Theory: Origin of the Starburst Symbol

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Status High Consensus
Author Seán D. Walsh
Date of creation September 25th, 2020


The Starburst Symbol that’s commonly found on Mario’s Planet is originally from space, and was brought to Mario’s Planet when the Mandibugs settled in the Lost Kingdom.


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  • Argument 2: The Honeybees and the Mandibugs are unfriendly neighbors according to Honey Queen. In the later missions of the Honeyhive Galaxy, the Honeybees are practicing ground pounds (the most effective way to defeat Mandibugs) on springs with starburst symbols.

  • Argument 3: Rocks with the Starburst Symbol are stated to have just recently fallen from the sky in “Trouble on the Tower”, around when the Mandibugs arrived, implying that this level depicts a coordinated Mandibug attack. This leads to the full-scale Mandibug attack in the stage “Big Bad Bugaboom”.

  • Argument 4: the Starburst symbol is said to have originated in the Lost Kingdom according to Super Mario Odyssey’s brochure. These brochures are written from the perspective of a person on Mario’s Planet however, who would have no idea if the symbol had appeared in space before it came to the Lost Kingdom.

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  • Argument 5: Trapeetles, found in the Lost Kingdom, appear to be relatives of the Mandibugs. They’re stated to be the “guardians of the ruins” (the ruins that feature the Starburst design). They have similar concentric circle-styled eyes to those of the Mandibugs. They also have antennae & mandibles, another trait shared with Mandibug Species. Their spiked bodies and suction cup-like legs are nearly identical to those of Swaphoppers, another Mandibug relative found in the Rightside Down Galaxy. Trapeetles’ Japanese name is also very similar to the Japanese names of the Flipbugs and Swaphoppers. The biggest difference between the Mandibugs and Trapeetles is that while Mandibugs appear to be wood-based creatures, Trapeetles are metallic. This may suggest that Trapeetles may have had an upgrade from their wooden roots.

  • Argument 7: Wooden contraptions in Puzzle Plank Galaxy function in a very similar way to the stone structures found in the Lost Kingdom. Both of these feature the Starburst Symbol.

  • Argument 8: while almost definitely coincidental, the Lost Kingdom brochure of Super Mario Odyssey tells its readers to “Puzzle over the odd mechanics of these strange ruins.” This could be taken as a nod to Puzzle Plank Galaxy, the home of the Mandibugs.