Ah, it’s finally here: the last bit of speculation fueled by #StevenBomb. This is probably the hardest piece to write, which is saying something considering that we also wrote two pieces of speculation about the homeworld despite getting no closer to the homeworld than a ship that never made it far out of Earth’s orbit.
But the rebellion is never spoken of much, and while the Crystal Gems are tight-lipped about the homeworld as well some facts force their way through. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to go on about the rebellion, just that the information about it isn’t as rich.
Rebels for a cause
Ever since Ocean Gem aired the big picture of the Crystal Gem rebellion was clear: Rose Quartz and her supporters rose up against the homeworld to stop their fellow Gems from doing something terrible to the Earth. When On the Run aired this was explicitly stated, as was the fact that Rose had more supporters than just the ones we know; we also got to see exactly what the Gems wanted to do (something there had been solid speculation about ever since Warp Tour had Peridot cutting herself off from saying “Kindergarten”).
Well, #StevenBomb didn’t add a whole lot to this understanding, since it had been made clear well before. The airing of Rose’s Scabbard did confirm that the Crystal Gems were initially quite a large group, and that there had been many of them right up until the end of the rebellion.
A local affair
Rose’s Scabbard showed us one grand battlefield, but while Pearl spoke of the battle as though it had decided everything it must have just been the beginning: in The Message we learned that the Crystal Gems had used the wailing stones during the rebellion. These are only useful for communicating across great distances, which both implies an extended length of time and presents something of a question: how great are the distances they used them to communicate across?
We know that the wailing stones are not limited to communicating just on one planet: though the Crystal Gems did not expect to be receiving a message from another world, the only comments about the wailing stone’s limitations were its ability to decode a modern signal, not its ability to receive from such a range. Perhaps ancient wailing stones were not strong enough to communicate across planets, but like an antenna can receive any transmission that is sufficiently strong; knowing so little about wailing stones it could go either way.
We had already deduced that there was probably a widespread upheaval around the time of the Crystal Gem rebellion: Gemkind was recorded as being lost on numerous planets, and it took five thousand years for the homeworld to get around to checking on Earth again. This means that it’s possible that the Crystal Gems were communicating with rebels on other worlds with the wailing stones, but even if they did it’s unlikely that these were all part of the same rebellion: Jasper referred to a war for Earth, not a wider rebellion. Lapis also condemned the Crystal Gems for caring about Earth specifically, not a broader “native life” or something similar that would involve a broader rising.
So that leaves us with a war raging across Earth’s surface, with the Crystal Gems coordinating through use of the wailing stones, while something else distracts the homeworld and keeps it from overrunning the rebellion. While the fighting on Earth was just as savage as the fighting probably going on throughout the universe, it was just a small fragment of the challenges facing the homeworld at the time.
Leader vs leader
The pyramid temple in Serious Steven has been one big enigma since the day the episode aired, and #StevenBomb didn’t do much to clear it up. However, it did help us by giving us a name: Yellow Diamond. That name and the three triangles (Blue, White, and Yellow) on the floor of the ship gave us a good guess about the homeworld’s leadership, and a big hint about the Gem fighting Rose in the pyramid temple mural.
The triangle on the chest had always been a mystery: too large to be a gem, but if it was a symbol of affiliation it would mean there was a third group fighting on Earth, along with the Crystal Gems and the homeworld.
If each Diamond has a personal symbol, however, it makes the identification easy: the figure is probably either White or Blue Diamond (the colors and lighting make it difficult to tell, but it’s probably White Diamond since the figure to the left is darker and the figure to the right is obviously Yellow Diamond).
So this mural seems to depict Rose Quartz fighting and defeating a major figure of the homeworld—if the wailing stones were used to communicate with rebels on other planets then Rose could have started the wider uprising with this.
The fight might not necessarily have been part of the war, however: it’s commemorated at the pyramid temple, which would have to have been built without Amethyst, Garnet, or Pearl gaining any understanding of its layout. So unless the homeworld Gems made a structure to commemorate a fallen leader that would respond positively to the touch of the Gem that killed her (it seems to respond favorably when Steven touches it, dispensing the gem), the temple probably predates the rebellion.
It’s always possible that Rose Quartz faced this Diamond back when she was still loyal to the homeworld. The timeline is still very fuzzy, but no matter when this fight happened it was probably important somehow.