‘Steven Universe: The Return’ DVD Offers Deeper Look at Crystal Gems

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Image credit: Turner Entertainment
Image credit: Turner Entertainment

Steven Universe is one of the shows that our family will all sit down and watch together. In recent weeks, we’ve really been enjoying Season 3’s “In Too Deep” special event. Overall, Cartoon Network has been knocking it out of the park with their recent cartoon offerings that can appeal to the whole family (such as Uncle Grandpa, We Bare Bears, and The Amazing World of Gumball).

For its second compilation DVD, Steven Universe: The Return, Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar picked 12 episodes from the latter half of Season 1 with a theme of uncovering mysteries about the Crystal Gems.

My youngest son, age 10 here, was Steven Universe last Halloween. This is a very easy, inexpensive costume idea! Image credit: Patricia Vollmer.

It’s my youngest son, age 11, who follows the show the most. And he absolutely loves it! He can instantly recognize all the characters and knows their backstories quite well. He’s nearly at the point where he can identify episodes on sight. We’re very excited the show is being renewed for a 5th season.

If you are unfamiliar with the cartoon, here’s a little background. Steven Universe is the half-human, half-gem son of the Gem named Rose Quartz. Rose died in order to give Steven his form on Earth. Steven lives with his father Greg, an Earth-born human, in Beach City (modeled after the Delmarva peninsula beach towns of Delaware where Rebecca Sugar used to vacation.) Steven works with other members of the Gem race who have banded together to fight against their home planet, Homeworld, which wants to exploit Earth. These Gems call themselves the Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven. If one starts at the very beginning of Season 1, the series begins with some assorted adventures of Steven with the Crystal Gems, his friend Connie, his pet (a lion named Lion), and his father Greg. Further on in the series, they begin to dig a little deeper into how and why the Gem race exists.

Our family was excited to receive an advance copy of Steven Universe: The Return. While all of the episodes are from Season 1, they were specifically chosen because they focus on introducing other members of the Gem race from Homeworld, such as Lapis Lazuli*, Peridot, and Jasper. These Gems come to Earth intending to overcome the Crystal Gems, but Steven is able to help some of them become allies to the Crystal Gems. The episodes on this DVD explore these characters’ backstories. My 11-year-old was particularly pleased with how much attention was given to these backstories.

Image credit: Turner Entertainment
Image credit: Turner Entertainment

*Lapis Lazuli holds a special place to me. The stone for whom she’s named is one of my favorites, and I have several pieces of jewelry featuring it, including my college class ring.

Steven Universe: The Return has the following 12 episodes, at 11 minutes each:

  1. “Mirror Gem” (S1, E25)
  2. “Ocean Gem” (S1, E26)
  3. “Space Race” (S1, E28)
  4. “Lion 3: Straight to Video” (S1, E35)
  5. “Warp Tour” (S1, E36)
  6. “Alone Together” (S1, E37)
  7. “On the Run” (S1, E40)
  8. “Marble Madness” (S1, E44)
  9. “Rose’s Scabbard” (S1, E45)
  10. “The Message” (S1, E49)
  11. “The Return” (S1, E51)
  12. “Jailbreak” (S1, E52)

Steven Universe: The Return is available on DVD on June 7th with an MSRP of $14.97. Look for it at retailers where DVDs are sold, including Amazon.

A complimentary sample of Steven Universe: The Return was provided to GeekMom for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.