Since 2013 fans have dutifully followed the wild, emotional, and often healing journey of a boy with a magically bejeweled belly button and his planet-saving guardians, the Crystal Gems. Steven Universe has been, first and foremost, a tale about the power of found family and processing trauma while serving as a beacon for LGBTQ+ audiences. Today, Cartoon Network announced that the five-time Emmy-nominated animated series will be coming to an end on March 27 and while it may be comforting to see this groundbreaking series on its own terms, it still feels like a gut punch.
Series creator Rebecca Sugar shared the following statement:
“I’m so excited for the final episodes of Steven Universe Future to be out in the world, and so grateful to our audience for supporting our show for all these years. It has been an eye-opening experience to meet the community that has come together around the show: I have been so moved, and I have felt so seen. I have always been a firm believer in the power of cartoons, and these days it’s undeniable: the friendships forged over this show, the artists inspired to draw, the families that watched together and saw each other in these characters, fill me with awe and renew my love of animation every day. Though our epilogue series is coming to a close, please trust that like us, these characters will always be growing, changing, and supporting each other. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for watching our show.”
After a revealing made-for-TV movie-musical Steven Universe: The Movie, the series continued with a sixth season titled Steven Universe: Future, which followed the evolution of Beach City years after Steven’s confrontation with the Diamonds on Home World. Though the integration has been largely successful, it has also ushered in new challenges, both communal and psychological. The last season has shown audiences a more mature Steven who has helped run a new school while grappling with new, tough details surrounding his deceased mother, Rose Quartz. Over the course of its run, Steven Universe has dealt with death, consent, identity, prejudice, mental health, and love in a ways that were deeply human and inventive. We hope that future programming will follow its example, sharing narratives that lead with compassion.
Steven Universe will end with a four-part special, which will begin airing on March 6 at 7 PM EST and end on March 27. The final 10 episodes of the series will air internationally later in the year.