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Fire retro rockets and full power to the shields! The first Steven Universe of 2018 has arrived and it’s a half hour special. How does it far? Time to dive in.

Lars of the Stars

Steven and Connie travel through Lion’s mane so they can rescue Lars.

This episode stumbles in a big way. Right after the introduction of what Lars has been up to since the last time Steven saw him, it shows he hasn’t grown as much as we thought. It can be argued its more the crushing realization Sadie is living happily without him but it also feels at first like something else. Like he is crushed she gets to be the one to hang out with the cool kids instead of him. Considering this episode should help to reinforce the idea of how much Lars has grown as a character, there was no need to have him take a major backstep, even for a moment. He’s gained a new role, friends, and opportunities, the last thing which should happen is for him to become the whiny little child he used to be.

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It’s not a totally wasted episode because of one bad moment though. Lars looks good in his Captain Harlock cosplay (Google it if you don’t get the reference), it’s impressive to see the roles the off colors have taken on the ship, and a new gem, Emerald is introduced. Looks to be another higher class leader type. Hopefully, not the last time she makes an appearance.

Steven Universe

Jungle Moon

After getting shot down, Stevonnie crash lands on a strange vegetative plant.

This one took a major turn around pretty fast. Just as it seems like it’s going to be a blander episode of Stevonnie by themselves fighting off alien creatures (which seemed to find a way to get boring for some reason), things become trippy fast. After entering a dream, a lot of information is revealed or hinted at in a large amount of time.

What can be unpacked: The grid pattern on Yellow’s display cements the idea there is a fourth diamond, White who was more of a rumor and speculation amongst fans. Pink Diamond was the youngest member of the Diamonds and wanted to prove herself to Yellow who was older. This is what led Pink to lead the colonization of Earth in order to show the other Diamonds she was responsible enough to be given more control of operations. Powerful stuff from a very trippy moment.

One small complaint though. Can this be the last episode of Stevonnie being alone, talking without anyone to play off? It was cute at first as it represented the duality of Steven and Connie maintaining their individuality even after becoming one being but the novelty has gotten old. The character needs others to play off to real open up and showcase they are different then Steven and Connie alone and are something more than the sum of their parts.