“Hey, look over here. I think it’s a door. (Opens said door, all the air begins getting sucked out of the base) Yup. We’re on the moon!” – Amethyst, almost sucking the Crystal Gems out into space.
Airdate: January 6th, 2016
Written By: Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu
Plot: Well, smoke me a kipper, they did it! The Crystal Gems and Peridot managed to construct a drill. But before they drill, they have to locate coordinates to get the Cluster. Therefore, they decide to take a trip up to the Moon. They arrive on a former Homeworld base that contains the schematics of all of Homeworld’s plans for Earth. Unfortunately, this piece of nostalgia and Peridot’s attachment to it begins to drive the wedge between her and the Crystal Gems back in.
One of the great themes of Steven Universe that is often overlooked in favor of it’s more “academic” sociological themes is the concept of leadership. In short, the question that the show often poses is “what drives people to follow leaders, and what makes a good leader”?
I first dissected this in my review of “Political Power”. In that review, I compared Mayor Dewey’s approach to leadership and public presentation to those taken by more populist figures, such as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn or President Donald Trump. As part of that analysis, I noted that people tend to follow those leaders that can present a certain charisma, as well as appeal to their Id – for good and/or for ill. Figures often lure us in with their ability to communicate our deepest desires, making us dismissive (if not blind) to their faults.
This cuts every which way – as demonstrated here, in “It Could’ve Been Great”, we get to see how both propaganda and ideology drive protagonist and antagonist alike to defend their leaders and their philosophies. Continue reading