With what we’ve learned about the Cluster, it’s kind of all we want to talk about. (Well, the only lore-related thing, anyway. We still love Peridot.) It’s been a lot of information hitting us in these past couple of episodes, so we have some wondering to do.
A massive geo-weapon
So we now know that the homeworld will have bigger troubles with moving the Cluster around than luring it to a warp pad. However, we also know that the indiscriminate destruction it causes on Earth will be involuntary—an unavoidable part of projecting its physical form from inside the Earth’s core (which will be the first time a gem being stuck in an object hasn’t stopped it from projecting a body). This means that the homeworld may very well expect to have control over the Cluster, directing it places and against specific targets.
When your newest soldier is as large a decent-sized planet there’s really a limit to the finesse of the actions it can take. It could likely swat fleets out of orbit, flatten whole continents at once, or perhaps even rip a planet apart with its bare hands. Depending on how realistically a hypothetical situation was being written, if it was close enough to attack with its limbs then the gravity generated by its body’s mass could even start to tear the target planet apart without any action on the Cluster’s part.
That’s all fine if it’s being deployed in extreme wars of annihilation, but it really can’t be used in any situations where there is any concern about collateral damage. It would be unwise to keep it in a friendly system for defense purposes, because should it develop any sort of self-consciousness (rather than a cacophony of confused wisps of thought) it might decide that if the strongest Gems rule the homeworld then it shouldn’t take orders anymore.
A moving situation
How would it even be moved out of the system? There probably aren’t many things in Earth’s solar system they’d want destroyed. Lapis Lazuli was able to make it to the Gem homeworld from Earth in perhaps six to eight months (to give a rough estimate), and Peridot was able to launch plug robonoids at Earth every day or two. Just as the Gems have warp pads on the ground, they may have warp gates in space. For all we know they have already constructed an enormous gate for the Cluster, or at least plan on deploying one.
This would mean that the homeworld is in a better position for resources than we first thought. Peridot’s mission to Earth wasn’t necessary, since the Cluster would hatch without intervention and destroy any enemies present on the planet, and Jasper likely only agreed to escort her out of hopes of reliving the war against the rebellion.
The homeworld had to do a lot of thinking before it built the Cluster. It had to see a use for a powerful, dangerous purely offensive weapon that would turn any planet it took into a pile of raw materials. However it also had to foresee thousands of years down the line the continued capability to engineer some method for it to travel through the stars. They may be aggressive and militaristic, but they aren’t so stretched for resources as it may have seemed after Jailbreak.
It must be stopped
Unless the show is going to take a very dark turn in season three (and some possible episode titles make it sound like it will go right down to the wire), the Cluster is a threat that will have to be stopped before it hatches. We are reminded of Amethyst’s line in Catch and Release where she said that perhaps Garnet’s bubbles weren’t big enough. Bubbling the Cluster, as enormous as it likely is, would probably be enough to stop it. If it’s strong enough to project a form despite being stuck inside a planet, though? We just don’t know.
Remember, Garnet is the only Crystal Gem who can swim in lava. Bubbling something so enormous would be difficult, but depending on its size removing it from the Earth might be both difficult and dangerous to life on Earth (as it’s the flow of the Earth’s molten outer core that generates the magnetic field, which is a crucial for life on Earth).
Waste not, want not
The homeworld doesn’t seem like the kind of society that likes to see things go to waste. As Peridot said, when it was apparent that the Earth couldn’t be used as a colony anymore, it was repurposed as the incubation site for the Cluster. After the Cluster was safely established, the homeworld wiped out all Gems on the planet (or so they thought) and left. Right about when the Cluster was set to be finishing, the Red Eye was sent to investigate the planet; a lack of any report of enemy presence led to Peridot being deployed to verify that the Cluster would be hatching on time.
Now, what else did Peridot say? Oh, right:
The Red Eye didn’t report the presence of any Gems on this planet!
Before we had just assumed that the homeworld was reaching out and activating old assets because it finally had some breathing room. Now it has a whole other sinister meaning. We know from The Message that the Crystal Gems were coordinating with other planets, presumably also rebelling against the homeworld. The Red Eye was also sent to scout them for survivors, indicating that perhaps the homeworld decided it couldn’t use those planets as colonies anymore either.
So… What did they decide to use them for? Even if Earth survives, season three might be quite sinister after all. We may even get to see a fully formed Cluster.