Rebecca Sugar Reveals the Inspiration for Steven Universe: The Movie

Steven Universe: The Movie premiered last night, and while there's plenty of details to discuss and dissect in the aftermath of the film, the actual plot itself has an incredibly specific inspiration. According to creator Rebecca Sugar, it all traces back to an unfortunate technical mishap in 2015.

WARNING: Some spoilers for Steven Universe: The Movie follow.

steven universe the movie poster
(Photo: Cartoon Network) Steven Universe: The Movie, how did this happen? How did the idea for the movie come about?

Rebecca Sugar: The idea for the movie comes from something that happened in 2015. I was headed to Japan. I was trying to set my phone up for international travel, and I accidentally completely wiped my phone. I lost years of pictures, and videos, and poems I'd written in my notes, and I never got it back. It was really devastating. Around that time I started thinking about what would happen if the Gems were restored to factory settings. There was so much formative show stuff that was in my phone that I lost and years of pictures with the crew. I was just struck how impactful that was, and I started thinking about how that could apply to the characters if they lost all the progress that they've made.

Wow, and you never got that stuff back?

I never got it back.

Wow. I'm sorry, I'm having a moment of trying to wrap my head around that happening to anyone's phone at all.

It's awful. I'm really not super tech savvy. I'm a real Luddite. In school, I animated on paper. I got a smartphone really late, so it's not my forte. I'm really bad about backing things up, so hopefully this will never have to happen to you.

I was going to say, are you more prone to backing things up now?

Yes, I'm better about it now. Especially important moments of us as a crew together, I always try to make sure that I have that stuff carefully saved.



Have you ever had a similar problem with your phone? Did you pick up on this sort of theme when you watched the movie? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things animation! You can also check out our full review of the film, which we gave 5 out of 5, right here.

Steven Universe: The Movie premiered yesterday on Cartoon Network. The official soundtrack and digital version of the movie are available wherever such things are sold, and the soundtrack specifically is available to stream on a number of platforms. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the film right here.