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I didn't fight a one thousand-year war for this planet's independence to take orders from the likes of you!

Pearl, "Back to the Barn"

The Rebellion or the "Gem War" was an event that occurred approximately 5,750 years ago, according to Garnet, when the Crystal Gems rebelled against the Gem Homeworld to protect Earth. According to Pearl, the war lasted approximately 1000 years. The war ended with the Diamonds setting off a weapon that corrupted every unprotected Gem that remained on Earth, in a last-ditch effort to win the war. Ultimately, the Crystal Gems emerged victorious.

Description

Gem warrior

An unknown Gem warrior fighting against Rose during the Rebellion.

In "It Could've Been Great", Peridot reveals that the primary goal for the Homeworld Gems was to colonize the Earth in order to take advantage of its rich organic resources to expand the Gem empire. This would be done by making Kindergartens on the planet in order to produce more Gems, but would strip the Earth of its resources while virtually erasing all pre-existing life on Earth. Rose Quartz saw that every life was important and worth protecting, and started to rebel against her kind, with Pearl alongside her.

The Answer 060

Rose and Pearl appear, bringing forth the Rebellion.

In "The Answer", Garnet made it seem as if Homeworld was previously colonizing the Earth, under Blue Diamond's jurisdiction, though it was actually under Pink Diamond. During that time, 5,750 years ago, the Quartz soldier Rose Quartz started a rebellion. After this, a small group of rebels emerged to oppose the colonization of the planet. Due to this, Blue Diamond summoned Sapphire and had to assign three Ruby guards to protect her, one of which included Ruby herself.

During a two-Gem raid by Rose and Pearl's conduct, Ruby fused with Sapphire by accident to form Garnet for the very first time. After the two rebels fled the scene, Blue Diamond demanded that Ruby be shattered for the incident. Sapphire reacted by grabbing Ruby and jumping out of the arena towards the Earth's surface. Over an unknown period of time, Ruby and Sapphire developed a romantic relationship and fused once again. After running into Rose and Pearl again in a chance encounter, Ruby and Sapphire as Garnet joined the Crystal Gems' rebellion.

Pink Diamond was eventually shattered somewhere between halfway through the Rebellion (when Jasper was made) and the end.[1]

In "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl reveals that some of the first battles for Earth happened at the Ancient Sky Arena. In "Rose's Scabbard", the Crystal Gems visit an ancient Gem Battlefield where Pearl says a battle was fought over 5,000 years ago. Garnet describes that countless Gems were broken in a maelstrom of death and destruction during the fight. Pearl also states in "On the Run" that the Homeworld Gems wanted to do something bad to the Earth, and some Gems, such as herself, Garnet, and Rose Quartz found their proposals unfair to the life already existent on the Earth. They rebelled against them, and the historic battle happened with Rose Quartz leading her armies of Crystal Gems, fighting against the Gem Homeworld.

Sworn to the Sword 104

An unknown Gem warrior almost kills Rose, but Pearl intervenes, sacrificing herself instead.

Greg Universe also appears to have knowledge of the war; he states in "The Return" that during the Rebellion, Rose could only use her shield to save a handful of her closest friends, and that many Gems and people died during the conflict. In this episode, Jasper also states she was present during the war for Earth, and that she fought against Rose's armies, enough to develop a level of respect for her tactics.[2]

"Serious Steven" is the first episode to show this battlefield, and the events of the Rebellion are most likely recorded on the walls of the Pyramid Temple, as one can see a carving of Rose fighting against an unknown Gem.

Same Old World 166

The attack unleashed by the Diamonds, resulting in the corruption of the Crystal Gem army, except Rose, Pearl, and Garnet.

In "Same Old World", Lapis, as she tells Steven her backstory, shows him how, when it became clear there was no hope of stopping the rebellion, the Homeworld Gems remaining on Earth quickly fled the planet by using either the Galaxy Warp or the original colonization ships. She was accidentally left behind in the panic to escape.

In "Monster Reunion", it is revealed the Centipeetle was the captain of a squadron that was sent to Earth together by an unknown commander. At the end of the Rebellion, the soldiers were ordered to retreat and a flash of bright light was cast upon the Earth, by the Diamonds, which caused the corruption of Gems.

In "Bismuth", it is revealed that Rose told the Gems that they lost Bismuth the Gem at "The Battle of the Ziggurat."

Timeline of Events

Over 6,000 Years Ago

  • Homeworld Gems under Pink Diamond's ruling establish Earth as a colony, creating many Gems structures and the Prime Kindergarten.

Over 5,750 Years Ago

  • Believing all life is precious, Rose Quartz sees the error in Homeworld's ways and rebels against her own kind, forming the Crystal Gems, with Pearl at her side.
  • Blue Diamond establishes her court on the Cloud Arena with the goal of ending Rose's rebellion. She summons Sapphire in order to learn what will happen next regarding the rebels.
  • Sapphire arrives with three Ruby guards, and informs Blue Diamond that the rebels will attack the Cloud Arena, but will be captured and the rebellion will end.
  • Rose Quartz and Pearl lead a direct attack on the Cloud Arena as predicted, but one of Sapphire's Ruby guards changes the future by saving her, meanwhile she was supposed to be poofed. Ruby and Sapphire accidentally fuse into Garnet.
  • Disgusted by the fusion, Blue Diamond and her court close in on Ruby and Sapphire, which allows time for Rose and Pearl to escape unharmed. Ruby is ordered to be shattered by Blue Diamond, but Sapphire saves her and the two escape. Now outcasts, Garnet is formed once again, and she joins Rose's rebellion.

Over 5,500 Years Ago

  • The Crystal Gems amass an army and wage war on Homeworld. The Rebellion officially begins.
  • According to Pearl, some of the first battles of the Rebellion took place in the Ancient Sky Arena.

Over 5,300 Years Ago

  • Lapis Lazuli arrives on Earth and is caught up in one of the battles.
  • Lapis is poofed by a Bismuth Gem and is later mistaken by a Homeworld Gem to be a Crystal Gem. She is placed in a mirror to be used as a tool by Homeworld Gems in order to find out more about the Crystal Gems and their base.

Over 5,000 Years Ago

  • The Beta Kindergarten is constructed in order for Homeworld Gems to quickly get more soldiers on the ground.
  • Jasper is produced in the Beta Kindergarten, and is able to take out 80 Crystal Gems on her first day of fighting.
  • In Korea, Pink Diamond steps outside of her Palanquin and is shattered by a Gem believed to be Rose Quartz.
  • A battle presumably titled the "Battle of the Ziggurat" occurs at the Strawberry Battlefield, where many Gems where shattered according to Garnet.
  • Rose Quartz and Bismuth have a disagreement regarding their ideals which becomes violent. Rose bubbles Bismuth and tells the other Crystal Gems that she was lost at the Battle of the Ziggurat.
  • Once the Earth is no longer fit to be a colony, Homeworld begins collecting the shattered remains of Crystal Gems and forcing them to fuse together in a series of experiments for a geo-weapon.
  • The geo-weapon is titled the Cluster, which is planned to be inserted into the Earth and eventually rip the planet apart inside-out when it forms.
  • The Cluster is inserted into the Earth's crust at the Beta Kindergarten.

Unknown Period of Time

  • At some point, Bismuth and Garnet take on battalions of Quartz soldiers together.
  • At some point, Bismuth and Pearl enter a Nephrite's drop ship, where Pearl throws her out of the cockpit.

Over 4,500 Years Ago

  • Homeworld commanders order their troops to retreat the Earth.
  • The Diamonds launch one final attack in the form of Corrupting Light.
  • Rose Quartz is able to protect Garnet and Pearl with her shield, but every other Gem exposed to the light became corrupted.

Known Participants

Homeworld Gems

Crystal Gems

Unknown Alignment

Trivia

  • The weapons of the Gem Warriors, who were destroyed during the Rebellion, were left on the Battlefield.[3]
  • Sets of armor are seen that Pearl refers to as "The Armor of the Fallen" in Rose's Secret Armory; it is possible that the armor used to belong to the deceased Gems during the Rebellion.
    • However, the majority of Gems did not use external armor (aside from weapons similar to Jasper's Helmet that could be summoned and dismissed at will). Greg Universe told Steven that both Gems and Humans were involved in the Rebellion, so the Armor of the Fallen might have belonged to Human warriors that died in battle fighting alongside Rose Quartz.[4]
  • Amethyst was not part of the fighting because she emerged about 500 years after,[5] and it is later stated by Steven that she did not "come out of the ground" until the Rebellion was over, which might indicate that she was still incubating during the event of the war.[6] Amethyst never experienced the war, though she has said that she wishes she could have been a part of it.[7]
  • Greg said the Rebellion ended with Gems and people being destroyed, indicating humans might have been involved in the Rebellion or some humans were unfortunate victims of it.
  • Pearl confirms that the Crystal Gems used the Wailing Stone during the Rebellion to communicate in "Rose's Room".
  • Pearl states that the Rebellion lasted roughly one thousand years.
  • It seems that the knowledge about of the Rebellion was either restricted, or openly discouraged, on Homeworld; in "Marble Madness", Peridot didn't know that any Gems existed on Earth at all, and clearly didn't understand who the Crystal Gems were supposed to be, and why they were trying to interfere with her activities.
  • In Centipeetle's explanation for her corruption, she drew only three Diamonds but old Gem structures on Earth had four diamond symbols. This indicates that at the end of the Rebellion, the number of Diamonds at the start, which was four, was reduced to three by the end of it.
    • This was essentially confirmed in "Back to the Moon", when it was said that Pink Diamond was supposedly shattered by Rose Quartz.

References

  1. Back to the Moon-Eyeball: "I was there. I saw it with my own eye. I watched the leader of the Crystal Gems, Rose Quartz, shatter Pink Diamond!"
  2. The Return - Jasper: "I was there, you know. At the first war for this garbage planet. I fought against your armies. I respected your tactics."
  3. Serious Steven
  4. Rose's Scabbard
  5. Marble Madness - Pearl: "This site has been damaged enough by the gems that were incubated here 6,000 years ago!"
  6. Guide to the Crystal Gems (Steven Universe), page 39 "...she didn't come out of the ground until after Garnet and Pearl and Mom were already done fighting the earth war."
  7. Rose's Scabbard
    Pearl: "That's right! And I fought alongside her."
    Amethyst: "Man, I wish I could've seen it!"
    Garnet: "No, you don't. Countless Gems were broken here. It was a maelstrom of destruction and death."
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