|“||When the crown and its power are mine, Twilight Sparkle will be sorry she ever set hoof into this world... not that she would've been much safer if she'd stayed in Equestria.||„|
|~ Sunset Shimmer|
Sunset Shimmer is the main antagonist of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and a major protagonist in the sequels, some of the short films, and web series. She is Twilight Sparkle's arch-nemesis and Snips and Snails' leader and boss.
She is voiced by Rebecca Shoichet, who also provided Twilight's singing voice.
|“||I deserve to stand beside you and be your equal... if not your better. Make me a princess.||„|
|~ Sunset Shimmer to Celestia.|
Sunset's backstory is explored deeper in the comics. Here, it is shown she had a very troubled and apprehensive relationship with her mentor Princess Celestia, which explains her descent into evil (though she was already extremely cynical, arrogant, traitorous, self-centered, tricky, and antisocial, thus her mentor's short patience with her). Sunset had previously appeared in the form of a toy and as an NPC in the MLP Gameloft game. In both versions, she was merely a neutral character and not a truly evil one. Sunset's desire was to gain princess hood and have everyone in Equestria recognize her. However, she felt Celestia's tutelage wasn't getting her anywhere fast enough. During the night, she took it upon herself to do research on the crystal mirror Celestia had shown her some time ago. Just as she found information about the mirror, Celestia and two royal guards arrived on the scene. At first, Celestia tried to console Sunset, but Sunset retaliated by demanding to be crowned a princess. It was then Celestia saw that Sunset lacked all the qualities needed to be a true princess, and deemed the young unicorn unworthy of such a status. Celestia then expelled Sunset from the school, banished her from the castle, and had the guards escort Sunset out. Sunset told her former mentor that this would be the greatest mistake ever made, but of course, it was only one of many. When the chance came, Sunset took the guards by surprise and jumped through the mirror—emerging as a teenage girl on the other side.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
|“||Twilight Sparkle wants to be your Fall Formal Princess. What does it say about our school if we give someone like this... such an important honor?||„|
|~ Voiceover in an anti-Twilight Sparkle video.|
Sunset Shimmer first appears as the main antagonist in the first film.
Sunset Shimmer steals Twilight Sparkle's element of harmony: her magic crown, and in a tussle with Twilight Sparkle, the crown is thrown into a mirror that acts as a portal to another world, which Sunset goes through to retrieve the crown.
In this other world, she is depicted as a human who mocks Twilight Sparkle when they first encounter each other. They meet again in a dark hallway where Sunset bullies Twilight into being discouraged from retrieving her crown. Several years have passed since Sunset ran away from home. In the past, she drove the human counterparts of Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity apart, but Twilight reunites them.
She tries to keep Twilight from becoming Princess of the Fall Formal, like humiliating her through an Internet video and implicating but Twilight Sparkle still easily beats her in the competition. When this attempt backfires, she makes her henchmen Snips and Snails vandalize the gymnasium and implicates Twilight for it through photoshopped photos. Vice-Principal Luna falls victim to this deception, but Sunset's former beau Flash Sentry exonerates Twilight at the last second and Twilight is dubbed Fall Formal Princess after she and the student body clean and redecorate the gym.
However, Sunset steals the crown from Twilight, puts it on, and transforms into a demonic-looking winged humanoid due to her wickedness in her heart. In this form, Sunset becomes purely evil. With her new powers, she plans to use them and her army of mind-controlled teenagers to conquer Equestria. Sunset attempts to kill Twilight, but Twilight and her friends use the power of the Elements of Harmony to return her to human form. She is reduced to tears and apologizes for everything that she has done and Twilight believes her friends can help teach her the magic of friendship. Afterward, the human counterpart of Princess Luna, Vice Principal Luna, hands her a masonry trowel to repair all the damage that she caused.
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
|“||I don't think anyone is supposed to have all the answers. But you can count on your friends to help you find them.||„|
|~ Shimmer helping Twilight and her friends confront the Dazzlings.|
Throughout the movie, Sunset Shimmer is shown to be a bratty, arrogant, rebellious, manipulative, and traitorous individual. She also doesn't believe in friendship and is unwilling to open herself up for any personal relationships. She frequently insults and belittles others, and thinks little to nothing afterward. According to human Fluttershy, Sunset makes life miserable for "anyone who stands in her way". As a result, much of the Canterlot High student body is afraid of her.
She is also shown to be mainly concerned with gaining power, desperately trying various attempts to get Twilight's crown in order to use its magic. However, she doesn't appear to be willing enough to inflict physical pain on others, or at least not upon small animals (i.e. Spike), claiming that she is not a monster. She appears to be easily irritated and cantankerous when someone else is praised in her presence, to the point of being provoked into attacking them.
When Sunset puts on the element of magic, she transforms into a demonic visage of herself. While in this form, she becomes more dangerous, as well as becoming more ruthless, vicious, sadistic, and power-hungry, and even goes so far as attempting to kill Twilight and take her place. After she is defeated by the Elements of Harmony, Sunset Shimmer becomes immediately repentant and apologizes for her actions, appearing to renounce her prior dishonest and unkind ways. However, she is also overcome with a great deal of despair and regret. Almost everyone now turns their back on her, further complicating her sadness.
In the second film, Sunset Shimmer appears to have changed from her old self and started believing in friendship, becoming friends with her enemies, even Twilight, and she is seen as friendly, kind-hearted, rapturous, humble, graceful, helpful, sensitive, enthusiastic, delighted, caring, brave, selfless, and thoughtful. She also appears to be deeply repentant and remorseful for her actions made at the end of the first film, referring to her altered self as a "raging she-demon". But since that time, she has felt troubled and her mind has become clouded with uncertainty. And no one has yet forgiven or forgotten her past actions. At this point, she runs into Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk. Sunset digs up the journal Celestia had given her and uses it to send out a distress signal. By the end of Rainbow Rocks, Sunset starts writing friendship reports to Princess Twilight using the journal she once used to communicate with Princess Celestia.
In the third film, while Sunset has managed to fully integrate herself into the group and able to take mentions of what she did in the past with good humor, she also harbors a fear of losing her school's newly gained trust, and she becomes deeply depressed when she believes she has let them down, despite their assurances. She also becomes increasingly exasperated by her struggles to understand how magic works in the human world, briefly snapping at her friends at one point. When the human Twilight Sparkle endangers her friends, Sunset's anger explodes as she berates Twilight for meddling with forces she doesn't understand, taking her own frustrations and self-doubt out on her. However, she immediately regrets her harsh words and reaches out to Twilight in friendship by the end of the film.
Powers and AbilitiesThroughout most of the film, Sunset is in human form and devoid of magic, relying on trickery and bullying to get her way.
Her abilities as a unicorn are never demonstrated, but since she was Princess Celestia's personal student, it can be assumed they would be approximately on the same level as Twilight Sparkle's (before the latter became a Princess). Because of her Cutie Mark and her color scheme, it can be theorized she has an affinity to fire magic.
When Sunset Shimmer used the Element of Magic, she turns into a powerful, winged demonic entity with a fiery look. In this form, she has immense magical powers, despite being in a non-magical world. She is extremely proficient with both Dark and Fire spells. She is able to effortlessly destroy walls through the movement of objects, turn her associates into demons, brainwash large groups of people at once, and conjure powerful fireballs. Her only weakness in this form is that the Element is not "loyal" to her since she does not grasp the magic of Friendship. When she tried to destroy Twilight and her best friends rush to her rescue, the magic of the Element refuses to harm them, instead imbuing the friends with power, despite Sunset Shimmer still wearing the crown.
- Sunset is the first major female antagonist in the series who is not a monarch, the second being the Dazzlings and next Starlight Glimmer, Principal Abacus Cinch, and Midnight Sparkle. Notable, none of the Equestria Girls antagonists are monarchs as of now.
- Sunset's defeat is similar in manner to Nightmare Moon. It is even possible that her demon form is the embodiment of her evil side, much like Nightmare Moon is considered the embodiment of Luna's jealousy, exorcised by the Elements of Harmony and purifying both (though it's also believed that the cause of Sunset's redemption was horror at what she became). It also was an homage to the first defeat of the villain in the series.
- Before her redemption, she shared similarities with most of the main villains in the series so far: Nightmare Moon (past with Princess Celestia, seeking to rule over Equestria, and defeated in the same way by Twilight Sparkle), Queen Chrysalis (manipulative, power-hungry, resorts to brainwashing), King Sombra (uses evil magic, seeks to conquer Equestria), Diamond Tiara (the school bully who loves to pick on the protagonists), and mostly Trixie (arrogant, insufferable, uses the power of a magical artifact that gives her immense power at the price of her sanity). She is also similar to Discord in that one of the Mane Six's actions was seemingly able to reform her; Fluttershy for Discord and Twilight for Sunset Shimmer.
- Rebecca Shoichet, who does Sunset Shimmer's voice, also does the singing voice of Twilight Sparkle.
- Sunset Shimmer can be considered as a foil and a dark parallel of Twilight Sparkle due to how many similarities they share. While Twilight was kind, humble and never expected to become an alicorn princess, Sunset was cruel, ambitious and desired to become a princess more than anything.
- Some fans have speculated she is what Twilight may have become had she not discovered friendship and its meaning.
- After starting to believe in friendship, Sunset Shimmer acts more like Twilight Sparkle, being the peacemaker of the group, having insecurities, and developing a worrisome personality. A difference is that Sunset is quite patient with the group's rage while Twilight is still quite temperamental with hers.
- Sunset Shimmer is the first main villain of a part of the series written by Meghan McCarthy who unambiguously survives.
- She is the third villain to be defeated by the Elements of Harmony.
- Demon Shimmer, "she-devil" alter-ego of Sunset Shimmer in her demon form is one recurring symbol of Equestria Girls - being the real villain in the first movie like Nightmare Moon, she was then the reason of Sunset Shimmer being an outcast among the students in Rainbow Rocks, also, she is mentioned and seen in clip "My Past is Not Today" at evil of Sunset. In Friendship Games, her picture, along with the Dazzlings, appears in Rainbow Dash's song to cheer other up. Also, Midnight Sparkle is obviously has the same nature as Demon Shimmer, being the user of twisted power of the Friendship Magic.
- Sunset Shimmer along with the Dazzlings, Principal Cinch, and Gaia Everfree are the only major antagonists to not appear in the two-part Season 5 final "The Cutie Remark," which only included villains who were a threat to Equestria.
- When Sunset turns into a demon, she has an actual tail, as opposed to the other transformations which simply have hair extensions that look like the ponies' tails. The only other transformation to come with a tail is Midnight Sparkle. Of note, both are the only evil transformations in the series (not counting the Dazzlings, whose personalities stayed the same when they transformed). When Sunset turns into both her Anthro form and Daydream Shimmer, she has a hair extension.
- Her singing vocal style is similar to Taylor Swift.
- It is implied that Sunset was into child abuse as it is shown that the Cutie Mark Crusaders obviously cowardly rejects her offer for help in Rainbow Rocks.
- Sunset could arguably be the first rival of Twilight's that can be considered truly evil, though she redeems herself in the end.