Their exact relationship to each other is unknown; according to the manga they aren't siblings. The three share one name, Kou, which is always second when their full names are given. Because this is the location of the given name in Japanese order, it is usually assumed that they have different family names but one given name. "Kou" translates to "light," among other things, making the name "Three Lights" a pun. In the English manga, "Kou" was translated to "Lights" and was used as their shared family name.
The name "Three Lights" (also stylized as "3 Lights") is taken from the Shinto concept of san hikari (literally "three lights"). These three lights are the sun, moon, and stars, each with a specific color and properties. The roses worn by the Three Lights while in concert correspond to these three colors: the sun is red (Seiya's rose), the moon is white (Taiki's rose), and the stars are yellow (Yaten's rose). The characters' titles as Senshi (Maker, Healer, and Fighter) may also be connected to the Hindu Trimurti: the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer.
In the manga, as civilians the Starlights are known as the 'Three Lights-' an all-female trio who pose as male idol singers, but in the anime Sailor Stars, while on Earth they actually gained the bodies of males in their civilian forms, becoming women when transforming into Sailor Senshi. Since in the anime they are shown to be male when in civilian (Earth) form, there is much debate amongst fans as to the true gender of the Three Lights. In the anime, Kakyuu confirms the male appearance to be their Earth civilian form when she asks Seiya if he "uses that appearance on Earth". Seiya acknowledges this is true. Towards the end of Sailor Stars, Seiya tells Usagi, "I wanted to tell you my feelings because Seiya's time is short" indicating further that the form taken is only his civilian form on Earth. The civilian forms taken by the three on Kinmoku are unknown.
Before coming to Earth, the three Starlights served as protectors of Princess Kakyuu on Kinmoku. The musicals state Kinmoku is located in a solar system called the Galaxy System. They state in Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin they are from somewhere in Sagittarius. Neither the anime or manga provide specific details of Kinmoku's location.
According to Seiya in the anime, who explains their history to Usagi via musical telepathy, Sailor Galaxia attacked Kinmoku in force, with her Sailor Animamates creating an army of phage that swept over the planet. Sailor Star Fighter reveals that, without Kakyuu, the only way the Starlights had of protecting themselves was to kill the phage outright, which also kills the humans they were created from. Because of this, the Sailor Starlights initially go after phage on Earth with a killing intent. They are later dissuaded from this course after Eternal Sailor Moon did not wish this upon the dying phages, and using her new Eternal Sailor Moon transformation powers, was able to restore the phage to their human selves again. The three lights were stunned to see such power which they have never seen before in the galaxy.
After Princess Kakyuu left Kinmoku to escape Galaxia's assault, Sailor Star Fighter, Star Healer, and Star Maker abandoned the planet to find her. No one else survived Sailor Galaxia's onslaught. The Starlights make references to the comrades they left behind in battle, possibly implying other Senshi who lost their lives on Kinmoku. The three also bring up their family and friends; however, the anime does not reveal any details on the three Senshi's Kinmoku families. The guilt of being the only survivors, of having lived by running away, and the search for redemption by saving their planet serve as the underlying themes for the Starlights through the course of the anime.
After escaping from Kinmoku, the Starlights were able to track Kakyuu to Earth and then Japan. The Starlights took male civilian forms - Seiya, Taiki, and Yaten - and became idol singers. They did this to attract as much attention as possible. Their music is embedded with a telepathic broadcast that the Princess (and later Usagi and Michiru) can feel, serving as a beacon to guide Kakyuu to them.
By the start of the Sailor Stars anime, the Starlights, now the Three Lights, have become major celebrities across the country. All four of the Guardian Senshi have at some point joined their fanclub, with Ami Mizuno being the first to discover the band (she's member #25). Only Usagi is unaware of them. Several episodes feature the Three Lights having to deal with fans.
Later, the Three Lights all attend Jūban High School. As humans, they're all very popular with the Juban students. As Starlights, they distance themselves from the other Senshi, deeming Earth as not being their responsibility. They come into conflict with the Outer Senshi on multiple occasions, as the Outer Senshi view them as invaders. The two groups only reconcile after Uranus and Neptune are mortally wounded by Galaxia, when Uranus charges Star Fighter with protecting Sailor Moon and then dies alongside Neptune.
In the anime, the Starlights prove to be very resilient and exceptionally powerful, surviving multiple direct battles with Galaxia herself. In all, they clash with Galaxia three times: once soon after Kakyuu's death in which they are saved by Chibichibi; again after the deaths of Uranus and Neptune; and a third time to defend Eternal Sailor Moon, in which they become pure energy to battle Galaxia across space itself. Apart from Sailor Moon, they are the only other beings in the galaxy to survive all the way through to the end. In the manga, they never face Galaxia directly, and are killed off by members of Galaxia's Animates.
Read more about this topic: Sailor Starlights
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