The fifth and final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is set to release on Netflix this coming Friday, May 15th. There's not much time between now and then. But before the final adventures of Adora, Glimmer, Bow, and all the rest come to a conclusion, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to speak with showrunner Noelle Stevenson all about the upcoming season and to look back at what came before. There are no spoilers here, but maybe bring some tissues just in case.
Specifically, Stevenson answered our questions about how the end of the show came together, what it's like playing with other people's toys, her hopes for takeaways from fans once it's all out there, and more. That includes, but is not limited to, her favorite scenes and also whether we'll actually get a She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tabletop game in the future. (I had to ask.)
Here's how DreamWorks Animation Television describes the upcoming season, if you somehow missed it:
"In season 5, the ruthless Horde Prime has arrived and without the Sword of Protection and She-Ra, the Rebellion are facing their toughest challenge yet. In this epic conclusion unexpected adversaries are confronted and relationships are tested, broken and changed forever. Will Adora and the Princesses of Power be able to save their planet? Or will the universe succumb to the evil might of Horde Prime before love can conquer hate?"
As noted above, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 5 is set to launch on Netflix on May 15th. The previous four seasons are available now, and there is no time like the present to catch up. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the latest and greatest animated She-Ra series right here.
Keep reading to check out our full interview with showrunner Noelle Stevenson!
FINAL SEASON TEASE
ComicBook.com: First off, final season, congrats! It's almost here.
Noelle Stevenson: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I'm so excited.
So obviously we've seen some trailers, we've seen some posters, but what can you tease about the final season?
I think that this is a moment where not only are the stakes higher than they've ever been, they're fighting for the existence, not just of their planet, but of this universe they didn't even know existed until the end of Season Four. And one of the most powerful villains that they've ever faced. So not only are the stakes higher in that sense, but also I think in a personal sense the stakes are higher, our characters are going to have to confront aspects of themselves that I think they've been struggling with since the beginning of the show. And this is really where many of our central characters kind of meet that fork in the road. They come to that turning point. And so it's a season that is just, it is bigger than anything we've ever done. It is more ambitious than anything we've ever done. And then it's also just more highly personal than anything we've ever done. So I am really, really excited for everybody to be able to experience it.
Now, when did you know that this was going to be how the show ended?
It was something I definitely knew from the start, the basic arc of the show. When I pitched the show, I pitched basically the full 52 episodes. So we always knew that this was going to be the space season. We always knew this was going to be the Horde Prime season. And so that part was, a lot of it was laid out from the start. But within that, I think we were pretty free to explore and expand and follow threads to the conclusion that we found the most interesting. So in a lot of ways, it was something that we found along the way. And a lot of ways it was something that I was really passionate about from the beginning of the show.
So it's something that I think we just wanted to make sure that every character's conclusion felt natural and it felt like something almost inevitable, something that we've been building to since the beginning. And my hope is when, in the future when people watch this all as a whole, it will be really clear where we were going and it will be like, “Oh, that was what that meant. And this is where it ended up.” So I'm hoping that it's a satisfying story to watch as a whole because that was sort of how it was developed.
PLAYING WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S TOYS
Now obviously She-Ra is not a new license, while She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, it really stands on its own. Honestly, you're playing with other people's toys here. Was there ever any pushback or problems getting through what you wanted?
Yeah, I mean, I think it is something that I feel very lucky to have gotten the amount of freedom that I did. All of our partners in this really did let us do what we wanted to do with the characters and with the world. There were certain moments. I think there were certain moments in this final season where [laughs] I pitched things that were a little too out there, and I am a little bit sad about those things, but it's something that is like, it is really, really fun to be able to play in this world that means so much to so many people, but also to be able to kind of give She-Ra her story. She's so often been a character who appears in He-Man's story and he and hers, but I don't think that she's ever had a story that's focused on her, the way that so many stories just were solely about He-Man.
So I think being able to create something that is sort of self-contained and standalone while sort of pressing on some of the bigger mythology of the Masters of the Universe world -- I'm really proud to have been able to do that. And I'm really excited to see if She-Ra appears in some of the other Masters of the Universe projects that are coming up. But I think in this way, I am like, it's been a really, really fun experience to be able to explore her in this sort of very self-contained way.
HOPES FOR WHOLE THING
What do you hope people take from the show when they've seen it all?
I hope that, like I said, I hope that the threads, especially as it relates to each character that we've been playing with since the beginning of the show that it falls into place and it feels satisfying and it feels like I said, inevitable, but this is where it had to go. This is how it had to happen. And I also hope that it brings a little bit of light in the darkness, because it is a dark time right now. And I hope that to see these characters struggle and fight and fail and try again, is something that really comforts everybody watching it and that there is hope and that there is light in the darkness and that it offers us a model of how to be strong and how to be brave in a world that is often out of our control. Yeah. So I hope that it brings a little bit of comfort to our viewers.
SEASON 5 UPWARD SWING
I was going to say Season Four ends on a pretty dark, down moment with the sword shattering and Catra and Glimmer taken prisoner. Would you say that Season Five is an upward swing then?
I think in a lot of ways the stakes are higher this season. There's more danger. But I think that Season Four is a particularly hard season emotionally, because of the way all of our characters are individually breaking and then their relationships with each other are also being tested and breaking. And so we see so many of our characters at their lowest points and relationships that we assumed were bulletproof start to fracture. And so I think that in a lot of ways Season Five is more optimistic. There's a lot of healing and a lot of repair to be done as our characters sort of come together against the biggest threat they've ever faced. Even though I think it gets pretty dark in Season Five as well, I think that it is not quite, for me, at least my experience is it's like a little bit easier to deal with than when we saw our characters at their lowest points, just completely kind of broken.
And this is really like the season where every single one of our characters has to figure out what they're going to do, who they're going to be and how to repair those relationships, because every single character in our show is affected by that. So it's something that in a lot of ways, I think that this season has a kind of a core of optimism to it, no matter how dark it might get or how high the stakes might get or how intense the danger might get, it's really about our characters discovering who they are and following the path that each of them has... They have to actually ask themselves what they want and who they want to be and how they're going to act on that. It is like kind of a season about choice.
FAVORITE MOMENTS OR SCENES
Now looking back, what are some of your favorite moments or scenes from the show so far?
Oh boy. That is a very difficult question. I am so fond of so many parts of the show and so many themes. I like any moment where I think that that focuses on a character's interiority or on their emotions. So there are lots of moments that are just like... I think in the last season, the scene that I always remember, and I sort of think encompasses that whole season is the scene where Glimmer confronts Bow and Adora right before Bow and Adora run off to Beast Island. And they have this really tense confrontation in front of the fire and Glimmer is sort of fighting with Adora, trying to appeal to Bow. And then there's just this moment where Glimmer assumes that she and Bow are, their friendship is solid, that nothing will, he'll always take her side, he’ll always take care of her.
And in that moment, there's this like... Bow just yells at her and he's like, "You're wrong. I am not going to do what you say, you are wrong. I have to work against you." And it's like, it is so heartbreaking for me to see that relationship crack like that. And the actors did such an incredible job and it's like, you can see Glimmer fighting against... She's being forced to kind of be at odds with her friends and then also trying to be this perfect queen that is just kind of destroying her. So moments like that, it's like weirdly quiet moments where the characters just bounce off of each other with almost no other kind of input. And so that's one that really stands out for me. And I think from that same episode Catra's breakdown is another one. That's just like, it's such raw emotion. And I love being able to see just our characters and who they are in these quiet scenes or either they're alone or there's just all they have is each other to bounce off of.
SHE-RA TABLETOP RPG0comments
Last year, April Fool's Day, She-Ra tabletop RPG. Is there any hint of that on the horizon? I remember you were interested in it. I don't know if anything is ever going to happen. Have to ask.
I actually, I'm not sure. I think that would be really cool. And I know a few people have done sort of unofficial ones. I don't think that we are currently working with anyone on developing an official version of that, but I think that I felt wind of at least a few sort of homebrew modules of that, but yeah, that was, I don't think that came from us at all. So it's something I would be very interested in, but I don't have any other information.