Is shattering Gems a regular habit of Blue Diamond that Steven forced her to drop, or did he just tell her to stop doing it knowing of her past experience with Garnet, unaware if she actually did it regularly?
Regarding Pink leaving Spinel:
Did she really forget about Spinel, or was the Galaxy Warp on Earth being unusable after the War the reason she never went back for her? The fact that she could've fixed the Galaxy Warp with her healing tears at any time implies the former.
Did she not realize that Spinel would be Literal-Minded enough to stay in the garden for millennia, and assume that she would eventually give up and leave on her own?
Did she not go back because of how risky it would be, including not knowing how Spinel would react when she explained what happened to her?
Rule of Symbolism: Some fans feel like the scene is meant as commentary. A tall, realistic Pink Diamond is tired of being treated like a kid, and desires a more refined, sophisticated life. She abandons a short, cutesy, cartoon-like character in the process, as she believes the character is just designed as a mere one-note childs plaything, and will hold her back from reaching her goals of branching out into full maturity and exploration. Remind you of anything yet?
Word of Godclarifies that Spinel was abandoned due to her being grating to Pink and believing the former was holding her back. This clears up some issues, but still leaves it up in the air whether she had any thoughts of Spinel afterwards, as she never brings the topic to anyone.
Spinel seems weirdly unperturbed when Steven hits her with the rejuvenator—was she simply that mentally gone at that point, or was getting rejuvenated part of her plan? If the latter, was it because she wanted to stall Steven and the other Gems to let the injector work, or was she miserable enough to want a reset? Or did she simply not care either way what happened to her, because once the injector started working it was mission accomplished for all intents and purposes?
Spinel was aware thanks to the broadcast that Steven himself was very powerful and besides that he had the love and support of all three Diamonds! When word got out what she did she knew they would be coming for her. As dark as it is, she may well have planned this mission with the full intent of not walking away from it.
When White Diamond parrots Steven's "not judging a book by its cover" philosophy, was she trying to endear herself to him by reminding him that she changed, or was she being sarcastic in that condescending Drama Queen manner we all know and fear from her, wanting to judge but trying to save face? Steven's reaction seems to imply that he himself suspects its the latter.
Do the Diamonds actually see and care about Spinel as her own person, or just as an extension of Pink?
Was Spinel holding Steven over the edge of the injector just long enough for him to remember his "missing piece" and get his powers back classic Bond Villain Stupidity, or was her subconscious making her drag the moment out as she truly didn't want to kill him, considering the mental breakdown she suffers shortly after?
Some fans believe Spinel suffers Borderline Personality Disorder (or at least the Gem equivalent of it) due to her exhibiting many of its symptoms and that the disorder is usually brought on by a past of neglect and abuse.
Sapphire's exact words regarding Ruby was that the latter won't last more than a day. This ends up technically true, but misleading; instead of Ruby being shattered like they assume, Sapphire saves her, and they fuse into Garnet and spend the rest of the movie like that. With this in mind, was Sapphire's rescue really a case of her deciding Screw Destiny, or did she foresee them fusing into Garnet from the start and was going through the path that allowed that? The latter would also explain why Sapphire foresees, seemingly randomly, that she and Ruby follow Steven to Little Homeworld, which allowed the chain of events that led to them fusing.
One criticism of "Change Your Mind" was that the Diamonds' HeelFace Turn happened too quickly and that they were Easily Forgiven. Here, Steven's behavior towards them indicates that he's still wary of them at the least, and their own behavior shows that while they have improved, they haven't completely turned over a new leaf and are still learning even after two years.
The characterization of Spinel is generally treated as a massive step in the right direction for the series, actually coming off as genuinely sympathetic, with many fans being understanding of her pain of being abandoned and most of her heinous actions being explained with her having Gone Mad From The Isolation. It's a far cry to the characterizations of Jasper and the Diamond Authority, the other major villains before her, with many complaining that Jasper's Freudian Excuse was revealed at the very end of her arc, with the Diamonds being similarly criticized as crossing the Moral Event Horizon countless times before the show even began, thus not worthy of redemption in the eyes of many fans.
There were concerns that Pearl breaking free of her role in servitude, as seen in "Now We're Only Falling Apart", wasn't real independence since she still revolved around Pink/Rose. The sequences of "Disobedient"/"Independent Together" make it point-blank clear that it was freedom, not Rose, that led Pearl to becoming her own person.
For many, Opal getting her part in a song during the movie, as she had been widely considered by the fanbase to be Out of Focus even in her own debut, was seen as a refreshing moment as it confirmed she hadn't been forgotten and got a small moment to shine.
Spinel herself, while very well-liked overall, has some detractors who found her past-self to be teeth-rottingly annoying and are thus more understanding to Pink for abandoning her. Her causing an almost planetary genocide and not even really making up for what she did also painted her in a rather bad light. However, the most vocal part of the fanbase unanimously loves her for her very well-done Tragic Villain characterization, genuine adorableness, effectiveness as a villain and being surprisingly very relatable.
Pink Diamond, one of the series's most divisive characters continued to break the base in the movie with her actions in regards to Spinel. Pink abandoning Spinel and leaving her traumatized (on top of her starting the war, bubbling Bismuth, etc) ended up being the final straw for many fans who feel that ultimately she's past the point of being forgivable. Others feel it ties into the tragedy that is Pink's arc, hurting others and herself even as she tried to do the right thing and there's a lot of speculation on whether or not Pink was unable to go back for Spinel. Finally, another contingent feels that the movie unfairly lays the blame for the conflict at Pink's feet and lets Spinel and the Diamonds be Easily Forgiven. These conflicting opinions were further compounded by the movie being Pink's last major onscreen appearance in the series and debate still rages over both how sympathetic she is and how much sympathy the show/movie conveys for her.
The remaining Diamonds. Some love their Flanderization from evil space dictators to overbearing extended family. Others found their doting behaviour and borderline assimilation to be somewhat hard to endure. Spinel leaving with them is also seen as an Esoteric Happy Ending by some, due to the Diamonds' long history of domestic abuse, though thankfully, Future portrays them as genuinely loving towards Spinel.
Steg. While he's been called the highlight of the movie by many, due to his awesome song, levitation powers and surprisingly attractive design, others are somewhat uncomfortable about the fusion that involves Steven being so flirtatious with the other gems and are also somewhat grossed out by the people finding him attractive. And that's not even going into the folks who wrongly accuse him of being a case of Parental Incest.
Crazy Awesome: While the reason why she is so crazy is extremely tragic, Spinel is definitely Ax-Crazy, moves and acts like a deranged 30s cartoon character, knows how to effectively use that in fights and manages to beat the Crystal Gems minutes upon her introduction despite the fact that she was made to be a simple entertainer and the fact that she stood in one place for 6,000 years up to this point. And she does that while singing a ridiculously catchy Electro SwingVillain Song.
Crosses the Line Twice: Spinel's tragic backstory is punctured a bit by Steven bluntly saying that after everything he's learned about his mother, he has no problem believing she'd do something that hurt another so badly.
Spinel is generally a bicycle in that regard. If there's any Monster Clown and/or Inkblot Cartoon Style character you can think of, chances are high that there's fanwork of them shipped with Spinel. Even Laughing Jack is paired with her, at least platonically.
Cry for the Devil: Spinel was introduced as an unrepentant psycho out to kill the Earth and everything on it, taking manic glee in beating the snot out the Crystal Gems, even giving one last cackle before she poofs from a rejuvenator hit. When she reforms, we are introduced to what Spinel was originally like; a Genki Girl clown, made to be the best friend and entertainer of her owner. The audience then gets a front row seat to her lovable antics before finally seeing the trauma that changed her into the Spinel from the beginning of the movie, and all simultaneously cried out for her and shouted that she deserved better.
Draco in Leather Pants: Spinel quickly became a fan favorite character for being both a charismatic, sympathetic villain, and a villain with an incredibly strong character arc, complete with one of the most horrifying backstories in the franchise. However, many like to paint Spinel as The Woobie; a wholesome, adorable, irresistible cinnamon roll who did nothing wrong before her FaceHeel Turn. While true of her original self, this is not at all accurate to Spinel pre-HeelFace Turn; she came to Earth specifically to murder Steven and the rest of Earth's life in revenge for Pink abandoning her. Unlike most of the other antagonists in the series, Spinel is fully aware that Steven is not Pink Diamond, and that she's taking out her pain on others who have done absolutely nothing to her, but she simply doesn't recognize or care until the end of the film. In an interview, Rebecca Sugar explains how Spinel's character is an exploration and exaggeration of how toxic a person can be when they let their pain become who they are.
Sugar: The thing about Spinel is that she's a really toxic person. She's so toxic that she's literally trying to poison people. In my interactions with friends who have had a history difficult enough to make it hard for them to trust other people and sometimes even actively want to hurt others, it's just a very difficult situation to navigate. [...] I wanted to explore what it's like when you're trying to help someone who really doesn't want to help themselves, who wants to embody the negative feelings that they have about themselves. [...] Spinel, unlike many other characters, actually has the goal of hurting people, which is new territory for the show. She really wants to hurt Steven, and there's a reason that she doesbecause she's in so much pain. I just wanted to explore all the dimensions of that.
Since the teaser shows a heart-shaped gemstone spinning and turning, with each Crystal Gem being shown in a different angle, some concluded that the movie would be about the Crystal Gems traveling into Another Dimension and meeting other versions of themselves. It wasn't, though the Gems did get to meet other versions of themselves in a way.
There were two major theories about the villain's true identity. Some speculated that she was a Morganite, possibly even Rhodonite's former owner due to their similar gem placement and Rhodonite's name drop of her in "Off Colors". Others went into riskier theories, thinking that she was another Diamond, either Pink Diamond's Flawed Prototype or Evil Knockoff, calling her "Red Diamond" or "Pink 1.0/2.0". In truth, she was neither of these, actually being a new Gem called "Spinel", the former playmate of Pink Diamond.
After Rebecca Sugar confirmed that at least one new fusion would appear in the movie, people immediately assumed that Steven would be part of it, either fusing with the second generation of Crystal Gems (Peridot, Lapis, Bismuth), a human (Greg and Lars being the most common candidates) or even a fellow Diamond (Yellow, Blue, White). Greg turned out to be the correct answer.
Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Claiming that Steg is technically a representation of Parental Incest is bringing the tiring discussion of "fusion being a metaphor for sex" back, which is something that practically everyone in the fandom has grown sick of. For the last time, while the act of fusion can be very intimate, the fusion itself is the personification of the fusee's relationship. Claiming that fusion is sex is claiming that all relationships are romantic to some degree, which is blatantly false.
What would happen if any other Gem was hit with the rejuvenator, and what arcs would bring them back to their current selves?
It didn't take long for fans to start speculating about how things would have played out if Pink had taken Spinel to Earth with her, if Spinel had been found before the events of the movie, or if Pink took Spinel with her but left Pearl behind.
Spinel returning to Steven and the others if the Diamonds lost interest in her too, or if she herself decided to evolve past being a Diamond's jester and try and find her own identity on Earth like Pearl and by extension Peridot did, is also a very popular concept.
Fanon: In humanized fanart, Spinel is usually portrayed as Hispanic or Latino, given that "Spinela" and "Spinelli" are common Spanish names. Her "innocent" self is usually headcanoned to be 6-8 years old, while her "evil" self is a 16-year-old Emo Teen. She's usually portrayed as Steven's long lost sister, though many vary in how they're related, adopted siblings is popular for Stevinel shippers.
Genius Bonus: A few shots of Pink Diamond's Garden during Spinel's flashbacks feature a couple of specific kinds of flowers: Forget-Me-Nots and Red Spider Lillies, the latter carrying its Japanese meanings of "never to meet again", "lost memory", and "abandonment", perfect for Pink leaving Spinel behind in the garden and never coming back for her.
The series itself can be hard to rewatch when you realize that Spinel was standing in the garden the entire time. For whatever reason she had, while Rose was creating the rebellion, she never saved her. While Steven and his friends are having fun, Spinel could never join them.
The movie's events become this in Future when a corrupted Steven starts lashing out in pain and self-loathing, nearly destroying Little Homeschool and his town. He then inflicts karma on Spinel while fighting, because he's lashing out the way she did with her opening fight. Even worse, Spinel starts crying mid-Heel Realization because she realizes how her actions badly impacted Steven's psyche.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: Greg trying to fuse with Rose but failing becomes much less harsh now that he can fuse with Steven, especially with such a flawless and instant first attempt even with Steven's gem on the fritz.
Hilarious in Hindsight: For years, it's been very common for AUs where Steven is Blue Diamond's son to have him wearing a blue shirt. Steven's aged-up attire actually does have him wearing a blue shirt.
Inferred Holocaust: While it seems no one is hurt for long, part of the Earth is filled with poison and if Beach City is any indication, a lot of plants to wither and die. As Garnet mentions, they'll need to get water for Steven so he doesn't dehydrate while healing the Earth with smooches.
Just Here for Godzilla: Many fans who had gotten tired of the original show or stopped watching altogether returned at the word of Spinel and found her character to be a delightful return to form for the show, many finding her the best, or in some cases, only worthwhile part of the movie.
The promotional poster gave everyone a better look at the movie's villain, who immediately gained many comparisons to Jenny Wakeman for their extremely similar face shapes and pigtails. Comparing her to Dee Dee is also quite common, again because of the pigtails. In the trailer proper, due to her Looney Tunes-like animations, people have compared her to bosses in Cuphead, namely Sally Stageplay and Baroness Von Bon Bon.
Pink had her own Pink. Explanation Many people have noticed that Spinel's playful and somewhat clingy behavior towards Pink Diamond was the same way Pink behaved towards the other Diamonds, leading many to see Spinel's clinginess towards Pink as Laser-Guided Karma.
Because of her pink color scheme, Toon Physics, and Genki Girl attitude, it's not uncommon to compare original Spinel with Pinkie Pie, with present-day Spinel as Pinkamena.
Spinel's backstory has been compared favorably (if tragically) to Seymour, Fry's dog from Futurama, who waited until the day he died for Fry to come back, unaware Fry was trapped in a cryotube for a thousand years.
"In the garden, Spinel is still waiting." Explanation Fans will often note, with a darkly comic stint, that almost any happy scenes or moments in the series are much harder to watch with the knowledge that, somewhere out in space, Spinel is still waiting for Pink Diamond to come back to the garden.
"That's right, I heard "Other Friends" over and over again!" Explanation A line from Spinel's Villain Song modified about how much fans will play the song itself, well, over and over again.
Alternatively: "I've listened to "Other Friends"... ON LOOP!"
"That's right, I heard the story, don't really like how it ends!" Explanation Fans who disliked how Season 5 of the show ended (usually for being against the Diamonds being redeemed) takes this line from Spinel's Villain Song as a fitting meta-statement. By extension, some fans will even use it for this movie for disliking the ending where Spinel is given to the Diamonds.
"I'm rusty! Give me a break!" note Amethyst's line after Spinel starts trouncing the Crystal Gems, often followed by somebody pointing out that Spinel never had any real combat training and spent six thousand years standing still.
"Finally something. Finally news. About how the story ends." Explanation Many edits have been made of the scene in "Drift Away" where Spinel sees Steven's "message to the universe" broadcasted on the Diamond Communicator, replacing said message with video of...pretty much anything.
Being played by the same actress (over on Broadway), it's become a recurring idea to have Spinel singing "What's Gonna Happen" from the Tootsie musical, coming from a high-strung character played by Sarah Stiles singing about trying to prove her worth as an entertainer.
"Who cares about the rock show?" Explanation Steven's exasperated response to his father's failure to cancel a rock concert in the wake of the Apocalypse. The term "the rock show" has come to be used to refer to Steven Universe itself (being a show about literal rocks, in a sense), and the whole phrase is used by fans to signify other people's responses to their obsession with the show or call out Cartoon Network for mistreating the show.
Cotton Candy Garnet returns, and we actually get to see a good look at her personality. She's absolutely adorable in the way she plays with her surroundings, like being utterly fascinated by a spork. It's hard to believe that she and the Afro Asskicker Garnet are actually the same person.
Spinel, after she loses her memories, is a boundlessly energetic, perpetually upbeat bundle of adorableness. Heck, even her evil self is somewhat Creepy Cute; the Diamonds certainly agree. And considering the type of character she is, you'll likely want to reach through the screen to give her a Cool Down Hug.
As disturbing as it is to see Pearl revert to a servile state, the innocent-looking expressions she makes when reset are endearing Moe Stares.
Narm Charm: Spinel's Curb-Stomp Battle against the Crystal Gems involves her weaponizing her cartoon-like body to toy with them while singing an upbeat, jazzy song. It's hilarious and terrifying since the Crystal Gems are usually able to at least put up a fight, but they can't even touch Spinel.
Never Live It Down: Pink Diamond for what she did to Spinel. Although what she did was wrong and cruel, many use this to paint her as an irredeemable monster, ignoring her own tragic past in the previous season and everything she would eventually do, constantly bringing up this moment when discussing the character. In actuality, this event happened before Pink got any of her Character Development that changed her for the better, even though she didn't believe it herself. Also, it is unknown if she had intended to leave Spinel in the garden for all that time when she first got her colony, but by the time the rebellion happened and the Gems on Earth were corrupted, there was obviously no way for her to go back to Spinel even if she wanted to (or assuming that Earth was being surveyed, no way to go without it being a Cover-Blowing Superpower that would inform the other Diamonds the Crystal Gems were still alive).
No Yay: Steg's interactions with Pearl, Amethyst, and Opal in "Independent Together" are commonly interpreted as flirtatious, and become Squicky as a result; even without discounting that fusions are their own people, Steg is still made up of Greg and Steven, the latter of whom is still a minor, to say nothing of Pearl and Amethyst basically being mother and sister figures to him, respectively.
One-Scene Wonder: Steg and Opal literally and figuratively steal the show with their brief duet, and are considered a highlight of the movie by many. It's easy to forget that they each had less than two minutes of screentime.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Spinel/Pink Pearl, called "Spinearl" by fans, immediately sprang into existence following the movie's airing. It is heavily implied that Spinel was only given to Pink after Pink Pearl became White Pearl/got replaced with our Pearl, meaning that two have never met, not that that's stopping fans - some even use it for a Meet Cute.
The sequence of the Ruby and Sapphire Garnets forming into a single Garnet, accompanied by the song "Isn't It Love?", is frequently praised as one of the most beautiful scenes, not just in the movie but in the entire show.
Spinel's role in the movie could've been easily filled by Pink Pearl, since she already had a villainouslook going for her and she was very intimidating while being controlled by White Diamond. In fact, before the movie's release, some fans theorized that she was Pink Pearl who would Go Mad from the Revelation that her Diamond was dead. The fact that Pink Pearl doesn't even appear in the movie, while both Yellow and Blue Pearl do, doesn't help.
It's a bit disappointing that we only get to see Little Homeworld in passing. You'd think that at least one of the uncorrupted gems would be named, but only the Geode Beetles show up, referred to as "the Geode Beetles" rather than their actual Gem name.
The plot of the movie revolves around Beach City, and the rest of Earth, being slowly poisoned by Spinel's injector, so one might except some of the Beach City citizens to get involved in some way. Nope! Only Greg, Sadie, Lars, and Nanefua have lines, with Greg being the only one who is vital to the plot. Every other Beach City citizen is reduced to a background cameo. For Lars in particular, it would have been awesome to see him assist Steven in getting the injector out of the Earth's surface.
Any Gem that isn't part of the Crystal Gems or a Diamond. Jasper, Aquamarine, the Ruby Squad, Topaz, and Emeraldnote Or at least her ship all have cameos during "Happily Ever After", and the Off Colors appear frequently in the background, but none of them have any real focus put on them. It's especially strange in Emerald's case since she was the only antagonist who acted on her own accord and there's no implication of her coming for the Sun Incinerator.
Rhodonite's lack of dialogue is also a bit of a surprise. Who didn't want to see her react to Cotton Candy Garnet?
Fans of Bismuth, Peridot, and Lapis expected the benching of Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst as capable heroes to give the B-Team Crystal Gems more room to act as supporting protagonists to Steven, possibly by helping the main trio get their memories back in a way that mirrored how the Crystal Gems had helped them. They do get a song and a scene helping Ruby and Sapphire fuse, but after that they spend most of the movie offscreen dealing with Spinel's injector.
The damage done by the end of the movie could've stuck and led to interesting repercussions, such as Greg permanently losing one of his arms or a good chunk of Beach City being barren and destroyed; instead Steven's spit heals everything, though it's implied not everything was able to be fixed completely.
The Rejuvenator is an interesting concept that makes total sense in the show's universe. How is it used? The three full-Gem main characters, Steven, and the villain are hit with it. Ignoring that servant Pearl is basically a robot, Steven himself was fine and only his powers were reset, and "Cotton Candy" Garnet's semi-established personality mostly being shown through background antics, only Amethyst and Spinel actually bring something new to the table. It would've been much more interesting to see a less established Gem, such as Peridot, Lapis, Bismuth, Jasper, Eyeball or maybe even a Diamond, being hit with it and the conflict resolving around bringing them back to their former selves, or Steven getting hit with the rejuvenator causing more than just his powers to reset.
Uncanny Valley: Amethyst's newly-formed self is adorably innocent, but her mannequin-like arms and legs can be kind of off-putting.
What an Idiot!: Steven unintentionally kicks off Spinel's anxiety again an offhand remark makes her believe he only used her to get rid of the injector and doesn't need her anymore, only added to the Rejuvenator getting knocked out of his pocket and accidentally being activated, making Spinel panic even further for thinking Steven plans to use it on her. You'd Expect: That Steven immediately shuts the Rejuvenator off or breaks it, telling Spinel he does not plan to use it on her and really does want to be her friend. Instead: Steven practically agrees with what Spinel says about only temporarily needing her, not realizing how it sounds like, and keeps holding onto the activated Rejuvenator in front of her. As A Result: Spinel's anxiety and trauma completely take over, making her re-activate the injector and violently turn on Steven, very nearly killing him in the process in the ensuing fight.
WTH, Casting Agency?: When first announced, Chance the Rapper being involved with the movie raised some eyebrows, as he's, well, a rapper, and aside from Nicki Minaj, the show has only cast more traditional musicians before him. He ultimately didn't end up voicing any characters, his primary credit being a writer for the song "True Kinda Love".