It’s been quite an exciting summer for fans of “Steven Universe.” The theory that Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond was confirmed, Ruby and Sapphire got married, Steven got Blue and Yellow Diamond on his side, and Cartoon Network has announced that the series will get a TV movie next year.
But fans seem to be most abuzz about the long-awaited debut of the most powerful and terrifying gem of all: White Diamond. In just a minute of screen time, White has left fans wondering just what kind of gem she is. And showrunner Rebecca Sugar says she’s surprised to find that some of the fan theories have actually figured out what she has in store in future episodes.
“I have seen some readings that are astonishingly on point about White,” Sugar told TheWrap. “And I’m really happy about that because she’s only been on-screen for a few seconds!”
Sugar credits the impact of White Diamond’s debut to her voice actor, Christine Ebersol, who has won two Tony Awards for her performance in the musicals “42nd Street” and “Grey Gardens.” As White Diamond — and her robotic, clearly abused Pearl — Ebersole chilled audiences with her condescending speech to Steven about Pink Diamond’s “latest little game” and asking him if he “got everything out of your system.”
While Sugar didn’t want to spoil what lies ahead for Steven and the Crystal Gems, she did suggest that some fans’ early impression of White as a cold ruler with a lack of empathy for the Gems who serve her have been quite correct, and hints that Steven’s compassionate approach towards his foes will be tested harder than ever before.
“Let’s put it this way: On a show where problems are solved by communicating your feelings, the ultimate unsolvable problem would be related to that,” she said before abruptly exclaiming “Ah, I’ve said too much!”
Sugar also hints that as Steven learns more about White Diamond, fans will also learn more about Pink Diamond’s past before she faked her death and disguised herself as the rebel Rose Quartz. She says that while the process of slowly revealing Pink’s true history was ironed out in the writers’ room, she had drawn up a chart showing the overarching timeline of Pink’s past and might show it to fans when the show is done.
“There were some parts of telling Pink Diamond’s story that generated huge amounts of conflict in the writers room and I think ended up being the most exciting stuff about her,” Sugar said. “It’s been so rewarding being able to build this character that is so complicated and morally grey. We wanted to make sure that whenever it looked like you could put her in this box as totally good or bad that we turned away from that.”
“There’s still a bit more to come about Pink that will explain why she was the way that she was. But I’m glad that people are asking the larger question about her: if you have good reasons to behave badly, does that make it okay? There’s no easy answers and that’s why I love writing for her.”