We're deep into the premiere episodes of Steven Universe Season 3, and so far they've been exciting and very emotionally satisfying. The first two episodes dealt with the twin threats of Malachite and the Cluster, as the Crystal Gems fused to fight their fearsome foe, while Steven and Peridot piloted the drill. With the Cluster safely bubbled (for now), the characters can relax and deal with Lapis Lazuli's separation from Jasper.
This is the focal point of "Same Old World", as Steven tries to persuade Lapis that living on Earth can be a good experience. Along the way, Lapis and Steven encounter the Galaxy Warp, which triggers a strange reaction in Lapis. She explains that this is where she was abandoned, and the proceeding flashback sequence has more than a few big revelations.
We're taken back to the Gem War, the immense rebellion against Homeworld lead by Rose Quartz. This is probably the most important event in the backstory of Steven Universe, with the consequences of this war rippling out to present day. We've caught snapshots of the war before, in little flashback sequences, and it's always fascinating to find out more about this conflict. So what did we learn this time?
Lapis Lazuli's Role
Lapis is an interesting gem, and it's difficult to place her in what we know of the Homeworld hierarchy. By her blue coloring, many people have theorized that she's a member of Blue Diamond's court, like Sapphire and Blue Pearl.
But what was she doing in the war itself? Lapis doesn't give any clues about why she was sent to Earth, only that she wasn't meant to stay long.
"I was only meant to visit for a short time. But I got caught in the middle of the war."
Fans have already started spinning theories about this, trying to work out Lapis' presence on Earth. What seems most likely is that she was some sort of war reporter, as explained in this interesting fan theory.
As the author points out, Lapis' ability to depict events in mirror-like water makes her the perfect choice for reporting back about how the war was getting along. Whether she was something of a journalist, or a personal spy for Blue Diamond, remains to be seen. And it could explain why she was attacked on the battlefield, as a scare tactic.
Mistaken For A Crystal Gem
Here's where one of the most interesting parts of this flashback comes in. Lapis mentions that she was apprehended as a Crystal Gem, which is why she was imprisoned in the mirror.
"I was picked up by a Homeworld soldier and confused for a Crystal Gem."
This has really interesting implications. We're left wondering how many gems defected to follow Rose Quartz in the Rebellion and become Crystal Gems in opposition to Homeworld. Presumably, a whole army's worth.
Which means that the gem shards that have been plaguing the main characters of the show aren't just Homeworld soldiers, they're also old allies of the Crystal Gems. Yikes.
But it's not just that — it turns out that Lapis was trapped in the mirror as an interrogation technique, still mistaken for an enemy soldier. How many other Crystal Gems did the Diamonds trap and interrogate in such a fashion? And how else were they punished for betraying Homeworld? Steven Universe is such a beautiful and enjoyable show, and then they hit us right in the feels with dark revelations like this. Ouch.
Oh, and as for the Homeworld soldier who attacked Lapis — this seems to be a bismuth, and could be the same Bismuth as we saw bubbled in Lion's mane.
That's one mystery partially solved! The bubbled Bismuth doesn't look like a gem shard, so is this a trapped Homeworld soldier? And will we see her in later episodes? Only time will tell on that one.
For now though, there's a nice little set-up for Lapis and Peridot to resolve their differences at the end of "Same Old World". Here's hoping the two can come to terms, as they could end up fighting side by side with the Crystal Gems.
Do you think Lapis Lazuli was a war reporter, or a spy?
[Source: fantheoriesandfoodporn on Tumblr]