Steven Universe is often praised for its diverse cast of characters and positive depictions of LGBT rights and issues. However, I feel one central theme has been mostly been ignored throughout analysis of the show, aspects of colonialism present via the Gem Homeworld’s invasion of various planets, including Earth. The characters on the show often mention Earth as a Gem colony yet I feel that there is a lack in addressing the ramifications of what this means. Historically there are many examples of cultural influence and knowledge imparted by colonists to the inhabitants of their colonies, (The French and Haiti, England and India, and others for example). Yet, there seems to be little impact of Gem colonialization on the Earth or the human inhabitants, most of which seem to be totally unaware of Gems. I think there is some interesting stuff to explore in this unexamined theme.
Every brief glimpse the audience of Steven Universe is allowed into the nature of the crystal gems’ Homeworld conveys it to be an environment remarkably Huxleian in quality. The denizens of the planet are all created for highly specific purposes (from which they are not allowed to deviate): Pearls are personal attendants, Rubies are soldiers, and of course, Diamonds are monarchs who rule over everyone else. Such a social structure is reminiscent of that which is present in Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ Is this a valuable comparison to make? To what extent is it true? Additionally, in what ways (with the characters’ interactions on Earth) do the cast of Steven Universe affront Homeworld’s status quo? Is the message their resistance sends to watchers valuable? If so, how?
I think Homeworld's message is "everyone in their place, and the places are preassigned," while the Crystal Gems say, "Everyone finds their own place." There should definitely be discussion of class and aristocracy regarding the Homeworld. – IndiLeigh4 years ago
It’s essentially impossible to deny now that Pearl and Rose’s relationship in Steven Universe wasn’t romantic in at least some fashion. One of Steven Universe’s best qualities is arguably it’s queer representation. However, Pearl’s relationship with Rose as we understand it is infinitely complex and intersects with their standing first as a Rose and a Pearl, as a leader and as a subordinate, and as near equals. I’m interested in the nature of their relationship (i.e. whether it was healthy or not or the extent of it) and it’s lasting implications for Pearl’s character. I’m also interested in how it compares to Pearl’s relationship with characters like Amethyst and Steven especially. Basically, I think it would be interesting to explore how Pearl’s relationship with Rose and it’s healthy or unhealthy nature frames her current relationships in the show.
As I understand it, from the very few episodes that I've watched, they were not "near equals" and were in fact the opposite in that Pearls are almost, or are, the lowest gems. This topic is interesting, and I'd really like to see someone explore the deep seated obsession Pearl has with the deceased Rose; it's one of the more dangerous obsessions in television that I've seen. – Steven Gonzales5 years ago
While Steven Universe depicts many types of femininity, it rarely gets held up for portrayals of its masculinity. Steven himself is a very well-rounded character, but strays from what is considered to be typically masculine. How do some of the other characters (like Greg or the other inhabitants of Beach City) portray masculinity?
Very interesting topic. Steven is a very well rounded character indeed. Yes, he may not be what most consider to be typically masculine, but I feel as though Steven has a good balance of both masculinity and femininity, This was a great topic to read and being a fan of this show, its nice to see topics like this. – Nickskey235 years ago
It also might be intersting to discuss how the various female characters might portray more "masculine" aspects. For example Jasper basically portrays everything that is traditionally masculine. Garnet could be argued to be a fusion of masculine traits (the more tough Ruby) and feminine ones (the softer sapphire). – Mariel5 years ago
Analyze why Steven Universe is a popular show among several age groups. Main reasons being it’s progressive and tolerant writing with well rounded characters who actually develop as the show progresses. However, the show keeps getting pushed aside for shows like Teen Titans Go, which has little to nothing to offer in terms of tolerance and character development. Research why this is and what it could mean for the future of animation if Steven Universe fails at the hands of the network.
I'm actually currently writing a research paper for a college class related to it, specifically examining what Steven Universe has been able to do that Adventure Time has not, specifically regarding gay relationships (the intended relationship between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum that never came to be). That could be another angle to consider. – JMPetrequin6 years ago
You might look into the difference in marketing opportunities between SU and other CN shows. With Teen Titans Go, specifically, they have name recognition with the earlier Titans series, and with that they have the ability to sell a butt-load of toys and games. Despite being arguably the worst thing I've seen, TTG makes money /because/ of how dumb it is. It's an easy show with no real continuity between episodes, and because of that it can be picked up at any time. With SU, however--while you can watch and enjoy any individual episode--there is an over-aching plot that can be missed by a casual viewer. The show also can't bank on recognition from previous sources because the show is doing a lot of "new" things that I'm sure CN has no clue how to market. As a side-note: if they could figure out a way to make toys of character that could actually fuse (kinda like the megazords of early Power Ranger toys), they would be awesome! – waltermccoy916 years ago