My Little Universe is a fanfiction series about the various adventures between the Mane Six; a group of Ponies from Equestria who represent the Elements of Harmony, and the Crystal Gems; a group of renegade Gems who protect Earth from galactic threats.
In the early life of a young Gem, Steven Universe, one of his "moms", Amethyst was hurt, so they went to Rose's Fountain to heal her. Meanwhile, in another world, Princess Twilight Sparkle was trying to solve the problem of Plunder Vines. But with a little extra mischief on the part of Discord, Twilight and her friends were sent hurtling to Steven's world, and no world would ever be the same again. For just by showing up, those ponies changed things in Steven's Universe, and set in motion an adventure even grander than any of them would've suspected.
Development and Early Concepts
The series first aired on September 25th of 2015, coming up as a spur-of-the-moment idea that quickly took off. Season 2 was announced on new years' day of 2016, and a contest was done in part to figure out the name of an upcoming character, the winner including their plot idea within that season. It was later revealed an early draft of the upcoming seasons 3 - 7 of MLU on April 6th later that year, and it wasn't until February 17th of 2018 that Seasons 8 and 9 were announced. A few specials were made accompanying the series: My Little Universe: Mindwarp released on April 1st of 2016, My Little Universe: Anarchy being released on July 11 of 2017, and My Little Universe: Supernova being released on October 30th of 2018.
During production, numerous season changes had been done, and multiple concepts were either adapted later in current seasons, or have been cut altogether:
- Lapis Lazuli's redemption arc was originally to last throughout the season, with her only joining the Crystal Gems just before the season would reach it's finale. This idea was later scrapped after "Daring Do and the Aqua Gem" was aired.
- Original ideas also included a new male Gem named Obsidion, that she was supposed to meet and interact with. Like the redemption arc, he too was cut from the series.
- The Season 5 episode: "Griffinstone", was originally going to be released during Season 1 to coincide with the "Season 4" theme of MLP, but the idea was dropped due to there being little to no reason that they would go to Griffinstone on their own.
- This same episode was also meant to be put in Season 2, and then later in Season 3, but removed from both for the lack of reasoning being brought forward, as in this timeline, they don't have the Cutie Map, and therefore no prompting to go.
- There was supposed to be an episode which Spike was supposed to hang out with Lapis, fighting the urge to eat her due to her being a Gem and him being a Dragon, but this idea was scrapped, and later reworked into the Season 5 episode "Toothed Trouble".
- Kyra's original concept was that similar to The Good Dinosaur's Thunderclap character, and originally written as a cult-like antagonist who worshipped Rose Quartz. While he still had his worship, the cultish ideology was removed upon his appearance for a more anti-hero role.
- The Osicone originally was supposed to be summoned by Kyra after his defeat during Jasper's duel, but retooled so it was "prophesized" to emerge instead, and that Kyra was trying to warn everyone.
- As Homeworld wasn't revealed at the time of Season 2's creation officially, many of the details and cities were originally made, and not based off of the actual show. Concepts from the actual show weren't used for Homeworld until Season Six.
- Peridot's redemption arc was supposed to mirror her redemption arc in the actual show, including her involvement with The Cluster, but similar to Lapis Lazuli, the idea was later scrapped.
- Very early drafts showed that Sombra was supposed to return and carry out his plans to take over Homeworld in season 2 as a "Crystal Alicorn", but the idea was quickly dropped as having Sombra as an Alicorn didn't suit well. It could be possible Kyra was made as a replacement to Sombra.
The rest of the seasons that followed were drastically altered from their original concepts, according to the 2016 episode guide early draft.
- The finale, Time Warp, was originally supposed to be a two-parter.
- Numerous episodes were replaced during this season: most of the original draft meaning to catch up on season 5, but was later scrapped completely or altered to fit into other seasons:
- The Season 6 episode "The Rose Tree" was originally going to be aired during Season 3 as "Rose's Tree".
- The original plot was for a magic tree to grow, and for Garnet to become jealous as the team was looking to the tree for guidance instead of her. This idea was scrapped and the episode retooled for Season 6 as a similar idea to Homeworld.
- The Season 6 episode "Dream a Dream" was originally going to be aired during Season 3 as "Don't Let the Nightmares bite".
- The season 3 two-parter, originally called "The Sea Spire", was originally going to have them visit the Sea Spire after it mysteriously came back to life, but was replaced instead with a trip to the Kirin Empire.
- The Season 6 episode "The Rose Tree" was originally going to be aired during Season 3 as "Rose's Tree".
- The Season 3 episode "Gem-Swapped" was originally going to be aired as a Season 4 episode, but was placed a season earlier for unknown reasons.
- Season 4 was originally going to be a half season like Season 3, and the main theme was going to be Corruption. This main theme was moved to Season 5.
- One plotline was originally going to be Pearl starting to become corrupted, and the main antagonists being a pair of corrupted Pearls. This idea was reworked into Season 7 as a sun-plot to "Team B", including the designs of the corrupted Pearls.
- Both "The Healing Crystal" and "Lion of the Jungle" (under the name "Gem of the Jungle") were going to be this seasons' two-parter starter and finale, but both were retooled to become a single episode, and "Lion of the Jungle" was moved to Season 5.
- The Season 5 episode "The Old Warrior" was originally to be aired in Season 4 as a Gem-hunting mission after a semi-sentient Corrupted Gem.
- There was originally an episode in production in which Stevonnie first visits Homeworld, but it was unclear as to what this episode would be about, nor any working title.
- The Nuckelavee Monster of the Tunguska Gem Facility was originally going to be a non-Gem creature that resembled a Goodra, from Pokemon. Some concepts - when Leggy was following a bright butterfly for example - was supposed to lead to the creature, but the Nuckelavee Monster was made instead mid-production as it better fitted the location.
- The original title card for Season 5 went through a number of alterations:
- The first one was the Crystal Gems and Mane Six in an ice cave, with two corrupted Pearls side by side surrounding them.
- The second one (shown on the right) had a similar idea, except without the Corrupted Pearls, and showing a cracked Jasper and Lapis, with Malachite's eyes above.
- According to the early drafted episode guide, The Cluster was originally not even going to be included this season, or in the entirety of the series for that matter because at the time there was no appearance of the Cluster, nor any way on how the Crystal Gems were to handle said creature until the episode "Gem Drill" was officially aired.
- Acid and Cyanide, instead of snakes, were actually originally going to be a pair of turtles: one a tortoise, and one a turtle, as the writer originally wanted to break the common trend of "evil snakes". However, this was altered for the serpent method anyway, as it found harder to work with.
- The episode "Post Haste" wasn't originally going to be apart of the series, but was made as his response to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season that began a month prior, something he described as a learning segment to the real-life disaster portrayed in the series as the Beach City Flooding.
- According to the released episode guide, there was a two-parter called "Half and Half", though it's unknown as to what the two-parter would be about, nor was it a series opening or finale.
- Originally, the finale for Season six was gonna be a two-parter called "Chamber No.77", and the title "I'm A Friend" was supposed to be a single episode, but was instead changed to a three-parter under the same name as it flowed better.
- The ending was drastically altered: The White Diamond Space Station was supposed to drop to Homeworld, and White Diamond was supposed to fight three fusions at once. This was later scrapped for a more open-ended finale as the writer thought it was too much to put in all at once.
- "Butterfly Wings" was supposed to be a season 4 episode, but the concept was pushed up to season 6, as the writer found it too difficult to work out properly at the time.
- Starlight Glimmer's redemption was moved too as a result of this.
- "Waving the Red Cape" was originally going to air in season 5 as an episode conflict between Canterlot and a Deer tribe, lead by a Moose who believed Celestia was not a good leader as she wasn't assertive, nor did very much in recent years.
- "Renegade Gem Vol.2" was originally going to have Rupee's return, but the idea was later changed to a Jade-focused one, as the writer admitted that fan influence pointed out that she was barely focused on.
- It was also revealed that the original concept for the witnesses in this episode was a two-episode event: "one finding them out, and one talking to them".
- This was originally going to be the final season of the franchise up to the announcement in 2018, and the episode guide simply labeled the seventh season as "The Big One".
- The season, at a time, was only going to be as long as the other seasons (which is around 22 episodes), but given how much that was built up to the "Pink Diamond" revelation on "A Single Pale Rose", the season was extended to better accommodate.
- The Gem Dragon was supposed to have a much larger role in this season, but for some reason it was removed later on.
- Pink Diamond was supposed to have a much larger role in this season, but some of the episodes which has her as the main focus were removed.
- One example was an episode in which the Beach City residents, along with Sapphire were under mind control by a creature resembling a cryptid called a "Wakwak". This monster was in the early concepts of the finale as well.
- The two-parter finale to this season had a number of alterations to it:
- One ending had it involving an all out war between the mystical creatures of Earth and the new creatures from Sniper's world, with the Tindalos being the main antagonist.
- A second ending involved most of the antagonists: Pony of Shadows, Chrysalis, the Tindalos, and the Dazzlings working with "the Windigo Queen" on a revenge mission, but the idea was later scrapped as the plot felt forced. Windigo were still used in the two-parter however, as summoned by the Pony of Shadows.
- The original title for the Special was called "My Little Universe: Everstorm", but was altered for unknown reasons. The first chapter is reference to it however, simply called "MLU: Everstorm".
- Numerous concepts were altered and removed during production of the special. This also included a number of potential antagonists being cut out of the special as well:
- A group of troll-like creatures, lead by "The Troll King" were to invade Canterlot during the Everstorm. Some lines were written in early concepts for the first chapter involving their presence, including an encounter with Garnet. Some of this characters' traits were passed on to Grogar.
- Later concepts revealed a Tiger-like antagonist that would've escaped from Tartarus during the Everstorm, and be the main antagonist for the final entry "The Return". This concept was removed altogether.
- Tirek was originally going to make an appearance in the special, but as it was alongside the Tiger, his role was also removed.
- The Spirit Council was originally going to be more developed, including a new Character in the form of a Cosmic Lion named Ion. The character itself was removed fairly early on in development.
- The special originally was to take place straight after Season 7, the opening taking place during the Gem Wedding.
- The Seasons' arcs originally was only going to have two arcs: the White Diamond arc, and the Grogar Arc. The mini "Festival Arc" was added later on in development to smooth out the time between the main arcs in question.
- Era 3 originally wouldn't have time to even start, Grogar arriving just before Era 3 could've been declared by Pink Pearl, and taking over from there.
- Grogar's involvement was originally going to be kept to this single season, his ultimate defeat being at the end of the season rather than continuing into the final season. Written script for the finale revealed a finale similar to Kung Fu Panda 2.
- Previous villains of the series such as Sombra, The Dazzlings, and Chrysalis had concepts to appear within Grogar's Army. While Sombra and Chrysalis's roles were completely scrapped, the Dazzlings' involvement was referenced in the two-parter Christmas Special "Snowfall Stars".
- One episode was in very early development for the White Diamond Arc, for White Diamond to befriend an alien on one of the planets they visited. This idea was scrapped for unknown reasons.
- The final season was originally only going to be called "My Little Universe: Season 9".
- The original concept for the final season had gone through a number of different derations:
- One concept revealed basically made the season a "relax season", having a similar vibe to Season 1 in structure. Throughout this version of the season it would introduce Wallflower Blush and Gloriosa Daisy into the season, with Wallflower playing a key role in both caring for Sumu and helping the Harmony Gems in the final battle.
- An unused arc for the Season was in production later in development, following Steven Universe after he left Beach City. This arc would've lasted three episodes. One episode involving this arc had Steven meeting Hessonite over a conflict involving a dam.
- The writer revealed that "Tongue-Tied" was originally going to be involving Ruby and Sapphire on their "first" dinner date in Beach City, but due to doubts about his own decisions, changed into the current state of the introduction of Rutherford.
- The chapter "The Reef" had numerous alterations throughout its own creation. The writer claimed that an older rendition of the ending would have the return of an older fusion and a completely different path ending. It's not revealed what the details were in regards to both however.
- The three-part finale of the final season has undergone a number of changes throughout its creation, most of which were removed due to time constraints:
- The finale battle between the Harmony Gems and Grogar was worked through three different ideas: one mirroring Watership Down, one similar to the Season 8 finale, and one involving Sumu. In the end, all three of these ideas were re-worked into the finale.
- Torch, The Cluster, and the Ursa Major were planned in a final battle against Sumu, but the idea was later scrapped.
- An "ultimate fusion" of the Crystal Gems and the Elements of Harmony were thought up early in development but were never worked on.
- Sumu was originally written as a male instead of female. A scene involving the male Sumu showed him isolated, and confronted by Flint and Kyra prior to them heading into the Earth Moon Base, the Harmony Gems believing Flint had died. This idea was also removed.
- Later concepts had Grogar actually being betrayed by Nichrome for driving him out, the alien using Sumu as revenge against everyone and Grogar sacrificing himself to stop him. This idea was later discarded due and instead having Grogar responsible for Sumu's corruption.