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Recap / Steven Universe S5E11 "Lars of the Stars"

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Lars rises to the occasion.


Tropes:

  • Ace Custom: The Star Skipper is a Space Fighter custom-made for Lars. Unlike most devices derived from Gem technology, it can apparently be operated by humans, and the cockpit is modeled after the driver's seat of a car.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: All the Off Colors, their Cool Starship, and Stevonnie are reintroduced with subtitled freeze-frames. Only The Star Skipper doesn't have a subtitle.
    Lars of the Stars: Reanimated Off-Color Space Pirate
    Padparadscha: Technical Advisor With the Power to Predict the Past
    The Sun Incinerator: Stolen from the Heart of Homeworld
    Fluorite: Chief Engineer, Leisurely Fusion of Six
    The Rutile Twins: Two Pilots. One Gem. Zero Fear
    Rhodonite: Head of Strategic Operations, Body of a Star Crossed Fusion
    Stevonnie: An Experience
  • An Aesop: Even if someone misses you while you're gone, you shouldn't be insulted if they can get along without you.
  • Aesop Amnesia: After learning that the rest of Beach City have carried on without him as if he hasn't been stranded out in space, Lars briefly relapses into his previous Self-Loathing state. A pep talk from Steven gets him to quickly snap out of it.
  • Alliterative Name: The Star Skipper, and the Destiny Destroyer.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Lars thinks Sadie is enjoying herself in his absence to spite him, Steven and Connie convince him otherwise by asking him if he is getting along without her out of spite.
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    Lars: No! I'm doing this because I have to! I'd never do this to hurt Sadie, because...
    Steven: Because!
    Connie: Because!
    Both: [as they Fuse] Because you're best friends!
    Stevonnie: And best friends wouldnt do anything to hurt each other!
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: It seems that high-ranking Gems like Emerald have a tendency to give their ships these. After all, why else call a ship "Sun Incinerator" or "Destiny Destroyer"?
  • Badass Boast: Lars gives one to Emerald, saying that she will never take him and the other Off-Colors alive.
  • Batman Gambit: Two in short succession. First, Emerald manages to follow and corner the Off Colors with her much larger flagship, reveals that their engines have a traceable signature, and gives them an ultimatum of surrender or be destroyed. Lars, however, scoffs and calls her bluff, even ordering their shields lowered forcing Emerald to admit she doesn't want to destroy the ship they're on.
  • Berserk Button: Lars and the Off-Colors to Emerald, especially for stealing her ship.
  • Big "NO!": Uttered by Lars when Stevonnie's ship gets hit.
  • Call-Back:
    • Stevonnie is labeled as "an experience", which is how Garnet described the fusion back in "Alone Together".
    • Lars is able to bypass most Gem security on account of not having one, just like how the drones back in "Off Colors" couldn't detect him.
    • We learn the name of Steven, Sadie and the Cool Kids' band: Sadie Killer and the Suspects.
    • Stevonnie says that if piloting a ship is like driving a car, they'll be able to do it.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: While commanding the ship, Lars puts on the mannerisms of this trope, such as heroically gesturing when making crazy, but heroic, decisions.
  • Character Title: Lars Barriga has become "Lars of the Stars", a badass Space Pirate.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Stevonnie's fighter jet crash-landing on a nearby planet.
  • Companion Cube: Emerald values the Sun Incinerator so highly she refuses to heavily damage it even when it's hijacked, and apparently agrees with Lars' assessment that it's her "best friend".
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Starship:
    • The Sun Incinerator, Emerald's fastest ship, stolen by the Off Colors.
    • The Destiny Destroyer, evidently Emerald's flagship.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Steven and Connie get distracted from their mission when Lion flips over and show them his belly.
  • Delayed Reaction: As usual, Padparadscha says information moments after it already occurred. This gets played with when she "predicts" Emerald is about to fire but will miss on purpose just as Lars predicted, but to which the rest of the crew were unaware.
  • Driving Stick: The ship Stevonnie pilots has one, with its interior looking very similar to a car. Justified, since Lars had it built for himself to fly.
  • Eureka Moment: Lars admits Sadie wouldn't enjoy herself to spite him because she cares about him too much. This makes him realize Emerald cares about the Sun Incinerator too much to destroy it.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Stevonnie takes up the wheel of Lars' Space Fighter so he can stay in command on the Sun Incinerator. They succeed, apparently because of its similarity to an Earth car.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The target is labeled "Bingo Bongo" on the ship.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: The Off Colors escaped Homeworld by stealing the Sun Incinerator. They apparently didn't bother being discreet about it, as Lars taunts Emerald by asking how she's going to catch up with her fastest ship.
  • Grin of Audacity: Lars is grinning in confidence for most of the video call with Emerald.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Lars managed to steal the Sun Incinerator from right under the noses of 67 highly trained guards. Admittedly, he can bypass most security checks due to lacking a gem, but that's still a significant failure of security if that many guards failed to notice until he was literally flying away with it.
  • Guile Hero: Lars, as captain of the Sun Incinerator, is content to outrun and out-maneuver their opponents rather than fight them. Even when cornered and outgunned by Emerald's flagship, he orders their shields lowered and tanks superficial damage, surmising correctly that Emerald doesn't want to destroy their ship. The other Off-Colours state that most of their plans involve Lars making risky Indy Ploys due to him being able to sneak past Homeworld security.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Half the episode is Lars and Emerald smack-talking each other and pulling smug facial expressions. Lars is probably the winner by calling Emerald's bluff and outwitting her with a surprise starfighter attack.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Lars is paralyzed when he sees Sadie having a good time in his absence, and assumes she's somehow getting back at him. Steven and Connie snap him out of it.
  • Hero of Another Story: To the extent that in the time since Steven last saw them, Lars and the other Off Colors have come to live as main characters in a sci-fi anime seemingly independent of Steven Universe, complete with title cards and established early-mid-series character and plot dynamics.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush: Emerald's Destiny Destroyer is able to catch up to and cut off the Sun Incinerator's escape.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: The Sun Incinerator activates its warp engine to flee Emerald, to her futile protests. It doesn't last long, as the ship leaves a unique energy signature Emerald can track.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Connie claims she's "ready for anything" before taking the trip through Lion's mane. Once she's through, she is very surprised.
  • Internal Reveal: Though he doesn't comment on it other than a brief look of shock, Lars learns that Steven and Connie are Stevonnie.
  • It's Personal: Emerald took the Sun Incinerator theft personally, likely because it was her ship.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Steven and Connie are really excited when they hear that Lars has become a captain.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: A short while after being stuck in space, Lars isn't just surviving, but tremendously more confident than he was back on Earth. In fact, his confidence only wavers when he thinks back to Earth.
  • List of Transgressions: Emerald gives us some insight into the Off Colors' adventures by recounting their deeds against her (the second of which the Rutile Twins and Rhodonite laugh at).
    Emerald: It was a minor inconvenience when you stole my personal shuttle and crashed it on Upsilon-9. It was an insult when you impersonated imperial officers during a cosmic jubilee. But to steal my Sun Incinerator is unacceptable!
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Steven: Lars, I have so many questions! Where'd you get this ship? And more importantly, where'd you get that cape?
    Lars: [chuckles] Stole 'em.
  • Meaningful Echo: Lars repeats his "bingo bongo" line and hand gesture from "The Good Lars", but while that was a very poor attempt at acting cool, this time he's genuinely confident and doing it to taunt Emerald. It also serves as the "target locked" phrase in his experimental fighter.
  • Never Say "Die": Notably averted; while dialogue has previously avoided directly saying Lars came Back from the Dead, in this episode he bluntly says "Does [Sadie] even know I died out here?"
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: After Lars correctly guesses that Emerald wouldn't destroy the Sun Incinerator, he taunts her with a high-pitched giggle while holding his palm out under his mouth.
    Stevonnie: Wow, Lars, I missed you.
  • No-Harm Requirement: Exploited by Lars. When Emerald has the gang cornered, he cleverly realizes that Emerald won't use any lethal force on them because she doesn't want to hurt her ship. He calls her on her bluff and uses this to escape.
  • Not So Above It All: Lars comes off as completely unflappable as the Off Colors' captain, then has an incredibly petty fit when he finds out how well Sadie is doing in his absence, only snapping out of it thanks to Steven and Connie's help.
    Lars: How is she having such a good time without me?!
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In their time since Steven last saw them, Lars and the Off Colors have gone from forgotten dregs of society hiding from Shattering Robonoids to a Badass Crew outfoxing Homeworld's entire fleet. Just the mentioned things they did include hijacking one ship, impersonating officers, and then stealing another ship guarded by dozens of soldiers.
  • Planetville: Discussed; the Rutiles think that Beach City is a planet of sand and water.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Lars realizes that Emerald cares too much about the Sun Incinerator to destroy it, even if it means that the Off Colors can steal it, and even makes the comparison of it being her best friend, which she does not deny.
  • Reality Ensues: It seems as if Lars had shaken off his insecurities after being resurrected, but hearing that Sadie moved on reveals that he still has self-confidence and dependency issues. It takes Connie and Steven to snap him out of it in the middle of the dogfight and move on at the moment.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Lars, the newest member of the Off Colors, is now their captain and gives them each several orders as he pilots their stolen ship and taunts Emerald.
  • Rule of Three: When Lars announces the Star Skipper:
    Rhodonite: That?
    Fluorite: Not... that.
    Stevonnie: Whuzzat?
  • Say My Name: It seems to be a recurring thing off-screen that Emerald bellows out an enraged "OFF-COLOOOORS!" after they thumb their nose at her in some way, such as stealing the Sun Incinerator or flaunting how they did it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The arrival of the Destiny Destroyer is heralded by sirens, large 'WARNING' notifications popping up, and Rhodonite calling "a huge battleship is approaching fast" exactly how Darius announced its bosses.
    • Lars is wearing the same cape as Captain Harlock.
  • Skewed Priorities: Lars lets himself get distracted thinking about Sadie while captaining a ship mid-battle.
  • Space Fighter: Stevonnie pilots a one-man fighter ship called the Star Skipper in the battle against Emerald's ship. Lars designed it himself.
  • SpaceX: Lars says the Off Colors got so far to Earth by committing "a couple of space crimes" against Homeworld.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: After Stevonnie destroys all of Emerald's weapon systems, they get shot down, and the episode ends as they fall to an unknown planet.
  • Tempting Fate: Played with; Lars says that Emerald will never catch up with her ship, since it's the fastest, but even when she does, she can't bring herself to destroy it.
  • Time Skip: Implied: Sadie Killer and the Suspects now have a name and fans, and Connie's hair has grown from the haircut she had last episode, meaning that there was a gap between this episode and "Kevin Party".
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Off Colors have taken several levels since we last saw them. Lars in particular has gone from a timid teen to a Captain Harlock-esque Space Pirate.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Zigzagged. Lars is much warmer with Steven and cares more about his parents than previously shown. But finding out Sadie has flourished without him briefly reduces him to his insecure selfishness thanks to an Armor-Piercing Question from Connie, however, he gets over himself in time to bluff Emerald into attacking them.
  • Villain of Another Story: Emerald is Lars and the Off Color's Big Bad and according to Word of God has been in charge of everything they've been fighting since we last saw him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Emerald sends a furious communication to the Off Colors, and sounds anything but confident underneath the bluster.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Steven and Connie call Lars out on his In-Universe Wangst over believing Sadie is living her life just to spite him, telling him that she's been worried sick and misses him greatly but she simply has to live her life regardless.
  • The X of Y: "Lars of the Stars".
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Lars deduces that Emerald is too fond of the Sun Incinerator to destroy it. However, that doesn't mean she won't disable it to keep the Off Colors from stealing it.


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