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Stardust can refer to:

Although the underlying storyline is the same in both the book and the film, there are numerous differences in the details of the plot. I'm looking for a list of all these.

What are the main differences between the novel and the film?

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  • @Richard I was hoping for a nice answer from you, as a fellow Stardust fan ...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 4 '16 at 0:02
  • 2
    This site needs more Stardust. +1
    – Praxis
    Feb 4 '16 at 0:09
  • @Praxis I quite agree! I'm going to follow up on my campaign promise to post more questions on more obscure SFF works :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 4 '16 at 0:10
  • 1
    The book isn't narrated by Ian McKellen. Obviously the most egregious difference.
    – user31178
    Feb 4 '16 at 16:12
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+100
In the book In the movie
Our hero's name is Tristran, and he has other family besides his father. He's also has a slight inhuman look. The name is changed to Tristan, to keep people from stumbling on r's, and he and his father live alone.
The Wall is guarded, but mainly to prevent anyone who might not know about it from wandering through, or to keep the truly reckless out. A regular rotation of village men comprises the guard. Apparently nobody is allowed through the Wall, and all are stopped by a spry smiling fellow who says he's 97 and considers it his lifelong duty to let nothing through the portal.
Market is a semi-regular trade fair that sets up in the clearing right through the portal, and is marked as an occasion for the village, both for the wonder of what can be for sale and for the many travelers that come to town for business. Market appears to be a permanent town with a running bazaar that's a bit further into Stormhold.
Tristran intentionally sets off to find the star, and is let through the Wall after a short aside between his father and the guards. Tristan tried to cross the wall to get the star, and gets his rear-end kicked by the guardian, despite his father getting through years earlier with a quick distraction. Maybe he'd been training.
Shortly into his journey he comes upon a fellow traveler, and they get trapped in a carnivorous wood. Tristran discovers he can instinctively know the direction of any location in Faerie, and uses this to lead them to the proper path out. Said traveller, grateful for his life, finds a Babylon candle for Tristran, since the star is still quite far, and a tool for him to bind it with. Tristan then gets Una's gifts given to him, and rather than use them to teleport to her as intended, teleports to the star with a stray thought. The carnivorous wood is never encountered.
The Babylon candle is actually a nursery rhyme reference and while lit every step you take is leagues long. Combined with Tristran's way finding it gets him to the star near instantly. When Tristran and Yvaine escape Lamia at the trap inn, they end up in the clouds because the inn was high on a mountainside and that's where the few steps they had took them. The Babylon candle works as a teleport, based off whatever is in your mind when you light it. This still manages to get our heroes stuck in the clouds.
The lightning catchers, while surprised at finding people stranded in clouds, simply drop them off once they're done in the storm. It takes maybe a page. The lightning pirates are massively expanded with the introduction of Captain Shakespeare, who takes Tristan and Yvaine in, shortens their trip, and gives them plenty of help.
The trader that Shakespeare, Lamia, and Septimus all try to deal with is also completely new for the movie.
Lamia sets a final trap by conjuring a hut on the final part of the road to the Wall, and stopping all travelers. Septimus runs afoul of her and dies unwitting. She does stop Ditchwater Sal's wagon, but Sal being charmed by Lamia earlier to never see the star, has no idea Yvaine's inside. Lamia succeeds at intercepting both Sal's wagon and Yvaine. She kills Sal and takes Yvaine and Una back to her hall (The guardian sees this violent magic display and promptly quits).
Victoria is distraught and apologetic on Tristran's return, admitting she thought it'd just be a lark and that she loves another but holding herself to her vow. Tristran forgives her and lets her go. Victoria is a stuck up snob, with a not much better boyfriend even before Tristan sets out, and Tristan now having grown a bit sees his crush as shallow and abandons her once the stardust is delivered.
Una's curse that binds her to Sal is set to end under a ridiculously impossible sentence (a week when the moon loses her daughter, and two Monday's come together). This is fulfilled by Yvaine falling for Tristran, and Victoria's marriage to her intended love (a Mr. Monday). It's implied Sal originally caught her with a bad bargain. Una starts bargaining for back pay, which by the terms of the magic, she is now owed. Una's curse is broken on Sal's death, but she's immediately bound again by Lamia (apparently it's just another spell).
Yvaine is rendered useless to anyone looking to consume her heart, once she admits her love, as her heart is no longer her own. Once Lamia discovers this, she's bitter but leaves without incident.
Una sets off to return the King to Stormhold with a full entourage. Tristran and Yvaine conveniently lose their way and take the long way around, by a few decades, taking up adventuring and exploring the many realms of Faerie.
All of their later travels are not depicted, but there is a one-sentence whisper that they eventually dealt with the Witch Queens for the last time. The entire final confrontation at the hall of the witch queens was invented specifically for the movie, including Septimus' death, subsequent puppetry swordfight, Yvaine's ability to shine, and each of the deaths of the queens.
Yvaine never returns home to the stars, and Tristran dies of old age eventually. She continues to rule Stormhold in his stead, presumably forever. Tristan is immediately crowned. Tristan is rendered as immortal as Yvaine, as Yvaine gives her heart to him. Una gifts them another Babylon candle, which they eventually use to return together to the stars.
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  • Nice! I'm still going through this, but first nitpick: "a spry smiling fellow who looks 70" - a bit of dialogue tells us he's something like 97.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 4 '16 at 0:52
  • @randal'thor Right. I don't mean to malign David Kelly (who is typically awesome for an old ninja, and is in every movie I've noticed him in). Or the movie for that matter, on reread of my post I can see it's a much shorter description (and I keep insisting on two r's). My family loves it, I love it, by weird coincidence we ended up with two copies and kept them... it just doesn't hold a candle to the book in my mind.
    – Radhil
    Feb 4 '16 at 1:08
  • 2
    I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't read the book (yet). But since the film is so good, I'm hoping the book will be even better. Got to admit I prefer the film ending though, and Captain Shakespeare is a great character.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 4 '16 at 1:14
  • @Randal'Thor - Ooh, shiny points. Thank you for the bounty.
    – Radhil
    Jul 7 '16 at 0:42
  • You're very welcome! This is the best Stardust answer on the site so far, and that tag deserves more attention :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 7 '16 at 12:27

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