one thing that kind of bothered me about jasper's redemption arc is if we'd go through episodes where jasper unlearns homeworld's indoctrination and prejudices, since we already got those with peridot when she bonded with the crystal gems. do you have any ideas for how they could handle it differently?
Something I talked about early in Peridot’s redemption arc, and even now, is the idea that Peridot hasn’t changed who she is. Her number one standard for decisions has always been whether they were logical. Peridot’s values are whether things are rational. Each time she’s brought up a problem or solution, it’s always been in full assessment of all the information available.
1. Peridot holds logic above all else
The thing is, when she was on Homeworld, not all that information was available, for instance, records about Earth that would have led her to come up with the solution she mentioned in Message Received. Homeworld is facing a resource crisis because by nature, gems cannot thrive and reproduce without draining the resources of a planet and leaving an empty shell of Swiss cheese in their wake.
In Message Received, Peridot told Yellow Diamond she had a solution that would allow gems to coexist with organic life. That would have been a complete game-changer.
The reason Peridot even felt the need to call Yellow Diamond in the first place was something she herself said. The gems’ goal was to protect Earth, and from Peridot’s perspective, they were doing a shoddy job of it. The Cluster was a huge threat and technology on the planet was primitive. The most logical thing for someone with no background on the gem war to suggest was that Homeworld work together with Earth but preserve its organic life.
The hard part was how that would come to pass. But Peridot was able to come up with that solution. And she was so certain that the paragon of logic, the Yellow Diamond, would understand exactly what she meant. This means that along the line in her Homeworld life, Peridot knew that logic would be rewarded, the rationality was heard out and respected.
We know from the events of the episode that wasn’t how things went down. While YD did get at what Peridot was saying, she dismissed it. And it wasn’t because Peridot wasn’t logical. It wasn’t because YD was looking down on a Peridot.
“Are you questioning my authority?”
“No, I’m questioning your objectivity.”
That exchange about sums up what happened. Peridot realised that YD, the most logical, rational, practical decider or Homeworld wasn’t completely objective. YD had her personal reasons for not wanting anything to do with Earth. Peridot was never “indoctrinated” into believing certain things about her leaders. She lived under their rule and felt the effects of whatever civil and foreign policies they were enacting and enforcing. She felt YD was logical not because she was deluded by propaganda, but because that was how she herself saw things. There is a system. There is a protocol. There is a way of doing things that benefits all of us. And in a way it was a system that was benefitting her. It gave her assistive technology to do things Era 1 Peridots could do. It gave her a log of information that helped her on missions.
2. Peridot wants to learn
Peridot’s reform arc really kicked off in When It Rains, and at the heart of that episode, she was learning.
Because to Peridot, knowledge is power. The more she knew about Earth, the more she could make an informed decision about where she could stay. And as she herself mentioned, if she had to choose between a place in which things were provided for her but she was limited in her mobility, or a place where she could make choices freely, she would choose the latter because she was beginning to live.
In the same way when overcoming prejudice, Peridot was learning about each of the gems. Log Date 7 15 2 is noted as the montage her of reform arc. Throughout that episode, she was picking up bits of information about life on Earth. More importantly, she was trying to learn about others, Garnet in particular.
Back home, the information she had was about the functions, roles, and abilities of each gem. Nothing quite prepares you for the humanising experience of talking to someone else and realising that under the coded data, there is an individual with hopes and aspirations, regrets and a past.
With Garnet especially, Peridot was confused because on Homeworld, gems fused only to fight. So she interpreted Garnet’s permanent fusion as a show of hostility. Only when it was finally explained in a way she understood that Garnet was “Percy and Pierre” that Peridot stopped seeing fusion as solely for combat.
When she faced off against Pearl in the Robo-lympics and lost, she realised that proving oneself with achievement wasn’t the only way she could earn respect.
But here’s the thing. Peridot has always wanted to learn. She still judges people by how much they’re worth, except now her standard for value are a little wider.
3. Jasper’s redemption arc will be about strength and identity
I mentioned before how I believed Jasper’s reform arc will go. It’s due for an update but the gist is the same. The anchor of Jasper’s values is strength. It’s a huge part of her identity. But now that she’s been on Earth, defeated, and corrupted, that identity is called into question.
For both these characters, unlearning prejudice is a product of first reaching them. That means overcoming prejudice is an effect of addressing something else. Like Peridot, Jasper believes that the system on Homeworld rewards gems like her, instead of for logic, it’s for being strong. But now Jasper doesn’t know how to be strong or she doesn’t think she’s as strong as she was.
On Earth, Jasper will make little choices and over time, she’s going to realise those choices make her who she is. She’s going to find herself and then realise that strength is in others too. That’s how she’ll eventually see others as worthy of respect.