When Cartoon Network announced there’d be new details about the upcoming Steven Universe movie at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the thing most everyone immediately latched onto about the new character art was a small, but very significant update to Steven’s appearance that someone unfamiliar with the series might have missed. Look at that boy’s neck. It’s a new neck.
While Steven’s emotional growth is one of the major elements of Steven Universe’s larger thesis, his physical growth has taken a back seat, something that’s attributed in the show to his being half-human and half-Gem. Even though Steven’s a teenager who’s going through puberty, he spends the bulk of the series appearing to be much younger than he actually is.
For a time, Steven’s diminutive size slightly bothered him until he realised that his development was merely slower compared to regular humans - but since then, the series hasn’t really touched on the issue. This is why Steven’s neck is a big deal. He straight up didn’t have one before. Now he’s got a neck, and there’s a very good reason why.
In a new video discussing how they had to keep Steven’s neck a secret, Rebecca Sugar and the rest of the Crewniverse reveal that Steven Universe: The Movie is actually set two years in the future, meaning that Steven’s done quite a bit of growing up.
As great as it is to see that Steven, like the other Crystal Gems, is finally going to get a “new” form, it’s really Steven Universe: The Movie’s time jump that’s of interest. The Crewniverse has spoken about how the series is due for a radical shift in tone and focus now that the Gems have defeated the Diamonds, and from the looks of things it seems as if some of those big new changes are emerging one neck tendon at a time.