When the series first began, Steven had
just begun accessing his powers. Since then, the youngest member of the Crystal Gems has not only learned how to summon his shield, conjure up a protective bubble and heal injuries with his tears, but he’s also become an official member of the team, accompanying them on recent missions. He also most recently celebrated his 14th birthday.
Steven's grown a lot since the beginning of the series. How do you approach plotting Steven's journey and balancing both his emotional growth and the growth of his powers?
Finding that balance has always been at the core of the show! Early on we were mostly worried about guiding him from being the new, young, powerless Crystal Gem into being an equal member of the team, and we were always interested in what he'd bring as their defensive force and as a healer. As he became more emotionally mature and more empathetic, and more protective of his friends, he became able to express that through his powers.
But now we're at an interesting time in the show where Steven is more than just an equal member of the team. He's no longer struggling to keep up. He's very aware that he has to protect everyone around him and he's learned enough to know that without him they'll fall apart. So he's giving everything his all and rolling with everything in real time with the rest of them. That said, he's still a human kid, now teenager, so he's under a huge amount of pressure, he hasn't really figured himself out yet and he's already giving everything he's got to everyone else. I think that's what's interesting about where he's going. He's got to start recognizing that balancing act and pacing it out for himself. He's getting really strong, so he's got to learn how to process what he's capable of, and he's got to learn something the Gems are notoriously bad at: restraint.
What do you think was the biggest or hardest lesson he's had to learn so far?
Oh, that's definitely coming up. There's a lot he still doesn't know about his mother.