Steven Universe: Laser Light Cannon
December 27, 2014 4:46 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

From the depths of space comes a "Red Eye," a giant orb that threatens to crush Beach City and its residents. The key to everyone's fate hides in the storage space of Steven's father, Greg Universe.
posted by JHarris (6 comments total)
My obsession with the show continues unabated, so here's another list of things to watch for. Same rules as before: this list contains spoilers for this episode, but important points of later episodes are hidden as hover text over *things surrounded by asterisks*.

Of interest:
  • Steven's father Greg is introduced here. He's first presented as kind of a loser, but a likable one.
  • The clutter of Greg's storage locker sets up a joke in Space Race.
  • This is also the first time we see Mayor Dewey. ("MAY-or DEW-ey! MAY-or DEW-ey!") Voiced by Mystery Science Theater creator Joel Hodgson; his career has taken some weird turns over the years, hasn't it? His presence was what initially inspired me to check out the show. It's not a big role, and he disguises his normal voice pretty well.
  • We visit Mr. Fryman's food shack, Beach Citywalk Fries, for the first time here, and here Amethyst teaches Steven how to shout to get what he wants. "The bits! The bits!" He does it again in Cat Fingers.
  • Pearl checks on the approach of the ominous Red Eye, not with hyper-advanced Gem techno-magic, but a hobbyist telescope. She says she didn't know how big it'd be, so this is the first time she's seen one.
  • Garnet and Amethyst's first attempts to destroy the Red Eye are hilarious. It's not often that such a big laugh comes directly from the Gems and their personalities, instead of Steven's.
  • Greg's history is interesting. He seems like a cool guy. While Steven is exploring his storage shed, among things in the background we can spot an arcade video game machine and the top of a pinball table.
  • When Greg is dragging the Light Cannon to the beach, you can see Sadie and Lars in the distance, and Mr. Smiley (his first appearance) in the foreground. They don't figure into the story here.
  • Greg's catchphrase: "If every pork chop were perfect we wouldn't have hot dogs." It takes on an unexpected significance.
  • The sequence of the firing of the Light Cannon and the destruction of the Red Eye is heavily inspired by anime. There are some nice touches there, but once the Red Eye explodes the big chunks coming out are not as well-animated as we might hope. Throw them a few extra bucks, Cartoon Network!
  • *Spoilers for Lion 2: The Movie.*
  • Another point of interest about the show in general. Show creator Rebecca Sugar has stated that Steven Universe takes place on an alternate universe version of Earth which is very similar to, but not exactly the same as, ours. While the United States of America do exist in this alternate world, close ups of money (of which there was one in the pilot) reveal subtle differences in US currency. According to Sugar, in this world it is known that magic exists, but it's something people choose to avoid, or maybe considered to be a curiosity more than anything else. That may explain why the Gems' powers don't raise more eyebrows.
  • One of the chunks of the destroyed Red Eye is referred to later, in Keep Beach City Weird.

posted by JHarris at 4:52 PM on December 27, 2014

I keep finding new things, here's another that I find interesting:

In the scene where the Light Cannon fires and the Red Eye is destroyed, one of the Gems has to hold on to it to avoid being thrown away by the explosion, and it's not Steven, or even Pearl. It's Amethyst. Also Amethyst is the one that Garnet throws at the Red Eye. Amethyst looks rather heavy-set, but is it possible that she's actually fairly light...?
posted by JHarris at 6:24 AM on December 28, 2014

I was mistaken -- Mayor Dewey doesn't show up here. I was confusing it with Greg's first scene in Cat Fingers. D'oh!
posted by JHarris at 6:48 AM on December 28, 2014

Still more geeking out to do about that storage space! This is still not a comprehensive list:

- A set of golf clubs, a bongo drum, and a T-shirt cannon, and a Light Cannon, a box of Greg's old CDs, and a photo of Greg and Rose, of course.
- Lots of mattresses
- A large cat painting, with a ball of yarn
- Large figures: A Native American head, a Japanese lucky cat & an oni mask
- A pet carrier, and a Snoopy-style doghouse
- An old desktop computer & peripherals
- A spear
- A harpoon
- A refrigerator
- Some kind of stone lawn ornament I find it difficult to describe (it's in the center of the shot where Steven lifts the gold clubs)
- Also in that shot, upper-left: a deep-sea diving helmet
- A surfboard with an infinity symbol on it
- A croquet set
- A small teddy bear
- An 8 ball, and resting against it, a small butterfly pin
- A drum set and speaker, a synth keyboard, a guitar, and a poster reading Rock Tour 79
- An archery target and arrows
- A bookshelf and what appears to be a globe
- A rubber duck
- A traffic cone
- A Roman-style helmet and sword
- A candlestick
- A large toy that looks a lot like a Mario-style Mushroom.

Also note: the golf clubs have a logo of roses on them and pink trim. Roses were Rose Quartz's emblem.
posted by JHarris at 4:53 AM on December 30, 2014

Another discovery:
In the scene where the Red Eye chunks are falling all around, in the shot with Mr. Fryman, Onion is visible running away to the left. It's his first appearance.
posted by JHarris at 11:37 PM on January 19, 2015

(Well, his first appearance that isn't really tiny and easy to miss in the opening.)
posted by JHarris at 3:01 PM on January 20, 2015

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