Here we are in the future! here we are in the future and it's bright!
After five seasons and 160 episodes, the Steven Universe series is coming to a close. And like every kids' animated show, that means it gets a movie! Released on September 2, 2019 on Cartoon Network, the Steven Universe movie is a Made for TV movie-musical that serves as a bridge between the completed Steven Universe series and the upcoming single-season sequel series, Steven Universe Future.
Unmarked spoilers for both the movie and the fifth season of Steven Universe ahead!
Two years after the events of season five, Steven Universe has ushered in a new era of peace across the universe and has mended his relationship with his late mother's family, the formerly war-mongering, planet-conquering Diamonds, who have now stopped their despotic ways and have freed their colonies, dismantled their armies, and have started saying "please and thank you' to lower life forms, all at Steven's behest. Back home on Earth, life in Beach City is going swimmingly: Greg and Pearl have continued their friendship after all the unpleasantness they've gone through, Lars is finally a chef, Connie's going to space camp, and the Crystal Gems are in the middle of constructing Little Homeworld, a new section of Beach City for Homeworld gems who've decided to remain on Earth.
Steven wishes that everything would stay just as perfect as it is at that very moment . . . Which is when the giant alien drill comes out of the sky, piloted by a gem who looks like a pink XJ9 who wields an electrified scythe and has a clear, if seemingly unwarranted, hatred for all the Crystal Gems, Steven in particular. The weapon instantly poofs the gems, though Steven's human half protects him. He defeats the strange gem, who never revealed her identity, but when he tries to contain her gem in a bubble, he finds his powers aren't working.
Back home, when the gems finally reform, they all have been reset; none of them remember Steven, Earth, or any of the last five seasons worth of character development. Even the villainous mystery gem who started all this has no memory of why she did it, or how to fix it.
This starts the actual plot of the movie: finding out how to return the Crystal Gem's memory, get his power back, stop the enormous injector drill, and find the identity of the mystery gem.
I am not the person to give you an unbiased review of this thing. I actually unironically love this movie. I unironically love the entire Steven Universe series (it was my happy place during PACT and is the only reason I made it out of the credential program). I've watched this movie several times over and have listened to the songs on YouTube dozens and dozens and dozens of times (not even counting the ten hour loop versions some of them have that I grade papers to).
I love (most) of the songs. I love the tragedy of Spinel's backstory. I love the memes that have come out of it. I love the animation during Changes when Steven kisses his own blood away with healing powers. Does it make sense? No! But Goddamn, it looked cool.
It's been criticized a bit for having the old tv-movie-based-on-a-series trope of "sudden villain connected to the main characters that we've never heard of" thing, but that wasn't a dealbreaker for me, especially since it looks like Spinel will be in Future, which typically doesn't happen to those kinds of tv movie characters.
I have no denouement for this. I just liked the movie.