Steven Universe Future
October 5, 2019 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Announced at New York Comic Con yesterday was the news that Steven Universe, instead of a season six, would be getting an epilogue series, Steven Universe Future, along with a trailer. Previously... - Fanfare

For the uninitiated, Steven Universe is an amazing cartoon on Cartoon Network following the adventures of the Crystal Gems, aliens with weird powers, and young Steven Universe, the first half-gem half-human. It takes anime magical girl tropes and applies them to a Western series, and to a male lead. It's known for being very LGBT-inclusive, with multiple characters that can be read gay or lesbian. Its lead character, while often embattled, is known for trying to befriend his enemies, which not only is presented as a viable solution but has given the show many of its greatest characters. And on top of all of that, the show is seriously great.
posted by JHarris (22 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Because I've been wanting to share this podcast wherever I can, here's a wonderful chat with Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, and Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar which goes into the show's creation, raison d'être, and creative decision-making in the past, present, and future. As someone who's only ever heard of Steven Universe without watching it, I found this ep to be a super-informative window into what makes the show so great and important.
posted by mykescipark at 1:54 PM on October 5, 2019 [11 favorites]

The lag between shows and seasons has been pretty uneven over the years, but the show is so great. I sort of envy people who are finding this show for the first time now, and can just sit down and binge-watch it front to back.

Might be worth doing even for long-standing fans, there’s a lot of rewarding details in there that are hard to see from a distance.
posted by mhoye at 1:58 PM on October 5, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm so glad there is no season to follow. Season 5 ended everything so perfectly, all that remains is closure.
posted by rebent at 2:02 PM on October 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mod note: One comment deleted; if you hate this show, that is a-okay, but rather than throw a gauntlet, maybe just skip this thread and find one about something you're more interested in.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:20 PM on October 5, 2019 [28 favorites]

Can't favorite JHarris' words below the fold enough.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I really wondered how and why the show could keep going after Season 5. Of course, I trusted that Rebecca Sugar had a plan and was smarter than me! This looks like a worthy end for one of the best shows (not just animated, ALL shows) ever! I was a little disappointed by the movie, just because this show has set the bar so high, and no movie can replace a whole season of TV. I feel like this is us getting to have our cake and eat it too. Squeee!
posted by rikschell at 3:06 PM on October 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm a bit sad that the sequel series is expressly limited, but I like to think that the door is open maybe to other sequel shows as well. Steven Universe's biggest flaw may be that there's so many more characters and so much more story potential than there is time to show. Peedee, the only other Beach City resident Steven's age, and is sometimes shown to be a good friend of his, has gotten one spotlight show in five seasons. (His brother Ronaldo, on the other hand, has gotten at least three, possibly because he's so ridiculous.)

Another thing is, I hear that the voice actor for Steven, Zach Calliston, has expressed an interest to retire from voice work and focus on music. Sequel shows that don't focus on the title character could be a way around that.

If you pause at various points through the trailer, you'll see some cool moments in the backgrounds. Like, Peedee's tall now, Nanefua's guards are Rubies (which fits because they're the same size!), Sadie seems a little larger too, Lars is with his parents and they're happy, Spinel (from the movie) is on Yellow Diamond's shoulder, Mr. Smiley seems to have a gem friend to help him out, and Peridot is garbage-can lid surfing and quietly exclaims "Steven Universe Future!" after the end of the title song.
posted by JHarris at 3:48 PM on October 5, 2019 [8 favorites]

I have to seriously plug the art book for the show. I got it as a gift for my kid, a super fan and read it cover to cover before she could pry it from my hands, and plan to re-read it while watching the show again to see if I can spot some of those details and themes.

I love the show so much because it is a lot like Bob's Burgers, fundamentally centered on kind loving people trying hard. It's an optimistic show and I can't wait to see what Rebecca Sugar decides to do next. Or her brother!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2019 [9 favorites]

Yeah, much as I love the Steven Universe Universe, I'm just as eager (probably moreso) to see what Rebecca Sugar and her team come up with next outside of that frame. She's such a good storyteller with a unique vision. I bet she's got a lot more worlds up her sleeve.
posted by rikschell at 8:50 PM on October 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

My son and I unabashedly love this show, the recent movie and the thought of an epilogue series. Steven growing into his Dad's t-shirts, Lars returning to his parents, Sadie Killer and the Suspects playing gigs, Connie coming home from space camp...the only thing missing so far is Pearl's almost crush: the mystery girl.

We'll be sad to see it end, but grateful we got as much as we did and we'll look forward to anything this creative team comes up with next.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

I swear to GOD if Mystery Girl doesn't return in this series I will SHIT. I'm glad see them expressly tying up the loose ends, especially WRT Jasper, and also the hint that maybe Steven getting through to White Diamond didn't fully resolve her issues. It was really smart to use the movie to introduce the new setting of the show, as well as provide a story that basically summarizes all the character growth of the five earlier seasons.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:18 PM on October 5, 2019 [8 favorites]

We saw in A Single Pale Rose that Pearl has several phone numbers stored in her gem, although she didn't appear to know how to use it for communication. She may have moved past Mystery Girl by this point.
posted by JHarris at 4:02 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love this show and was a bit frustrated by the last season. I "bought" the last season on Amazon so I could watch it as it came out and it turned out to be only about 12 shows if that. I was expecting at least twice as many.

But then I "bought" the movie so I can watch it over. And over.

From the new intro it looks like Sadie has a girlfriend now. Also, I want more Space Pirate Lars.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:10 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

It should be noted, that the show is often a musical. the musical numbers are amazing, and there's a large amount of plot and character conveyed via musical pieces.
posted by eustatic at 8:31 AM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love the emphasis the show puts on teaching kids about empathy, healthy relationships, and managing emotions.

Here's a musical number called "Here Comes a Thought" from an episode called Mindful Education where one of the adult characters is teaching Steven's friend Connie about using meditation and mindfulness techniques to manage negative thoughts and anxiety.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:40 AM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

My favorite thing about Here Comes A Thought is how enraged Ruby gets at that butterfly.
posted by JHarris at 2:27 PM on October 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

For the record, I'm totally cool with Mystery Girl's closure being seeing her with a human girlfriend (who looks like Pearl, obviously).
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:16 PM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

I thought the Mystery Girl closure was the brief shot in "A Single Pale Rose" where Steven's inside Pearl's heads, looking at everything she's catalogued, and she's got something like two dozen phone numbers indexed. Plus she got a brand-new cell phone just to call them all.
posted by rorgy at 7:54 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ah geez, I'm behind so many seasons but I'm super glad they went this route. I was joking a few weeks ago with a co-worker who liked the show that I wondered if they would eventually age him up since it was a show with a meaningful timeline progression.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:05 AM on October 7, 2019

But what does that mean? What is the difference between a next season and an epilogue series?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2019

The new show takes place after the movie's two-year timeskip. Everyone's older, including Steven, whose body has finally started letting him look his age.

More than that, the premise of the show has changed a lot. The Diamonds, shadowy distant rulers and sources of fear for five seasons, now act a lot like distant doting aunts. The core Crystal Gems have largely gotten over their problems, and the show decided not to manufacture new ones for them. And there's a bunch of new Crystal Gems now, and they've even founded their own neighboorhood, Little Homeworld, around where Greg's family's barn once stood. And Beach City itself is different; there's never been a multicultural community quite like this one. The standoffishness between the boardies and the gems has always been an unspoken yet obvious thing for most of the show; seeing them interact just feels nice to see. That means new characters to meet, and also old characters who've grown, especially Lars.

It's clear from the new opening that there are still threats, but they're unlikely to be on the scale of a galactic empire wishing you ill. The new title might just be a signal to people that the show is going to be more slice-of-life-ish again, looking at the consequences of the previous show.
posted by JHarris at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

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