Much as I have enjoyed the new Steven Universe Future and its rejection of the “happily ever after” narrative, I have mourned the lack of Peridot, my favorite Crystal Gem. Okay, not just my favorite, but the one I most identify with. If you take the Diamond Authority as a stand-in for patriarchy and its various follow-on oppressions, Peridot is the character we most see travel the arc from privileged enforcer to woke revolutionary. That’s where I want to get to.
One of the things I admire about Peri is her willingness to stay in the background. She can rise to leadership when called upon, though she is comically bad at it (she is no “the Garnet”). Mostly she stays out of the picture, growing her garden and supporting Lapis, but she’s always ready to step in when her skills are needed.
Of course, I can’t be a side character in my own life story, but I do think as a straight white cis man who is a home- and business-owner I have to work to not take up too much space, to find more background and support roles and let other people take leadership positions that have traditionally been reserved for people like me. It’s funny to see a goofy green cartoon as a role model, but there we are.
So while I wish Shelby Rabara were getting more screen time, I totally understand why she isn’t. Meanwhile it makes no sense that Connie is getting similarly sidelined, except that it probably points to something big yet to come. We don’t know how many episodes this “limited series” will have, but it’s not over yet.