Warning, this article contains a variety of spoilers for the show Stargirl.
The Cosmic Staff is a six-foot-long powerful weapon created by Ted Knight, its original owner. The staff is also the source of Stargirl’s powers. Not only is the staff incredibly ornate, as evidenced by the prop in this video interview with Geoff Johns, it also has several other interesting qualities.
Probably one of the most fascinating facts about Stargirl’s version of the Cosmic Staff is the fact that it appears to be sentient. It can be demanding, petulant, and amusing, apparently depending on its mood. From the first time Courtney Whitmore touches the staff, she starts to talk to it, and it responds in its own way.
It changes brightness, moves, pokes, prods, drags Courtney around, and sometimes knocks people down to accomplish what it wants or to protect them. Later in the season, she gains some control over it, but it still has a mind and will of its own. Sometimes it is comedic, and other times it is just stubborn.
Sometimes it makes odd noises in response to things or to make a request. The noise is similar to a metallic whistling. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage because sometimes the noise alerts others to Stargirl’s presence or intentions.
The Cosmic Staff also has a tremendous amount of power. That power increases when Stargirl is holding it. The staff and its wielder essentially become one entity as they bond. If that bond is broken by force or by the wielder, the staff basically becomes inert and loses its glow.
The staff protects Stargirl. It is predictive and seems always to know where Stargirl needs it to be. It can catch her when she falls or blocks attacks as needed. In the first episode, it also seems to split into two pieces when she throws it.
It can ignore gravity completely by floating, flying, and acting as a horizontal bar for Stargirl’s gymnastic moves. The staff can also defy physics by standing vertically on its own.
It senses commands, verbal or otherwise, from its wielder. This is fortunate because it is an odd shape, thick, and very long compared to Stargirl’s height.
Aside from having a personality, it can choose who wields it. So far, there have only been two people that the Cosmic Staff likes, Courtney and its original owner.
As a weapon, the Cosmic Staff uses the energy of the stars to glow blindingly bright or hurt dangerous opponents. There is also some indication that it can use electricity to cause a considerable amount of damage.
Like anything with power, the staff also has vulnerabilities. It is not all-powerful. You can use explosives on it, which temporarily incapacitates it. You can also freeze it.
Another weakness is the fact that the Cosmic Staff can be locked up. Unfortunately, it cannot seem to get out of locked boxes on its own. This seems to be one of the worst weaknesses that it could have since it can’t help Stargirl at all once it is trapped.
The staff can also be incapacitated when the wielder doesn’t believe in it. When Stargirl stops believing in herself, the staff simply stops working. This seems more like a safety feature than a weakness because it prevents someone whose intentions are no longer good from using it.
There are a few things about the staff that you should remember as you watch Stargirl. Although it is extremely powerful, it is not all-powerful. It can be caught, damaged, or rendered inert, and that does sometimes happen. Its glow changes with its mood, and it definitely has moods. It also sometimes thinks for itself contrary to what Stargirl might want.