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The Real Reason Starlight Is So Important On The Boys

There are as many reasons not to root for the characters on The Boys as there are characters on The Boys. Just about everyone's motives are at best twisted, and at worst sadistic. The show features arms dealers, sexual predators, people utterly broken by their desire for revenge, and literal Nazis. The body count is high and the swear jar is full, no matter which side of the conflict between The Seven and The Boys you're looking at.

Many of the familiar adages about power and evil are applicable here. For The Seven, power corrupts and superpowers are super-corrupting. The Boys, meanwhile, once gazed into the abyss, and the abyss has still not broken off the eye-contact. Abandon all hope, ye who click play, basically. Look upon this streaming series and despair.

It's almost a little too grim, but for two characters who offer a much needed respite. There is still the slightest glimmer of hope in this world, provided appropriately by Hughie (Jack Quaid) and — more interestingly — Starlight (Erin Moriarty). This is why series creator Eric Kripke says the show has chosen to spotlight her among the otherwise nefarious Seven (via Rotten Tomatoes TV).

Starlight has a power no one else in The Seven offers

In the Garth Ennis comic books on which the series is based, Starlight is much more of a supporting character. To make the show work, Kripke said that the writers felt it was necessary to give her a more prominent role in order to balance out the darkness inherent in so many of the other main characters, super-powered and not.

"We really wanted her to be one of the leads because, frankly, for the simple reason that just truly likable characters in this world are really thin on the ground," Kripke said. He singles out Starlight and Hughie Campbell as the show's only examples of characters whose motives remain, if not pure, then at least less tainted than the others. Narratively, these two have to counterbalance the cynicism and malevolence of their respective teams.

Given their unique roles on The Boys, it was maybe inevitable that the two would find each other and work together to try to make the world a better place in a way only they could. Given the show's moral universe and the many forces manipulating them both, it was maybe inevitable that they would end up hurting each other in doing so. 

Fortunately, not even that painful turn could make them lose hope, and that's just the way the show's creative team wants it. Without Hughie and Starlight, The Boys might not be nearly as watchable.