Aesop Amnesia: Spinel's relationship with Pink Diamond and Steven isn't healthy, as she clings and puts all her self-worth based on the person she attaches herself to them to an excessive degree. In the latter case, she hasn't moved on from how Pink Diamond hurt her, and her own insecurities bubble up in her attempts to please Steven because of how she hasn't taken time to properly address and deal with her issues. She later addresses something's wrong, and that she needs to make an effort to move on and heal. However, when the Diamonds arrive and show their approval of her, she near immediately latches onto them and plays with them not unlike she did with Pink and Steven with absolutely no indication things were going to be different.
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 whether or not she did it regularly?
During Steven's montage in "Happily Ever After", in which previous enemies he faced are shown, it's a tiny bit odd the only other member of the Ruby squad seen aside from Eyeball is Doc instead of Navy. Is this because he is intimidated by Doc's leadership and the way she orders the other Rubies to fuse to attack the Crystal Gems, or is it because he feels bad about leaving Navy stranded in space (which led to her tricking him), and considers himself the bad guy and not her?
Did Rose 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? Or, did the reason she did not go back would be out of how risky it would be and explaining it to her?
The communication device in Pink Diamond's garden was operational, why did she never attempt to send a message to Spinel?
It was most likely a Diamond communicator, given that the garden seems to be exclusively Pink Diamond's (like the zoo). It could be assumed that the Diamond communicators track and/or communicate who's using it to the other Diamonds (it can self-destruct on command, for pete's sake). Maybe Rose couldn't use it because it would blow her cover and jeopardize the remaining Crystal Gems.
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?
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 see and care about Spinel as her own person, or just an extension of Pink?
A brief line from Yellow Diamond confirms that the planets under the Gem Empire have actually been freed, after "Change Your Mind" never made that clear.
Stevens behavior towards the Diamonds behavior in the beginning shows hes still afraid of them and believes they havent really changed that much since Change Your Mind. Somewhat alleviating the idea that they turned over a new leaf so easily and showing that theyre still learning even after two years.
The characterization of Spinel is generally treated as a massive step in the right direction for the series. She actually comes 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. The Diamonds are similarly criticized as crossing the Moral Event Horizon countless times before the show even began, thus some argue that they're not worthy of redemption.
"Who We Are" which really shows off how powerful Uzo Aduba's singing voice is, as Bismuth plays the encouraging Crystal Gem veteran and pulls Steven out of his depowered funk to find a way to restore Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst to normal.
"Disobedient", performed by Sadie Killer and the Suspects, plus Amethyst as well. It's a truly epic piece of music that really makes you wanna rock out!
"Independent Together", a soft rock duet sung by Steg and Opal (voiced by duo Ted Leo and Aimee Mann of The Both). Not only do Ted and Aimee sound great together, but it's also awesome that Opal finally got to speak/sing again, which she hasn't done since her introduction.
"Drift Away", which is Spinel's backstory, has dissonant sounding notes in the backing that accurately represent how Spinel viewed the situation (a "game" that none the less has something "wrong" just beneath the surface), and has lyrics that can speak to the heart of any viewers who've found themselves being let down by a person they considered a great friend only to find out that in the end they weren't. The song takes away elements of "Other Friends" and strips away her fun and playful Electro Swing to only the distant notes of her leitmotif and reveal the tragedy of her character.
"True Kinda Love", performed by Estelle and Zach Callison. A soothing R&B number that leaves one feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
"Change", sung during the final battle, is a beautifully powerful number that boasts Zach Callison's amazing vocal range.
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.
Cry for the Devil: Spinel has gotten this reaction. Unable to move on from Pink abandoning her, she lashes out at Steven. Despite this, she just wants friends and she knows it, but thinks that letting her anger out is better for her.
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 meet other versions of themselves in a way.
There were two major theories about the villain's true identity. Some speculated that she's a Morganite, maybe even Rhodonite's former owner. Others go into riskier theories, thinking that she's another Diamond, either Pink Diamond's Flawed Prototype or Evil Knockoff, calling her "Red Diamond". There was evidence for both, she has the same gem placement as Rhodonite's Pearl, but her gemstone is a bit too detailed for a generic Morganite, and she also seems a tad too overpowered, much like how Rose Quartz felt too overpowered for a generic Quartz. Turns out she's a new Gem called "Spinel", a 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 will 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.
Esoteric Happy Ending: Spinel going off with the Diamonds in the end is this to some. Spinel suffers from severe trust and dependency issues and is given into the care of people whose affection for her is mostly based around the fact that she used to be Pink Diamond's playmate and she reminds them of her. Considering this, there's no guarantee that the Diamonds won't eventually grow tired of her like Pink did and cast her aside. And even if the Diamonds never stop showering her with love and attention, they're still enabling her codependency problem while also preventing themselves from fully moving on from Pink's death.
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").
For a time, many fans were convinced (or desperately hoping) that Spinel would be an utterly irredeemable villain that would serve as a counterpoint to the show having the mentality that no-one is truly evil. Giving Steven an opponent that he couldn't possibly reason with would be a good way to show that not everyone can be redeemed. Spinel ended up being yet another character that was redeemed, but many of those same fans consider her to be a well-written Tragic Villain that more than deserved her redemption, being seen as the most sympathetic character in the entire series. Even joking that she should have been shattered instead for her attempt to destroy Earth will garner you some glares.
The series itself can be hard to rewatch when you realize that Spinel was standing in the garden the entire time. For whatever reason, while Rose was creating the rebellion, she never saved her. While Steven and his friends are having fun, Spinel could never join them.
After years of hearing Zach Callison use a different voice for Steven, hearing Steven speak in his voice actor's real, mature voice is jarring.
Steven actually managed to do something his mother couldn't: reform Homeworld and its colonial policies!
Spinel shows up and quickly poofs Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl in one fell swoop. Then attacks Steven, managing to shatter his shield (the same shield Pink used to successfully protect herself, Garnet, and Pearl from an attack by all three other Diamonds) and get in some hits before he defeats her. Steven then discovers that he's lost mastery over his powers. All this happens within the span of a few minutes, and it happens after a the purely happy opening, making it extremely jarring.
Steven fusing with Greg and getting a duet with Opal, who hasn't even spoken since her debut.
It's a minor one, but due to this being a movie Steven being allowed to bleed. It's just from a good hit to the nose and isn't major, but still.
Spinel straight up saying she wants to kill Steven. It's just really shocking to hear since the show usually employs Never Say "Die", and it's especially shocking due to how serious she sounds when she says it.
Inferred Holocaust: While it seems no one is hurt for long, the Earth is damaged. As Garnet mentions, they'll need to get water for Steven so he doesn't dehydrate while healing the Earth with smooches.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While the movie was well received overall, the fact that Steven still managed to redeem the villain just by talking to them, even if they had a good fight before rubbed some fans the wrong way considering how often it happens. Considering the gem Spinel already is and her sympathetic origins, however, for most fans, the redemption feels more justified compared to others, even if it's pretty predictable. Also, the movie knows very well what it's doing, given Steven lampshades that once again he's fighting a Gem he barely knows who wants him dead, the Earth is in danger, he's paying for something his mom did and his powers are out of control.
Jerkass Woobie: Spinel wanted to make her only friend, Pink Diamond, happy. But Pink abandoned her when she got her colony, leaving Spinel to wait for her return for 6,000 years. When she learned the truth, that Pink had moved on without her, she snapped. Even she recognized how far she's fallen and admits that she doesn't want to be so full of rage towards someone who wants to be friends with her.
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 a welcome return to form of the show's superior writing, 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 (or more fittingly, the Exo-Skin) 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.
''Yooouuuu! What have you done to us?!" Explanation After Spinel regenerates, Steven goes all Large Ham and questions her about the Crystal Gems' amnesia.
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.
And if not that, they probably make references to Jessie with her song "Drift Away" being compared to "When She Loved Me".
Her backstory has also been compared favorably (if tragically) to Seymour, Fry's dog from Futurama.
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.
"You can't just make everything better by singing some stupid song!"Explanation One of Spinel's lines in the final act of the movie, as a rebuttal to Steven singing while they're fighting. First seen in the Toonami trailer, it's become one of Spinel's most popular lines in the movie.
"That's right, I heard the story, don't really like how it ends!" Explanation Fans who disliked how the original 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.
The newly-formed, essentially baby version of Amethyst.
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 (being utterly fascinated by a spork), it's hard to believe that she and the Afro Asskicker Garnet are actually one and the same.
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 Cooldown Hug.
As disturbing as it is to see Pearl reverting to a servile state, the innocent-looking expressions she makes when she is reset are endearing Moe Stares.
In regards to Steg, his name is pretty dumb sounding. It follows the human-fusion naming pattern set by Stevonnie, in that it's a portmanteau of Steven and Greg's names, but "Greven" would sound better in that regard. The Fan Nicknames "Mr. Universe" or "Mr. Multiverse" would also work better. Doesn't help that Steg sounds like a diminutive for Stegosaurus.
Steven climbing up the side of the extractor. They actually managed to show him doing something that not a single one of Pink/Rose's numerous powers can explain; he's just crawling up a vertical and completely smooth glass surface like Spider-Man, somehow.
Narm Charm: Spinel's Curb-Stomp Battle against the Crystal Gems when she weaponizes her cartoon-like body to toy with them. It's hilarious and terrifying, since the Gems only once lost badly to Yellow Diamond.
Pearl acting like a servant towards Greg. She's practically lobotomized and her constantly sticking around makes him visibly uncomfortable.
Spinel's violent tendencies when she's angry and overly clingy behavior when she's rejuvenated; the movie makes a point of showing how she doesn't quite fit into the group and makes Steven just a little uncomfortable (though partially because she was trying to kill them just a little while earlier.)
Fans who consider fusion to be a one-to-one equivalent to sex were very squicked when Steven fused with his own father, Greg, to form "Steg".
One-Scene Wonder: Steg and Opal literally and figuratively steal the show with their brief duet. It's easy to forget that they each had less than two minutes of screentime.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Spinel/Pink Pearl (coined by fans as "Spinearl"), at least in a platonic sense, even though they haven't met as it's heavily implied that Spinel only came to be after Pink Pearl became White Pearl/got replaced with our Pearl. But considering how both were Pink Diamond's and both suffered a great deal in their existence, it would make one hell of a Hurt/Comfort Fic.
The sequence with the two Garnets forming a single Garnet, accompanied by the song "Isn't It Love?", it's frequently praised as one of the most beautiful scenes, not just in the movie but in the entire show.
"Independent Together": Where to begin? We get to see Steg, Steven and Greg's fusion and he is awesome. We see a wonderful sequence of Pearl regaining her identity and cycling through her past selves. And Opal makes a triumphant return! Also, the imagery in the song really evokes a rock music video.
Squick: Steg for some, namely due to him being a fusion of Steven and Greg, who are related. Fusion isn't a one-to-one metaphor for sex, but some people see it as sexual, or at least very intimate, in nature, so seeing Greg and Steven fuse into a sultry voiced Hunk can be a little uncomfortable.
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 doesn't help.
Whenever the Diamonds appear in the movie, they pretty much all act the same. Their scenes could've been a lot more interesting if their diverse personalities were actually utilized.
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 gem name.
The damage done by the end of the movie could've stuck, such as Greg permanently losing one of his arms or a good chunk of Beach City being barren; instead Steven pushes the Reset Button. Though the movie does show the outline of the craters, indicating that some damage couldn't be repaired.
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 and the villain are hit with it. Ignoring that Pearl's and Garnet's backstories are already well established, 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 or maybe even Jasper, being hit with it and the conflict resolving around bringing them back to their former selves.
Spinel could have realized that she should try and be her own gem and not depend on serving as someone's "best friend" to be happy (not very different from the lesson Pearl went through), and stay with the others on Earth to properly process her issues. Instead she is given off to the Diamonds to serve as their playmate, her abandonment issues not really addressed and with no guarantee that the Diamonds won't ever grow tired of her like Pink did.
Spinel being a Rubber Gem works fine when she's harmless, but as a villain it's just disturbing.
Amethyst's newly-formed self is adorably innocent, but her mannequin-like arms and legs can be kind of off-putting.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Pink Diamond, in a weird way. While it's pretty much agreed that her abandoning of Spinel was a terrible thing to do, many disagree with notion that she's the "irredeemable villain" that so many have wanted from the series. Some feel like it's unfair to completely ignore all the good she did as Rose Quartz (standing up to the other Diamonds, giving Gems a chance to choose their destiny, giving birth to Steven, etc.) and only focus on her few, admittedly huge, mistakes. Adding to this, many have pointed out it's unfair that Pink is apparently "irredeemable" while the Diamonds', who raised Pink and therefore had a large influence on her actions, are forgiven so easily despite having done much worse.
To a smaller degree, the diamonds more comical interpretation as overbearing aunts has caused fans to view them favorably and portray them as such. This, despite the fact they had spent thousands of years being cruel, apathetic dictators who are responsible for some of Pink's more glaring flaws.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Spinel for some. While her backstory does elicit a lot of sympathy from most, some feel like she got off too easy, mainly because she destroyed most of Beach City and left without helping to fix it.
Spinel's injector is going to destroy all life on Earth in two days or so, and neither Steven nor his friends know how to stop it without making things even worse in the process. You'd Expect: For Steven to ask the Diamonds for help, considering that they are now friends of his, even if somewhat difficult ones. Instead: He decides that the only thing he can do is to cure Spinel's amnesia, hoping (despite not knowing anything about her story or motivation at the time) that the very person who deliberately caused the problem will somehow agree to fix it. As A Result: He fails to convince her in time, and while he still manages to stop the end of the world thanks to the resulting fight destroying the injector Beach City gets wrecked and it ends up taking months, if not years, to clean up the disaster.
Steven unintentionally kicks off Spinel's anxiety again when making her believe he only used her to get rid of the injector and doesn't need her anymore, added to the Rejuvenator 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 for nearly two minutes in front of her.
As A Result: Spinel's anxiety and trauma takes completely 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?: 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".