Steven Universe is one of those shows on the Cartoon Network that is targeted for kids (as it is not on Adult Swim), but it feels like it has been made for adults. Unlike most kids' shows, it features characters that are well-developed with a backstory that has been developing since the show's beginning and is clearly going somewhere. The show explores deep relationships and conflicts that are occasionally difficult to watch as they have a lot of emotional upheaval. This is what is known about Steven Universe Season 3, and there are a lot of fan theories about where the show is going.
According to Parent Herald, Steven Universe Season 3 will be airing in June on Cartoon Universe, as it went on hiatus as of last January. Fans of the show have been wanting to see it, and the last episode didn't end on any particular threatening cliffhanger, but the promise of a huge conflict to come.
If you aren't familiar with Steven Universe, the story centers around the Crystal Gems, three women who are revealed at the end of Season 1 to be from another world. These three women (Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl) are essentially immortal and have special powers, and thousands of years ago, they were part of a rebellion against the alien race who tried to invade planet Earth. These three women were friends with Rose Quartz, who fell in love with a human Greg Universe, but Rose died after giving birth to Steven, who is part human and part Crystal Gem.
That is quite a backstory, and the show has a devoted following with many fan theories about what will happen, and what information has yet to be revealed on the show about the Crystal Gems. There was a theory that Steven Universe doesn't take place on Earth, but on some different planet that happens to look like it. The rationale was that nothing on Steven Universe Season 1 ever referenced anything that would be on Earth. As it turns out, Steven Universe Season 2 has gone out of its way to say that it is on Earth. It is a shame, as it would have been a great twist if the Crystal Gems actually come from an Earth in the future, and that the world of Steven Universe was one of many in the invasion.
Season 1 ended on an action-packed note after the Gems stopped the invasion of Jasper, who ended up at the bottom of the ocean with Lapis Lazuli, a fan-favorite character introduced earlier in the season. Season 2 opened up with the immediate aftermath, as Steven had to tell his friend Connie about his adventure. Connie has spent a lot of time in Season 2 preparing to fight, and she has learned the art of swordsmanship thanks to Pearl, and Connie has used this skill as well.
There seems to be a threat brewing after the Gems found Peridot. This character has had a lot of screen time, and thanks to her, she informs the group that there is some cluster growing within the Earth that is made up of gems artificially fused together that will eventually destroy the planet. Peridot and the Gems are going to stop this, somehow, but there wasn't really much closure on this for the final episode which was about the opposite of a cliffhanger or "big finish". However, there was a revelation of what could be a new villain known as Yellow Diamond in the episode prior to that.
There is also a possibility that Jasper and Lapis Lazuli could appear again, as Lapis has been showing up in Steven's dreams. In his visions, Steven has been seeing a fusion of Jasper and Lapis into Malachite, who could also become a huge threat. Considering that the Crystal Gems are building a device to burrow through the Earth, and Jasper was also taken into the ocean, it makes sense that they would meet on the way defeating this cluster.
This season of Season 2 had a subplot that lasted a few episodes as Pearl and Garnet fused together (when two Crystal Gems become individual person) to destroy an enemy transmission tower, only to discover that it was Pearl who was reassembling this large structure. Apparently, Pearl really liked to fuse, but Garnet was not pleased (is there an innuendo being applied here?) It took a few episodes before Garnet was willing to forgive her, which is drama not seen on most cartoons. Hopefully, Season 3 will have this type of drama that will span for several episodes.
Also revealed this season was more backstory, which has still not been revealed completely. Not only is it shown that Pearl and Rose Quartz have had a relationship, but it is revealed how Garnet joined the rebellion with Pearl and Rose Quartz. It was also revealed that Amethyst was only "partially formed" in that kindergarten where they found her, but nothing more was made from that. What was really strange is that the Gems are not exactly individual as there is more than one Pearl and more than one Ruby. Apparently, the Crystal Gems don't really have any individuality, which was probably the reason for the rebellion.
What still hasn't been revealed is why in the world Greg does not raise Steven, but leaves him to the Crystal Gems. It kind of makes Greg look like a deadbeat, even though he is a likeable character. The show really needs more positive male role models. Season 1 had a hint of a possibility that Greg could have had a fling with Amethyst just after Rose died. Again, this is a fan theory.
Another really odd bombshell that was dropped this year is that Steven cannot age, as his birthday surprise showed that he has not changed over the years, and probably will never look like an adult. Surely that is going to come into play, in this next season or until the show ends its story.
So, what will happen in Season 3? It's pretty easy to predict that the Gems will meet up with Yellow Diamond and Malachite beneath the Earth, and fight to defeat the cluster before it consumes the planet. I believe that one of the highlights will be that Steven and Connie will fuse together again, and Connie will use her swordplay to fight with Steven's shield. As for Peridot, perhaps she will permanently join the group, and it is possible that she could die. Steven Universe is a children's show that could handle how people realistically react to death, something that most children's programs steer away from.
Steven Universe will have new episodes in June for Season 3 for what will be the "Summer of Steven", and the show has actually been renewed for a fourth and fifth season, which means the storyline can develop even more.