|Gem Weaponry Development|
|Title||Gem Weaponry Development|
|Date of Publication||February 8, 2016|
|Source||DingoesAteMyHamster aka SpinDizzy|
|Next||Gem Weaponry Development II - The Cluster|
It is pretty much taken for granted that the Gems from Steven Universe can summon weapons personal to them and that when Gems fuse together so do their weapons. I believe that this was not always the case and that there is evidence throughout the show of the development of Gem weaponry.
Gem Combat During The Early Days Of The Rebellion (And Pre-Rebellion)
The earliest that we can go back in Gem history to see Gems in combat was in the episode “The Answer”, where Rose Quartz and Pearl launched a supposedly surprise attack on Blue Diamond’s court, however Blue Diamond was already told about the attack by her advisor Sapphire who had a power called “Future Vision”.
In this episode it is noticable that none of the warrior-class Gems summoned a weapon, in fact they all favoured un-armed combat. The only Gem to be armed was Pearl, and she had two Earth swords. The Tri-Ruby Fusion had enough time to summon a weapon during the attack, but did not. I firmly believe that up this time Gems could not summon weapons.
Gem Combat During The Latter Days Of The Rebellion/Gem Wars
When we look at battles during the latter days of the Rebellion/Gem Wars we have a change. Pearl is still depicted wielding a pre-made sword however Rose Quartz has a pre-made sword plus her signature shield. Even the Homeworld Gems are depicted with pre-forged weapons. And if we look at the battlefield now, there are still lots of weapons that have been left there.
During the Gem Wars/Rebellion there was a drastic change in the way Gems fought each other. It appears both sides embraced Earth’s tradition of using weaponry in combat as opposed to unarmed combat. Also this is the first time we see a summon-weapon being used (Rose’s Shield) however it is not strictly a weapon, it is armor. When we take a look at other warrior Gems that date back to this time then there is a trend… Garnet/Ruby and Jasper both come from this era and they don’t have summonable weapons, they have summonable armour which has been adapted for fighting with. At this point in time I believe that Gems managed to develop the ability to summon armor but not weaponry. It is not clear which side managed to do this first, however we have already met a Gem that neither has a summonable weapon nor piece of armor and she comes from the time of the Rebellion and the Gem Wars…
A Possible Origin Of Summonable Equipment
There is no proof yet to this but Lapis’ ability to summon wings of water may have been the catalyst to the development of summonable armor. It has been often stated by theorists that Lapis Lazuli’s true power and potential with water magic was not revealed until after she came to Earth, a planet which had a lot of water, i.e. until Lapis Lazuli came to Earth she probably didn’t know she could summon wings, etc. In a time of conflict, it seems logical that Lapis’ ability would be used formilitary purposes by the Homeworld Gems.
Gem Weaponry Technology Split: Homeworld Tech
The end of the Gem Wars is where Gem weaponry development splits into two. Homeworld Gems took back the knowledge that they gained from Earth and developed it into tech (Peridot’s limb enhancers) therefore there was no need for Gems to waste energy summoning or shapeshifting, they used their tech to do it all for them; it's all about conservation of energy.
"Peridot: Do you always use shapeshifting like this?
Amethyst: You mean to be really cool? *shapeshifts into Peridot* Pretty much.
Peridot: But it's such a-
Peridot/Amethyst: Significant use of energy compared to the output." - Log 7 15 2
Gem Weaponry Technology Split: Crystal Gem Tech
Back on Earth we have two Gems that in Homeworld terms are classified as defective, however they can both summon actual weapons, something that no Homeworld Gem has been seen to do. The question is, is summoning weapons a symptom of their “defectiveness” or did the Crystal Gems find the holy grail of summoning. It is not likely that it is part of being “defective” as Pearl had to train hard to be able to summon a weapon, and it is also clear that a Gem had already managed this feat. It is highly probable that this Gem is the inventor of summonable weapons:
Amethyst. It was she managed to do what no other Gem could for thousands of years, not even the mighty Rose Quartz. It was Amethyst who was the first Gem to summon a weapon. What makes her more likely to do this than any other Gem was the fact that she has never lived under the constraints of Homeworld and its rules. She shapeshifts as she pleases without any regard for expenditure of energy (as Peridot mentioned). She is a Gem who has been allowed to follow her own instincts rather than following the rules of combat/engagement, chivalry or even Homeworld rules. Amethyst summons her weapon by instinct:
“Listen Steven, all that practice stuff is no fun. Whenever I need to summon my weapon, it just happens.” - Amethyst, Gem Glow
And once a Gem creates their summon weapon/armor, it stays as their summon weapon forever (hence why Steven Universe can only summon his mother’s shield even though the Crystal Gems were not sure of what he would be able to summon - the shield is permenantly linked to the gemstone). It is most likely Amethyst learned how to summon a whip (either before or soon after she met the Crystal Gems) and then Pearl finally managed to summon her own weapon, the spear.
What To Look For If This Theory Is True
- All Gems that fought during the Rebellion and the Gem Wars will not be able to summon a weapon, however they may be able to summon an item of armor.
- Homeworld Warrior Gems will not be able to summon weapons at this current point in time as they were not on Earth for that technological leap. Homeworld instead used the information about summonable armor and used it in their tech so that Civilian Gems would have no need to summon weapons or shapeshift. It is not clear that Homeworld Warrior Gems created after the Gem Wars can summon armor or are reliant on similar technology as civilian Gems (like Peridot)
- Only a Gem that has never summoned a piece of armor (or stuff like wings) before will have the chance to summon a weapon. It is very likely that the structured mentality of Homeworld Gems would be difficult to overcome in order for one of their kind to achieve what Amethyst could do.
Gems were not always able to summon weapons. At first they prefered unarmed combat. During the Rebellion/Gem Wars both Homeworld and Crystal Gems adopted Earth weaponry. Someone managed to develop a technique of summoning armor during the War. After the War Homeworld Gems used that information to develop tech that negated need for summoning weapons or shape shifting. Crystal Gems however did not develop the skill until the arrival of Amethyst and when she summoned a whip (the first proper summonable Gem weapon) As Pearl had not been able to summon a weapon up until that point, she took inspiration from Amethyst and was finally able to summon a spear.
Additional Note: Peridot
There is a “will she or won’t she” kind of thing going on with respect to if Peridot will one day summon a weapon. It is almost certain that Peridot will be able to summon something, but whether it is a weapon or armor is another matter altogether. A lot of people talk about what happens if the Crystal Gems train Peridot to summon a weapon, I firmly believe if this course of action is taken then Peridot is likely to summon an item of armor as she still clings on to Homeworld rules (such as the shapeshifting thing) regardless of the tution she would get from the other Gems. Another possibility is that she is thrown into a situation where she has to defend herself with no backup from Steven or the Crystal Gems. If this situation happens then she may act out of instinct and accidentally summon a weapon. It is very unlikely that Peridot will use an Earth-type weapon as she’s never had to use anything like that to be familiar with them. Her experience is with Homeworld Gem tech and it is extremely likely that her weapon will refect that and she will gain a ranged device, a blaster perhaps but not a melee weapon.