character that changes,” she said. “I think people who have seen all of season one can see the changes the characters go through. I think you need that evolution.”
Nefcy was bowled over by the response to the first season. When I brought up that the character was obviously very personal (Nefcy admits that much of the character is based on her) while also being hugely universal, she said that wasn’t really the intention. “What I set out to do was create a really cool character. I’m really glad that we’re in an era where you can have a flawed female character, a realistic female character,” Nefcy told me. “That’s how it should be. But I don’t feel like I set out to make Star a role model. She’s very much herself and that’s the important thing.” (Star is not, Nefcy insists, a “superhero.”)
As to the look of the show, Nefcy said: “We’ve really tried to make a show that is different and engaging on that level. A lot of people are doing this but I do think that we’re all working really hard to put something unique on TV.” The look is unique; this is a show full of lush traditional animation that is absolutely incredible. And once again, this is pushed even further with season two. “When people see the second season, they’re really going to see that,” Nefcy teased.
In short: everything that you loved in the first season will be back, but bigger and more enhanced. Darcy says this isn’t a response to the fan adoration (since they were already in production on the second season before the first season even aired) but because Nefcy and her crew loved the same things the viewers did. It just happened organically … some might say magically. “We went on air with 13 episodes and a number of difficulties producing the first season,” Nefcy said, somewhat contemplatively. “It was so unbelievable to go on TV and have the response that it had. I’m so grateful to those people and am just thinking, If you like that, you’re going to love this! It’s really exciting.”
Star vs. the Force of Evil’s second season premieres on July 11 at 10:30 a.m.