The Star Rod is a plot-important item in the Kirby series, first appearing in Kirby's Adventure for the NES. In Kirby's Adventure the Star Rod serves as the power source for the Fountain of Dreams, a mystical fountain floating high above planet Pop Star whose dream giving mist provides sweet dreams and restful sleep to the residents of Dream Land. King Dedede breaks the Star Rod into seven pieces and gives them to his minions, setting the events of the game into motion. Near the end of the game it's revealed that Nightmare had corrupted the fountain and attempted to use it to attack Dream Land but Kirby uses the Star Rod to battle Nightmare and thus save his planet. While it does give Kirby an added ability, it is not commonly considered a copy ability seeing that the player does not have to gobble up an enemy to earn this power.
In the games that it appears in, it is usually used in the end of the game. The Star Rod has as of yet only appeared in two Kirby games, including Kirby's Adventure and Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land. It also appeared in all three Super Smash Bros. video games as an item, which include Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The Star Rod also appeared in the final episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, "Fright to the Finish", where, like in the games that it appeared in, Kirby uses it to ultimately defeat Nightmare. Unlike in the games, it is shown here that Kirby is able to produce the Star Rod by swallowing his own Warp Star.