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In the weeks following the “Steven Universe’s” four part conclusion to season five titled “Change Your Mind,” there was a good amount of speculation about what the future of the show would look like, given that it seemed like an almost perfect ending. Fans of the series got their answer late last year with the release of “Steven Universe: The Movie,” a film set two years after the event of season five.
After what most considered an incredible movie, many thought that “Steven Universe: The Movie” would be the last of it. As it turned out, they were wrong again. In December of 2019, “Steven Universe’s” Sixth, and likely final, season began airing, appropriately titled “Steven Universe Future,” given that it is also set two years after the events of the last season.
It focuses on Steven’s life after ending the reign of the diamonds, where gems are free to live there life as they choose. The first ten episodes thus far have followed Steven’s endeavors with Little Home-world, a school designed to reorient gems towards being able to live alongside humans. Steven leads the organization in hopes of helping gems learn to be themselves.
Up until season six, “Steven Universe” had already been known for tackling darker topics, such as abuse, war, imperialism, etc., and did so in a way that showed an understanding and appreciation for those going through them. Each arc of the series had added either a new character or a new dimension to the overall story of Steven Universe, while also building on its core themes of love and acceptance, even when it did not necessarily make the most sense plot wise, such as during the arc with Jasper and Lapis.
“Future” leaves a lot of that behind in favor of focusing more on Steven, at least more than previous seasons had already. Specifically, season six not only focuses on his time running Little Home-world, but his character and psyche after saving the universe.
As it turns out, Steven has had a lot rougher of a time emotionally after the confronting the diamonds than before. During the last five seasons, Steven always had a purpose, that being to help the Crystal Gems and to find out more about his mom and her relationship to the diamonds and the war on earth. Each episode, and consequently each new adventure was a step towards that goal.
Now, in season six, Steven has to confront the reality of changing times. Connie, Steven’s best friend and who only appeared briefly in “Steven Universe: The Movie,” has so far not made an appearance. Meanwhile, his other to friends, Lars and Sadie have started to move on with their lives as well. Sadie has quit her band so that she can be together with her new partner Shep, and Lars has quit his position at his bakery in order to travel back out into space with his gem crew, as shown in the episode “Little Graduation.”
Meanwhile, scars from his mothers past are still rearing their head. In the episode “Volleyball,” the pearl that served under white diamond wants to fix her scar. However, when Steven takes her to get the scar fixed, it is revealed that the scar on her face is not a crack in her gem, but rather an internalized pain from when Pink Diamond hurt her physically.
All of this has left Steven a bit out of wack, to say the least, as shown in the last episode to come out as of the writing of this post “Prickly Pair,” which shows Steven after his decision to step down from Little Home-world and focus on himself. He decides to take up gardening, but while doing so accidentally brings one of his cactus’s to life. Soon the cactus is able to speak, and learns from Steven. However, the cactus has also heard Steven talk about his true feelings about his situation, and how he thinks the gems have been annoying as of late. The cactus then eventually goes wild, and repeats all of the things Steven told it.
And with that the show was left on Hiatus, with more episodes likely coming later on this year to finish out the series. The turmoil present in “Future” for Steven has already led to some pretty dark places, even without the threat of another gem war. In the first ten episodes alone the show has had stories about losing friends, getting over the trauma of abusive relationships, and finding purpose after losing it.
It is unclear what the exactly is going to happen next, whether Steven and Connie will reunite at all, what his relationship with the gems will look like after “Prickly Pair,” or even what Steven plans do next.
All that can be said for sure is that “Steven Universe Future” is an incredible continuation for the series. More than anything, though, it is an unique look at life for Steven after the saving the Universe, and it is likely that the series will continue to build in a strong direction during its next round of episodes.
What do you guys think of Steven Universe Future? Let me know in the comments below?
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