NOTE: This is spoiler #63 sent in by Brentage5000.
The movie starts with an old man (voice of Ian McKellan) narrating about how there is much more in the world than is believed. For instance, approximately one hundred and fifty years ago, a young boy wrote a letter to the national observatory of England asking if stars were able to look back at us as we looked at them. The men at the observatory sent a letter back to the village, known as Wall Town, saying in as polite terms as was possible that such a thing was impossible. However, these men were very wrong.
Cut to the specified time. A young man named Dunstan Thorn is walking through his village, Wall Town. He is heading for a local marker known only as the wall. Supposedly, the area behind the wall is home to beings of great power engaged in an eternal magical struggle. However, when Dunstan encounters the guard (David Kelly), he points out that there's nothing over there but a field. Undeterred, Dunstan waits until the guard is facing away and then leaps through the gap. He makes his way to Market Town, a quaint little trading post full of all sorts of odds and ends, only the odds are very and the ends are likely quite painful. He runs into one fortuneteller/witch named Ditchwater Sal (Melanie Hill) who tries to hawk some novelty goods at him, but he won't buy. She then starts telling him things she couldn't possibly know -- stuff that happened to him when he was a kid -- and mentions how she might have something somewhere else for him and goes off. Meanwhile, her assistant/slave girl (Kate McGowan, who shall be known as SG whenever possible) starts talking to Dunstan and mentions how she's held captive by a magical chain that will only break when its chainer dies (nice effect). Regardless, the two flirt enough for a one-night stand, and SG gives Dunstan a kiss goodbye. He heads back across, but nine months later, the guard finds a package for Dunstan left beside the wall -- little Tristan Thorn.
Fast forward 20 years. We see Tristan going about his daily routine of getting hassled in the shop where he works, daydreaming, and pining over the beautiful and wealthy town daughter Victoria (Sienna Miller). Unfortunately, his pining -- which consists of the classic "throw a rock at her window and hope it doesn't break it" -- is regularly interrupted/trumped by the wealthier and stronger and all-around great (ha!) guy, Humphrey (Henry Cavill), who when seeing Tristan outside Victoria's house one night proceeds to duel with him with his cane against Tristan's...long stick. After Tristan gets whipped (metaphorically....i think), he goes home and is unable to be comforted by his dad (Nathaniel Parker). Things get worse the next day when he is fired from his job as a shopboy for giving all his attention to Victoria when there were about five other people ahead of her in line, one of whom was already being waited on BY HIM! Despite this, Dunstan is pretty understanding and emphasizes the difference between shopboys and boys who work in a shop, claiming that Tristan is definitely the latter.
Meanwhile, in a castle on the other side of the wall, the king of the land known as Stormhold (Peter O'Toole) is dying. His four remaining sons (the other three are dead, and his only daughter, Una the youngest, was kidnapped and disappeared long ago) have all gathered around him. They are, in order of age, Primus (Jason Flemying), Tertius (Mark Heap), and Septimus (Mark Strong), and they are shortly joined by the second-eldest, Secundus (Rupert Everett). Talk turns to discussion of succession and after Secundus gets pushed out a window courtesy of Primus and joins the ghosts of the other dead brothers behind the king's bed, the king (without even blinking at what just happened) says that the only way to determine who the heir will be (since he can't choose) will be to take the symbol of the royal kingdom -- a blood-red ruby -- and launch it to....somewhere, and whoever finds it will be king. Then he dies.
Elsewhere, far above the planet, a star has started to fall. It is cruising along pleasantly enough when it crashes into the necklace and begins an immediate downward course for Earth, catching the eyes of everyone, including Tristan, who has managed to get Victoria to come out with him, and three witches living somewhere in the wilderness. Tristan, who has so far only managed to unearth the news that Humphrey has asked Victoria to marry him, says that he would do anything to prove his love for her, even cross the wall and get that star. She laughs at him at first, but when she realizes that he's serious, takes him up on it, giving him one week. Meanwhile, in the middle of the forest, the star has finished its journey and smashes into the ground, creating a huge crater at the bottom of which is two things -- the diamond, and a girl, who is barely moving but seems far from badly hurt. Back with Tristan, he's going about getting through the same way his father did, only this time the guard breaks out some wicked kung fu moves on him and hands the boy his ass with a side of potatoes (and in a galaxy far away, Yoda is saying, "Taught him well, I did."). As Tristan goes back home, we see the three millenia-old-and-it-shows witch sisters -- commanding Lamia (Michelle Pfieffer), blonde Empusa (Sarah Alexander), and round-faced Mormo (Joanna Scanlon) -- freaking out over the arrival of the star, saying that their ticket to youth has come again, since the last heart is almost gone (they need to eat it -- yikes).
Immediately, they begin laying plans, locating the star and figuring out who will go by picking guts out of a dead badger (heart wins). Lamia cheats a little and takes the heart, and her sisters begrudgingly give over the rest of the last star's heart, and she takes it and turns into a younger, much more beautiful version of herself....which then drops trou and gloats at what she now has that her sisters are lacking. Once that's done, she packs up and gets moving.
Back with Tristan, his father is talking to him, and reveals the story of how he was born and how his mother left him by the wall in a basket for Dunstan to raise. In the basket with Tristan were a letter saying he was stronger and more important than he knew, a candle, the piece of chain that Dunstan cut, and a glass flower (kind of a white tulip with its head pointed downward and a question mark shaped stem), which according to the letter offers protection. He smiles and holds the candle, asking his dad for a light while putting the flower in pocket. Dunstan lights it, and in a burst of flame Tristan is transported out of the wall and through...something. Meanwhile, in the crater, the star, Yvaine (Claire Danes), is slowly getting her bearings and looking around when suddenly super-Tristan comes crashing down on top of her. After a bit of confusion, two things get revealed -- the candle was a Babylon candle that transports the holder anywhere instantly so long as they think of it ("I knew that," says a clueless Tristan), and the girl is the star, which prompts Tristan to lasso her and start bringing her back to Victoria. Unfortunately, Yvaine isn't moving, and the argument continues long into the night, which doesn't bother her at all, since stars don't sleep at night.
Meanwhile, Lamia is scouring the wood when she runs into Ditchwater Sal (remember her?). After a brief pissing contest, the two start to talk about why they're each there and once a few drinks have been provided by SG (who's kept as a blue jay when not serving), Lamia lets slip her purpose, where she's going, and why she's doing that. Her eyes rise and she realizes she just had some truth potion, and makes Sal forget all about her and curses her to neither see nor hear the star if she should cross her path. As she finishes the spell, she sees her skin begin to rot, and her sisters telepathically warn her to be careful about how much magic she uses. Despite this, she's soon back at it, transforming a farmboy named Bernard into a goat and stealing his cart and real goat for transportation, and then later that night stopping and changing the cart into a fully-decorated inn. Back with Septimus, we see him killing a soothsayer who was apparently working for Primus before setting off once again on horseback while Primus himself posesses the horse-and-carriage. As for our "hero", he is struggling to deal with a tired and complaining Yvaine. Among her complaints is her utter incredulity at why he's doing this, since Victoria, by his own admission, never really gave a sign that she loved him in return. Finally, he consents to let her rest by a tree while he goes on ahead to the next village to get food, although he promises to come back.
That night, Lamia has turned the goats back into human, though Bernard has undegrone a sex-change in the process (he especially enjoys the new breasts). She says that the goat is Billy the innkeeper, she is his wife, and Bernard is their daughter. Meanwhile, Yvaine is impatiently waiting for Tristen, and getting more frightened by the woods noises when up pops a unicorn. It releases her from the chain and takes her away moments before Tristen returns and finds her gone. The unicorn takes Yvaine to the inn where she gets a room as Tristen contents himself to sleep in the dirt....until the stars show him what happened to the last star and tell him that Yvaine is in danger. He wakes up and hears an approaching coach, which....doesn't stop, but he hits it hard enough (with his face) to make it stop, and its driver, Primus, eventually concedes to help him out. Meanwhile, Yvaine is slowly being pampered and is starting to glow steadily (literally -- stars do that when they're happy, apparently) under Lamia's ministrations. They are interrupted, however, by the arrival of Primus and Tristen (though Yvaine doesn't know this yet). While Tristen and Billy tend to the horses, Lamia is busy trying to subtly kill Primus. When he refuses a drink, she summons Bernard and sends it out to Tristen, who almost drinks it but is saved by the unicorn, who shows him that its eating a hole through the floor. Back inside, Primus and Yvaine have been talking as his dead brothers watch, and they see the stone hanging around her neck. Eventually Primus notices, but before he can do anything he gets his head chopped off and joins his brothers on the other side of the room (still in the raw, i might add). This plus Tristen's arrival on the unicorn THROUGH a wall clue Yvaine in, and Lamia summons a circle of green flame which torches the unicorn and surrounds Tristen and Yvaine. He holds out the candle, tells her to close her eyes and think of home, and as Lamia screams in fury, they vanish....
....and end up stuck in a cloud, shouting at each other about how they each thought of two different homes and are now stuck halfway between (and with Yvaine still in a bathrobe, no less). Their problems are solved (sort of), however, when a net overtakes them and drags them to the deck of a flying ship, where a bunch of pirates surround them menacingly before throwing them in the brig. Eventually, we see them being interrogated by the leader of the group, Captain Shakespeare (Robert DeNiro), who threatens to throw them both overboard....or hang them...or just let the crew at them. After a few more threats and no clear (honest) answers, Shakespeare throws Tristen out a window and drags Yvaine to his private chamber...where we see Tristen waiting, although he is missing a few clothes. It seems that the whole "tough-guy pirate" thing is a put on, because who would honestly believe that the son of the most fearsome pirate in the sky was gay? Shakespeare shows them into his fashion wardrobe (VERY extravagant ...and flamboyant) and while Yvaine picks out a nice dark-blue dress with short black shoulders, no sleeves, and black stripes on the side of the chest, Shakespeare gives Tristen a complete makeover.
Back on the ground, Lamia is stuck in her search until the kids return to the ground. Septimus, meanwhile has found his latest dead brother, but is upset that he still isn't king since he hasn't found the stone. He has, however, found the left-behind Bernard (not a woman anymore), who spills everything about everything. As soon as Septimus realizes this would make him king forever, he determines to find the star too. As their hunt intensifies, Shakespeare and his men are putting in at a trading dock where they trade caught lightning for money. As they're waiting and Yvaine (who got dragged along) are watching, Ditchwater Sal wanders in, and it looks as if her and the shopkeep "know" each other. The group goes back out and sees Tristen waiting on the ship, here identified as Shakespeare's nephew. After "giving" Tristen Yvaine as a "gift", they set sail again, and start enjoying things -- Shakespeare gives Yvaine dancing lessons while giving Tristen swordfighting lessons, and once they've both exceeded him and are having a dance a couple nights later as Tristen watches, Shakespeare whispers to a glowing Yvaine that he knows what she is, but that no one here will harm her. He then hands her over to Tristen, and the glow returns, brighter than before. The next day, the boat puts down at a dock about sixty miles from the wall and after one last whispered bit of advice to Tristen, the pair are off, with Tristen saying that it should take them two days....which would get them in town the day after Victoria's deadline. They get interrupted by a random cart, and Tristen pushes Yvaine into the bushes and dives on top of her to hide/protect her, although he is a little slow to get up, and her glowing again seems to indicate that she doesn't exactly want him to. When they start moving again, they find the now-mobile Sal and Tristen asks if they can have a ride to the wall. She says in exchange for the glass flower, she'll give a ride to the wall. He takes out the flower, and she transforms Tristen into a mouse and puts him in a cage, with Yvaine being completely ignored (remember the curse?). As Sal drives the coach, Yvaine sits in back talking with mouse-Tristen, asking if he can understand him while he gestures for some cheese. She complies and then admits in a beautiful scene that she is falling in love with him and unlike Victoria, who won't promise anything back, all she asks in return is for his heart too, since he already has hers. Meanwhile, we see Shakespeare on his boat dressing up in drag as his men go about the ship when Septimus arrives, seeking information. While Shakespeare dances to the classical music playing (friggin HILARIOUS scene -- they could just show this and it would be worth the price of admission), his men hold off everyone...except for Septimus, who has snuck into the captain's cabin and is watching the most fearsome pirate ever dancing like a ballerina on crack. Shakespeare stops when he sees Septimus and cringes, but his men burst in and cause Septimus to make a quick exit out the window. His men ask if he's alright, and when he weeps about his ruined reputation, the first mate steps forward and admits that they...kind of already knew, which cause Shakespeare to get all weepy, raise a fist, and weepingly give a half-hearted yet fully-meant, "Arr."
That night, the carriage stops in Market Town, the village from the beginning, and Sal lets the mouseified Tristen out. She gives him directions back to the wall and turns him back, warning him not to exert himself as Yvaine stands uselessly by. As soon as he's human again, Tristen draws his sword....and collapses. Yvaine drags him to a nearby inn, the Slaughtered Prince (natch), and gets a room for them there, saying they need to be rested for the journey back to Victoria tomorrow. As she's taking a bath and Lamia's sisters let her know that the star is showing up again, Tristen spies on her, and acts like a little boy when caught. She jokingly chastises him and throws on a robe, and he admits that he heard what she said, and....well, we'll let them have their privacy. The next morning, Tristen wakes up, looks at Yvaine, and cuts off a lock of her hair, which he puts in an improvised envelope. He gets dressed and goes downstairs, asking for a pen and paper, but the half-asleep manager yells at him to come back later. He tells the guy to tell Yvaine if she wakes up before he's back that he has gone to see Victoria and say that he has found his true love and wants to be with her, but the manager just grumbles. Sighing, Tristen walks out and heads for the gap in the wall. He crosses, avoiding the guard, and heads for Victoria's house. He knocks on the door -- eventually, after putting a rock down -- and Victoria answers, not recognizing him at first. She smiles and he gives her what he calls a part of the star, but she says that doesn't matter. Meanwhile, Yvaine wakes up and is looking for Tristen, but thanks to a mixed message from the manager, she thinks he went to be with Victoria and is heartbroken, wandering the streets while heading in the direction of the wall, not hearing the background shouts of the slave girl, Una, who after a little tomfoolery gets the coach heading towards the wall. Meanwhile, Victoia and Tristen's reunion is interrupted by Humphrey, who sighs and breaks out his cane....then puts it away once Tristen breaks out his much bigger sword. He shakes his head and says that Humphrey can have Victoria, who lets out a surprised sound when she sees that the envelope has nothing but stardust in it. Tristen's eyes widen as he comprehends the full meaning of this and the likelihood of what Yvaine is doing, and he is off like a shot.
Meanwhile, Yvaine is about to cross the wall when Una stops the carriage in front of her and warns her about what will happen. They get interrupted first by the waking up of Sal (who still can't see Yvaine, remember), and then by the arrival of a once-again decrepit looking Lamia, who torches Sal and then uses another chain to tie Una and Yvaine together and takes them captive. She takes off just as both Septimus and Tristen arrive, and after the guard spills what happened and says he's been guarding against the wrong side, Septimus and Tristen agree to work together, even though neither really trusts the other. They all end up at the castle of the sisters, where Una gets loose as the sisters are drooling over Yvaine. Septimus gives Tristen a rousing speech to the effect of, "Stay out of my way and I won't kill you," and charges forward bravely. Empusa the blond goes on the attack but Septimus manages to pin her to a wall through the chest, and she dies. Lamia takes a voodoo doll out of her pocket (that looks suspiciously like the one used on Darryl Van Thorne in Witches of Eastwick) and after bending a couple limbs completely out of joint tosses it in a bucket of water, effectively drowning Septimus, at which point the seven brothers lament the fact that they now have to live with each other forever. Meanwhile, Una manages to escape cover (and be recognized by the ghosts -- seems she was the princess) and get to Tristen, and after a brief reunion, Tristen forces her outside to safety. He shows himself and Mormo goes for him while Lamia tends to the now-reluctantly-glowing Yvaine, but Tristen is able to slice open some badger and wolf cages and sic them on her. He heads for Lamia, and they fight with her using two black glass shards as swords, but after a minute, she gets the better of Tristen (and Yvaine's glow fades). She brings the sword down...and cuts Yvaine's bindings, saying it's pointless now, with her sisters dead and all. She tells the two to run, but before they get outside she bars the door and laughs at their gullibility, since what good is a star heart that's broken? Thinking quickly, Yvaine tells Tristen to hold her close and shut his eyes. He does, and she glows brighter than ever before, incinerating Lamia in the resultant heat blast. They break apart as Una comes rushing in, and as the girls exit, Tristen pauses to pick up the white stone, which turns blood red once again, as he is, with his mother's princessness, the last male heir of the Stronghold kingdom, and....
We see a coronation ceremony taking place filled with people, most notably the pirates of Shakespeare and the unhappily married Victoria and Humphrey. At the center of it all are Yvaine and Tristen, the newly crowned king and queen of Stormhold. Una leaves the side of Dunstan, who is also there, and presents the new rulers with a gift -- two Babylon candles, to be saved for when they're necessary. The two go on to rule for more than eighty years, since Tristen did have the heart of a star, and thus would be very long-lived. Eventually, once their children were all fully-grown, and they all had children of their own, Tristen and Yvaine at last lit their candles and retired to Yvaine's home, where they still shine brightly together and in close proximity today.
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