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Boomerang blade! Boomerang blade! Boomerang blade!


"Steven the Sword Fighter" is the 16th episode of the first season of Steven Universe, and the 16th episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Pearl tries to teach Steven the art of sword-fighting by using a holographic version of herself.[2]


Steven The Sword Fighter 008.png

Steven and the Gems watched a Japanese movie called "Lonely Blade IV", which Pearl criticizes, claiming that it is nothing like real sword-fighting. She then offers to show a demonstration of proper sword-fighting techniques to Steven, which he excitedly accepts.

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Pearl then takes the Gems to a cloud temple where Amethyst is sitting on a cloud floating in the air. Pearl says she is in need of a sparring partner and Steven raises his hand, but Garnet quickly shoves it down. Pearl then says that she already has the perfect partner and projects a hologram of herself who is trained to sword-fight. They then have a battle, Steven and Garnet cheering on Pearl, Amethyst on the other hand cheering for Holo-Pearl. Pearl finally wins, and Steven asks Pearl to teach him the art of sword-fighting. She then shows him the basics, leaving him bored, so he requests for Pearl to do the "Boomerang Blade" from the movie. Pearl then begins to lecture him on how you have to "wait for the perfect time" in sword-fighting and gets distracted from her fight. Holo-Pearl then stabs Pearl in the back with her sword, impaling her. All the Gems go in shock as Pearl disappears, leaving only her gem behind. Steven begins to cry and blames himself for what happened to Pearl.

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Garnet then explains that this has happened in the past, and Pearl will reappear as soon as she is gathered enough energy to heal from her wound. Steven then asks how long it will be, two weeks pass and Pearl still has not regenerated. Steven gets depressed and tries to fill Pearl's void by hanging out with Pearl's holographic clone, but the clone is only interested in combat practice. The other Gems tells Steven to stop hanging around with Holo-Pearl, as it is getting creepy. Meanwhile, Amethyst eats a part of a cloud, inflates like a balloon and goes flying into the sky when Garnet accidentally lets go of her leg.

Steven tries to get a reaction by taking her to Pearl's favorite tree, but when he tells her "not hold back" she takes this as acceptance of her challenge for battle and chops down the tree. Steven, annoyed by how much Holo-Pearl wants to fight him, runs away and back to the house.

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Later, Steven is planning to watch "Lonely Blade V", but Holo-Pearl tries to get Steven to fight her again and destroys the TV in the process. Steven finally snaps at Holo-Pearl, yelling at how horrible she is and how all she wants to do is fight him, unlike the real Pearl, pushing the holographic version in the process. This results in Holo-Pearl attacking Steven in basic attack mode, which Steven throws his toys at, one of them hitting her, only to activate her advanced mode. She then attacks Steven, actually trying to kill him, while Steven tries to use items he finds around the house, like a walrus and boomerang. Although neither the boomerang nor walrus worked, eventually he destroys her by throwing a mop like the boomerang blade and impaling her. Finally, Pearl finishes regenerating and sees the mess that Steven has made of the house and the inflated Amethyst, and says she can not leave them alone for a second. Steven ties his shirt on like a headband and begins banging a pot with a spoon, marching around the room repeatedly chanting "Pearl's back!" as the episode ends.






Instrumental Songs


  • This is the first episode to show an on-screen gem reformation and new outfit, with Pearl being the first character to have it happen to on-screen.
  • During Pearl's regeneration, the silhouettes of Pearl's past forms can be seen.
    Pearl's Transformation Sequence.gif
    • The first is an unknown featureless design, probably Pearl's actual form or entity.
    • The next is linked to the early promotional design before the pilot.
    • There is another unaccounted-for design after this.
      • It is possible that it is a reference to the Steven Universe comics where, in the end, Connie finds an old magazine with someone who looks strikingly like Pearl from the late '80s, early '90s.
      • This could also be a reference to the form she was shown in the painting in "So Many Birthdays".
    • The next shown is her design in the Pilot.
    • The fifth is her outfit from "Story for Steven".
    • The final one before she reforms is the design from the series debut.
    • During each silhouette, a color flashes in the light with the color scheme of their respective designs.
    • This occurrence of previous forms showing is also seen again in "Reformed" when Amethyst reforms at the end of the episode.
  • A small part of the Burning Room is seen as Amethyst sees that Steven is hanging out with Holo-Pearl.
  • A written Gem language is seen inscribed on the pillars of the gem temple where Pearl tries to teach Steven sword fighting. More than twenty-six characters are shown so this language might not directly translate into English.
  • Despite the title, Steven never even touches a sword in the episode.
  • The title card for this episode is missing Steven's clothes hanging on the line. This is possibly foreshadowing that Pearl wouldn't be around for most of the episode, and therefore, was unable to do Steven's laundry.
    • This is also the first time in the series that his laundry wasn't shown on the title card.

Cultural References

  • There appears to be a Nintendo 64 in the foreground when Steven tries to get Holo-Pearl to organize the figures. At the very end of the episode, the same controller can be seen hanging from the ceiling by its cable (right next to Amethyst).
  • The figures Steven shows Holo-Pearl resemble Pikachu, Gitaroo Man, and Hero (from Ian Jones-Quartey's defunct webcomic, RPG World). Another resembles the "Gotta Go Fast" or little Sanic meme, which is fanart of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • The sword fight sequence between Pearl and her holographic projection features several shot-for-shot homages to sword fights from the manga/anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • When Holo-Pearl attacks Steven from above, she appears to be using Sephiroth's Hell's Gate move from the Final Fantasy franchise.
  • The cloud Amethyst rides resemble the flying Nimbus that Goku rides from in the Dragon Ball series.
  • Steven, when being attacked by Holo Pearl, found a boomerang and threw it at her while saying "Boomerang? Boomerang!" referring to Sokka in the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • The Boomerang Blade may be a reference to a manga/anime series One Piece, as Hannyabal's signature weapon Kessui bears a striking resemblance to the Boomerang Blade.
  • During the episode's ending, Steven hitting a pot with a spoon could be a reference to The Simpsons episode, "Lisa's First Word".


  • When Pearl tells Steven to watch her start training, she says "Do you see what I'm doing with my feet, Steven? Notice where I keep my center of gravity". Later, in "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl's first sword-fighting advice to Connie is more specific on both of those points: "Keep your stance wide / Keep your body lowered".


  • Before Steven raises his hand wanting to become Pearl's sparring partner, the middle-finger part of Garnet's glove was not colored.
  • When Steven congratulates Pearl for defeating Holo-Pearl, Garnet's left shoulder pad was colored black.
  • When Garnet accidentally lets go of balloon Amethyst, her left shoulder pad was colored black again.
  • After Holo-Pearl cuts the petal tree down, Steven ran away, and on the next scene Holo-Pearl's head was backwards.
  • After Steven dissipates Holo-Pearl with the mop, the sword falls to the ground, but in the next scene the sword is gone.
  • When Steven was teaching Holo-Pearl how to clean, Steven places his figurines by the windowsill, on the next scene, they disappear, and then they re-appear again.
  • Pearl's sword disappears after she drops it after getting impaled.
  • Lonely Blade IV appears to be a video tape, but in "Joking Victim" Steven does not know what a video tape is and in "Lion 3: Straight to Video" he had to go to the Big Donut in order to watch the video tape instead of doing so with his own TV.
  • The description of the episode originally said: Pearl tries to teach Steven the art of sword-fighting by using a holographic version of "himself" instead of "herself".


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for Steven the Sword Fighter.



ve Episode List
Pilot Pilot
Season 1 A: Gem GlowLaser Light CannonCheeseburger BackpackTogether BreakfastFryboCat FingersBubble BuddiesSerious StevenTiger MillionaireSteven's LionArcade ManiaGiant WomanSo Many BirthdaysLars and the Cool KidsOnion TradeSteven the Sword FighterLion 2: The MovieBeach PartyRose's RoomCoach StevenJoking VictimSteven and the StevensMonster BuddiesAn Indirect KissMirror Gem/Ocean Gem

B: House GuestSpace RaceSecret TeamIsland AdventureKeep Beach City WeirdFusion CuisineGarnet's UniverseWatermelon StevenLion 3: Straight to VideoWarp TourAlone TogetherThe TestFuture VisionOn the RunHorror ClubWinter ForecastMaximum CapacityMarble MadnessRose's ScabbardOpen BookShirt ClubStory for StevenThe MessagePolitical PowerThe Return/Jail Break

Season 2 Full DisclosureJoy RideSay UncleLove LettersReformedSworn to the SwordRising Tides, Crashing SkiesKeeping It TogetherWe Need to TalkChille TidCry for HelpKeystone MotelOnion FriendHistorical FrictionFriend ShipNightmare HospitalSadie's SongCatch and ReleaseWhen It RainsBack to the BarnToo FarThe AnswerSteven's BirthdayIt Could've Been Great/Message ReceivedLog Date 7 15 2
Season 3 Super Watermelon Island/Gem DrillSame Old WorldBarn MatesHit the DiamondSteven FloatsDrop Beat DadMr. GregToo Short to RideThe New LarsBeach City DriftRestaurant WarsKiki's Pizza Delivery ServiceMonster ReunionAlone at SeaGreg the BabysitterGem HuntCrack the WhipSteven vs. AmethystBismuthBetaEarthlingsBack to the MoonBubbled
Season 4 Kindergarten KidKnow Your FusionBuddy's BookMindful EducationFuture Boy ZoltronLast One Out of Beach CityOnion GangGem HarvestThree Gems and a BabySteven's DreamAdventures in Light DistortionGem HeistThe ZooThat Will Be AllThe New Crystal GemsStorm in the RoomRocknaldoTiger PhilanthropistRoom for RubyLion 4: Alternate EndingDoug OutThe Good LarsAre You My Dad?I Am My Mom
Season 5 Stuck TogetherThe TrialOff ColorsLars' HeadDewey WinsGemcationRaising the BarnBack to the KindergartenSadie KillerKevin PartyLars of the StarsJungle MoonYour Mother and MineThe Big ShowPool HoppingLetters to LarsCan't Go BackA Single Pale RoseNow We're Only Falling ApartWhat's Your Problem?The QuestionMade of HonorReunitedLegs From Here to HomeworldFamiliarTogether AloneEscapismChange Your Mind
Film Steven Universe: The Movie
Steven Universe Future Little HomeschoolGuidanceRose BudsVolleyballBluebirdA Very Special EpisodeSnow DayWhy So Blue?Little GraduationPrickly PairIn DreamsBismuth CasualTogether ForeverGrowing PainsMr. UniverseFragmentsHomeworld BoundEverything's FineI Am My MonsterThe Future
Shorts Lion Loves to Fit in a BoxThe Classroom Gems: What Are Gems?We Are the Crystal GemsThe Classroom Gems: How Are Gems Made?UnboxingThe Classroom Gems: FusionCooking with LionGem KaraokeSteven ReactsVideo ChatSteven's Song Time