Finish of an Period, by Chris McDonnell: EXCERPT

As Steven Universe entered its remaining stretch in season 5, it had grown, matured, and adjusted as a lot as Steven himself. Not the curious naïf and keen pupil of the Crystal Gems that he was when the present started, he was now rising into his protector position within the group, proudly owning up for his mom’s area crimes and turning into a li’l man. A lesser character on a lesser present could be battle-hardened by this level, however on this planet of Steven Universe, energy has at all times been tied to sweetness and love. So after all, though by season 5’s “Fabricated from Honor/“Reunited,” Steven has seen some heavy shit, he’s nonetheless the type of boy who retains a dream-wedding scrapbook and delights in with the ability to gown up good and throw a giant flowery celebration of affection. The world could also be getting ready to complete annihilation, however a minimum of Ruby and Sapphire aren’t combating anymore, and it’s trigger for celebration, dammit. So earlier than they fuse again collectively, Steven throws them a fusion marriage ceremony in a phenomenal two-episode arc.

By this level in its run, Steven Universe had already acquired loads of reward for its depiction of numerous, queer characters, and for its message selling love within the face of adversity. On the planet of Steven Universe, “fusing” is a societally taboo act between gems of various ranks, who vary of their gender expression from femme to butch to completely GNC. Weddings are a dime a dozen in animated fairy tales, however not everybody will get to see themselves in these fairy tales. Like Steven Universe as an entire, “Fabricated from Honor/“Reunited” burst open a world of what’s attainable in mainstream youngsters’s animation. And in contrast to most animated fairy-tale-princess weddings … this one ends in a boss battle melee.

In his e-book Steven Universe: Finish of an Period (out Oct 13), Chris McDonnell walks readers by the manufacturing of standout episodes from the collection, together with unique appears to be like at storyboards, timelines, and idea artwork. The next excerpt takes a take a look at the making of Ruby and Sapphire’s marriage ceremony, together with perception from showrunner Rebecca Sugar. – Rebecca Alter

Ruby and Sapphire’s marriage ceremony idea artwork by Rebecca Sugar.
Photograph: Abrams

Photograph: Abrams

Storyboard and mannequin art work from “Reunited” (S5E23/24). Storyboard artwork by Joe Johnston and Rebecca Sugar. Ultimate designs by Aleth Romanillos. Prop design by Angie Wang. Prop and character coloration by Efrain Farias. Stamp design by Rebecca Sugar.
Photograph: Abrams

Relationships among the many fundamental characters had been at all times a degree of debate behind the scenes. A recurring state of affairs required Rebecca to police Cartoon Community advertising copy to stop something from being pushed out which may point out Steven was the “chief” of the Crystal Gems.

Rebecca Sugar: All through the present, CN has at all times pressured us to make it clear that Steven is the chief of the Crystal Gems, which he isn’t. Garnet is the chief of the Crystal Gems. However, with a view to do the marriage in “reunited” and the episodes main as much as the marriage, the trade-off that was occurring was “Effectively, so long as you’re establishing that Steven is the chief of the Crystal Gems, then perhaps we will get this to occur.” They’ve at all times needed Steven to be the chief. So the collection of episodes that make up The Coronary heart of the Crystal Gems was me coming again at that and saying, “Effectively, Steven is the center of the Crystal Gems—he’s not the chief,” to handle that notice but additionally to make clear this normally. Steven does find yourself taking cost, however solely as a result of Garnet isn’t current. There’s a scene in “Fabricated from Honor” that’s designed to spell this out, the place Bismuth tells Steven he’s the chief of the Crystal Gems and Steven says, “I’m not, Garnet is,” and Bismuth says, basically, “Effectively, Garnet doesn’t exist proper now, so that you’re in cost.” Which makes Steven notice that he’s been taking on for her in her absence. And as soon as Garnet exists once more—simply throwing this on the market for everybody without end—she’s the chief of the Crystal Gems. [Laughs.]

Garnet sketches by Miki Brewster.
Photograph: Abrams

Stills from “Reunited.”
Photograph: Abrams

Steven Universe: Finish of an Period, by Chris McDonnell, revealed by Abrams Books. Steven Universe and all associated characters and components © and ™ Cartoon Community (s20)

Steven Universe: End of an Era, by Chris McDonnell

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