Marble Madness gave us questions we couldn’t answer, but when The Return and Jailbreak aired we got… To put it lightly a LOT more material we could use. This includes some great hints about the Crystal Gem rebellion for Earth, and how it ended. Once the hints are lined up in the right order, the conclusion really falls into place on its own.
This is the first of two articles about the more solid lore we got from #StevenBomb.
After Marble Madness aired we were a bit confused by Peridot’s unawareness of the existence of the Crystal Gems: surely the records would have mentioned that Earth had been lost to rebels? The Red Eye would have been sent to attack the Crystal Gems rather than scout for them.
The Return makes it clear that the homeworld does remember the rebellion. Jasper herself is a veteran of it, so we know that some homeworld Gems even survived fighting it, and seems to have no qualms about speaking openly about it while Peridot is nearby. Since Peridot doesn’t react to this at all, she doesn’t seem to feel like she’s hearing something she shouldn’t hear.
The last piece of the puzzle actually came a bit earlier in The Return: Greg says, in no uncertain terms, that after the rebellion only Rose Quartz’s shield could protect the Crystal Gems, and even then only a few of them. Not long after, Steven uses the shield to protect against the main gun of the homeworld ship.
A grisly end
So this is what we’re left with: a rebellion that isn’t considered a secret where the planet was recorded as being void of Gemkind, lost to a rebellion whose leader could save only a few of her friends from a terrible fate.
The homeworld must have realized that it was losing the war. Perhaps they had been rotating promising soldiers off of the planet to fight in more important wars; perhaps no reinforcements could come. They pulled out the last of their soldiers, hopefully, before sending in the fleet.
It might have been a conventional attack that they rained down, as Jasper ordered Peridot to launch, or they might have somehow released the corruption onto Earth. Either way, Rose Quartz was able to shield a few of her friends from the attack, but the homeworld thought the job was done. The fleet left, thinking that the last of the rebels had been eradicated.
Whatever troubles that had swept the universe kept the homeworld occupied for the next five thousand years. No scouts were sent to check on Earth, or at least none that Rose Quartz told the others about. No one returned to re-activate the Kindergarten that had ignited the war until Peridot arrived. This points to Earth not being particularly important: other planets with functioning Kindergartens could probably be worked harder, then as they were depleted new ones were probably established with improved technology.
Even if Earth was of moderate importance the homeworld might not have had the resources required to re-colonize the planet. Despite thousands of years of technological advancement, it still took dozens of robonoids to restore the Galaxy Warp. If it would take a fully stocked supply ship and a dozen engineers to restore the Galaxy Warp in the old times, it’s not something they would have likely done while under serious threat.
How sure are we?
The line between “lore implications” and pure “speculation” can be quite blurry at times: it’s a judgment call of what inferences made are more or less likely to turn out to be true. As far as judgment calls go, however, we feel this one is fairly straight-forward: the facts are all there, so even if we turn out to be somewhat wrong (the reason for the lack of a homeworld return to Earth is largely a matter of speculation, as is why they were distracted enough for the rebellion to succeed in the first place) we’re sure that the rebellion was presumed to be ended when the homeworld somehow destroyed their enemies from afar.