Entertainment

Cartoon Network Favorite 'Steven Universe' Is Coming Back for a New Limited Series

steven universe future
They're back, baby!!! | Cartoon Network
They're back, baby!!! | Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network's Steven Universe felt like it had finally reached its climactic, heartwarming finale in Season 5, followed by an even more seemingly certain end in Steven Universe: The Movie. But things aren't over yet for our favorite half-human, half-gem hero: Steven and the Crystal Gems will return for a special limited series, titled Steven Universe Future, showrunner Rebecca Sugar revealed on Friday at the 2019 New York Comic Con.

The new limited series takes place after the events of Steven Universe: The Movie and comes along with a new opening sequence and song. Technically, the song isn't totally new: It's a rework of the movie track, "Happily Ever After." The new sequence features the series' full cast of characters, with Steven and the Crystal Gems traveling throughout a vibrant Beach City populated by both gems and humans. 

Admittedly, before this point it felt like Steven's story had reached a natural end point after he reconciled with the Diamonds and Homeworld at the end of Season 5. Things got shaken up a bit in Steven Universe: The Movie with the arrival of Spinel, yet another gem that Pink Diamond had wronged. After a fight with Spinel leaves her and Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl reverted back to their "factory settings," Steven must restore everyone's memories and regain control of his own powers in order to save the Earth. In true Steven Universe style, he succeeds -- and with a cheerful song, to boot. However, the film serves as a reminder that no matter how many people he saves, Steven's fight will never truly be over

steven universe future
Cartoon Network

From the new opening sequence, that seems to be the case -- silhouettes of previous enemies appear, including Jasper, White Diamond, Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine, and the Watermelon Stevens. And of course, there are still a few loose ends that beg resolution. When asked about one -- the still-unopened chest in Lion's mane -- at the panel, Sugar replied, "We can still have some mysteries, right?"

The panel itself kicked off with a slew of musical performances from Sugar and Crystal Gem voice actors Deedee Magno-Hall (Pearl), Estelle (Garnet), Michaela Dietz (Amethyst), and eventually Sarah Stiles, who belted out a rendition of Spinel's electro-swing track, "Other Friends." The group (sans Stiles) performed "Happily Ever After," which was retooled into the opening track for the limited series, replacing "We Are the Crystal Gems." In a way, the transition feels poetic -- Steven is no longer struggling with his gem powers or identity. Now, he's comfortable living in a future that he's built with his friends alongside him.

The film's music was a central focus of the panel, with Sugar discussing her experiences collaborating with artists like Estelle, Aimee Mann (who voices Opal) and Ted Leo (who voices "Steg," the fusion of Steven and Greg). "Music and story were totally integrated in this project," Sugar said. "[The most difficult part was] making sure that musically, everything was informing the story." 

While the upcoming limited series announcement didn't come with a release date, it will eventually air on Cartoon Network. Before then, Steven Universe: The Movie will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on November 12. 

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Palmer Haasch is an entertainment and culture writer. Follow her @haasch_palmer.