Jasper wants to be a diamond
Jasper doesn’t appear often in Steven Universe. Over the course of 3 seasons she’s only had five appearances, not counting other jaspers that have appeared as cameos in flashbacks. When she does appear however, things usually take a dark turn, and themes of power, fusion, and abusive relationships are dragged kicking and screaming into the center stage.
I’ve talked before about Jasper’s incredible hunger for power, and its relationship to her attitude towards fusion as well, but with the exception of one deleted theory I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about why she craves power, and why fusion has become so important to her character arc.
Jasper: I was there, you know. At the first war for this garbage planet.
As we know, Jasper is a veteran of the gem war, where she fought alongside many other Jaspers to recapture the earth from the crystal gems. It was very likely that Jasper was there right up until the very end, when the planet was evacuated shortly before the Diamonds unleashed the swansong that corrupted almost every gem left on earth. That last part wasn’t explicit, but… well…
Jasper: *to Sapphire* Stop singing! (Jasper punches the wall.)
Singing does seem to be a trigger for her…
It isn’t easy to say how big of an effect this had on Jasper, but for someone who prides herself on being powerful, seeing such a belittling force as that would be more than just humbling, it would be a lasting source of insecurity she would never live down. Given that she immediately dismisses fusion as a cheap tactic for making weak gems stronger than her, and then changes her tune the moment she gained control of a powerful fusion, this seems a little on the nose
Anyway, this event would be a lasting reminder of just how insignificant her “strength” really was. It’s the kind of terrifying image that doesn’t dull with time, only growing more symbolic and more a part of who she was. It’s no wonder Jasper wants power, she’d never want to feel that weak again, and that’s a dangerous road that could only lead to one conclusion: the need to become more powerful than the diamonds
To be fair to her, this may not be a conscious desire. She wants power, that much is obvious, but whether or not she realizes WHY she wants power is unclear.
Here’s the thing though: A lone gem can’t become any more powerful. Sure, they can grow more skilled over time, but gems don’t grow, nor can they rise through the ranks via skill and experience. A gem is born fully-formed, and will remain in that state and that rank for the rest of their lives. A gem can take a stronger form through regeneration or shape-shifting, but that generally speaking is not a sustainable thing
Fusion is the only option for a gem to become more powerful without their body collapsing, and as we and Jasper learned from Malachite, the kind of difference this can make is immense.
However, strength isn’t the only thing fusion changes. When two different kinds gems fuse together, their fusion is a third type of gem with different powers, and more importantly a different place and rank in gem hierarchy!
There’s a reason the Diamonds banned mixed-gem fusion but permit fusion for two of the same gem. What’s to stop two bottom-of-the-totem-pole gems from becoming a perma-fusion like Garnet and taking a higher place than either of them ever should have been able to attain. More frighteningly, what’s to stop two gems from fusing into a Diamond? This is exactly what the Diamonds sought to prevent by making mixed-gem fusion a taboo, and now the most power hungry gem we’ve ever seen has learned the power of mixed-gem fusion.
Jasper has learned a greater strength than ever before by fusing with Lapis, but when would that ever be enough for her? She wants to be more powerful than the diamonds, and whether or not she realizes it, that path is going to lead her to natural conclusion of being a diamond herself.
What, you want more foreshadowing than this? We’ve literally been staring this conclusion in the face from the moment we met her.