Analysis: The True Tragedy of Jasper

Steven Universe has, once again, entered into hiatus after a lenghty period of new episodes being released. Among said episodes was a story-arc dedicated to the return of the gem Jasper and her conflict with the Crystal Gems. This arc also showed us more of her character. The most noteworthy thing being,

Spoilers begins after the jump

Aside from the long time suspected existence of  Pink Diamond, that she was one of Pink Diamond’s most loyal gems before Rose supposedly shattered her and that Jasper’s entire motivation to oppose Steven and the other Crystal Gems was fueled by a desire for revenge against the murderers of her master.

To that we add that Jasper, according to Rebecca Sugar in a recent interview, has serious self-esteem issues due to Earth being the place she was created. To quote:

Jasper is very different than Peridot and Lapis. Unlike them, she has a deep hate for herself because of her origins on Earth. She is determined to never be weak or vulnerable. So at the point when she’s the lowest, there’s no way she’d ever accept help, because she believes she doesn’t deserve it.

Peridot and Lapis both believed they deserved better than what happened to them, but not Jasper. She went back to Earth to face her demons, and she lost. She’s consumed by her own self pity.

Essentially, Jasper’s memories of the war have left her with plenty of self-esteem issues and demons to fight. She lost the Diamond she was meant to serve when Rose “freed” her (a freedom she never got a choice in) and has spent thousands of years serving a different diamond than the one she was made to serve, yet never forgetting who “Her Diamond” was (in “The Return” she called Yellow Diamond by her name, instead of using the expression “My Diamond” other Homeworld Gems use but uses it when she refers to Pink Diamond in “Earthling”).

Shortly before suffering her final fate and falling to corruption, she shows clear disgust towards earth, going so far as to calling it a “prison” and that she only returned to take revenge on Rose Quartz personally. The clear implication that she considered Rose Quartz spending 6,000 years trapped on earth as some form of punishment.

rose

However, Rose Quartz never saw Earth that way.

To Rose Quartz, Earth was a magical place where the impossible was possible (In particular, she admired the planet’s ability to change and be different and new). Earth was such a marvelous place in her eyes, that she fought a war to protect it from becoming another Gem colony.

Said determination scared the Diamonds so badly they evacuated the planet and threw a weapon of mass destruction that corrupted all the remaining Gems (not counting Rose, Pearl, Garnet and, since she wasn’t born yet, Amethyst). The general conclusion seems to be that Rose Quartz, in the unlikely case the weapon hadn’t killed or corrupted her, would be forever trapped on Earth as her prison; or at least that seems to be what Jasper considered such a fate as.

But, once again, Rose fought a war for Earth. Even though she lost all but a few of her allies to corruption… Rose obtained that which she wanted: Earth’s freedom and being able to enjoy Earth with her friends. She never intended to rule the humans or escape the planet. she enjoyed her time on Earth until she chose to end her life on her own terms, long before Homeworld’s return.

Rose lived the rest of her life convinced that Earth was safe, since The Cluster remained inactive until long after she had died.

Rose lived the rest of her live without having to pay for what she did to Pink Diamond or the way she made other gems suffer because of her actions, because when someone finally came to take revenge, Rose was already dead.

Jasper cry of despair on the ways in which Rose ruined her life, her last words before falling into corruption. The words she had put her heart into… were heard by a boy to whom they lacked any kind of context or meaning.

Jasper specifically said that she returned to punish Rose. She wanted to make her pay for her crimes so she could move on. Except she can’t. Rose is gone, she will never be able to do anything to make Rose suffer.

Whatever Jasper does. Whatever Homeworld tries to do to get back on Rose, it will be pointless, because it will never reach Rose now. Everything other than that would be a consolation prize.

And that’s the true tragedy of Jasper. Not that she was unable to fight off her demons or that she fell to corruption because she was unable to accept that Steven wanted to help, but that Rose freed Earth, she was able to enjoy Earth without paying for her crimes and she was able to end her life on her own terms. That Jasper’s journey was for nothing.

The true tragedy is… that Rose Won.

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