Lars is living his very best (un)life.
But first, Lion is being adorable!
Connie: I’m so excited we’re finally going to have a space adventure together! Steven and Connie in space!
Steven: I’m not so sure this is going to be an adventure. Last time I saw Lars, he was huddled up in a dark cave with some other Homeworld fugitives.
Connie: Oh. Yeah. Well, I’m ready for anything.
Because now that Steven and Connie are together again (and Steven has his fluffy interdimensional portal), they’re finally going to visit Lars (and take him a care package).
And they jump straight into the middle of a space opera!
Emerald: It’s over! I’ve got you now, you miserable off-colors!
Lars: You’ll never take us alive, Emerald!
Steven: What is going on?
Padparadscha: Captain, I’m having a vision. We’re about to be discovered by Emerald!
Steven & Connie: Wait, Captain?
It was all worth it for this. ALL OF IT.
His outfit is a shout-out to an old space anime, Captain Harlock, which also happened to feature a character named Queen Emeraldas (although from what I gathered she’s more of a rival than a flat-out antagonist).
Emerald: It was a minor inconvenience when you stole my personal shuttle and crashed it on Upsilon Nine, it was an insult when you impersonated imperial officers during a cosmic jubilee, but to steal my Sun Incinerator is unacceptable!
Lars: If this ship means so much to you, maybe you shouldn’t have left it unguarded in the docking bay of Clavia 7.
Emerald: There were sixty-seven elite centurions guarding it!
Lars: Oh, I didn’t see them. No wait, I did. They didn’t see us!
Emerald: I’ll get you! I’ll get you myself! I’ll do it right now! I’ll blow you up to smithereens!
Lars: Good luck catching us. We stole your fastest ship!
This is the role Lars was made to play. He makes a fantastic zombie space pirate!
Steven: Lars, I have so many questions! Where’d you get this ship? And more importantly, where’d you get that cape?
Lars: Stole them.
Fluorite: Steven, is that another human friend?
Connie: Yeah, I’m Connie! Happy to be aboard. You must all be Lars’ crew!
Lars: They’re more than that. Without them, I’d still be stuck in a cave on the Gem homeworld! They were able to figure out a way off that lame old planet.
Rhodonite: We never would’ve been able to steal a ship without Lars! He can slip past all the scanners undetected. […]
Lars: And now a few stolen ships and a couple of space crimes later, we’re finally on a course toward Earth!
They needed each other in order to move forward – Lars needed someone to believe in him, and the Off-colors needed a reason to fight back, and hope for a better future.
Rutile: We are excited about your Beach City.
Rutile: I look forward to a planet of sand and water.
Lars: Yeah, and my house, and my trampoline, the Big Donut, and…Sadie. How is Sadie?
Steven: Oh! Really, really good!
Steven: Now, she’s Sadie Killer and the Suspects! Her band is awesome!
Lars: She looks…really happy. Without me.
Because he’s still Lars. And a teenager. And he kinda got thrown into the deep end.
Lars: I don’t believe this. How is she having such a good time without me? Does she even know I died out here?
Steven: Of course she does! She’s been worried sick!
And then Emerald’s ship is gaining on them, but Lars is (again, somewhat understandably) consumed by this little meltdown.
Steven: Do you hear that? Your crew needs you!
Lars: You don’t get it, do you, Steven? It should be me. I’m the one that should be hanging out with the Cool Kids! She’s getting back at me for everything I’ve done!
Connie: Do you really think Sadie is living her life just to get back at you?
Lars: Why else would she be having so much fun without me?
Steven: Because life goes on, no matter what happens. She was so upset when she found out you’d be stuck in space, Lars. She really misses you, but she can’t stay sad forever. She started hanging out with the Cool Kids, she quit the Big Donut, all because she needed to do something to feel better!
Connie: And look at you! Steven said you’d be hiding in some cave on Homeworld, but you’re not! You’re out here fighting for freedom with all your new friends in tow! Are you doing any of this to hurt Sadie?
Lars: No! I’m doing this because I have to. I’d never do this to hurt Sadie. Because…[…]
Connie & Steven: Because you’re best friends!
Stevonnie: And best friends wouldn’t do anything to hurt each other.
First, YES. Stevonnie was the only thing missing from this space adventure.
…But I’m still gonna quibble with using the phrase “best friends” to describe Lars and Sadie. They’re more like the textbook definition of “it’s complicated”, and while their relationship has certainly improved over the last season or so, earlier in the series they couldn’t seem to do much of anything without hurting each other.
But at any rate, it’s just the sort of pep talk Lars needed.
Emerald: Did you really think I wasn’t going to be able to track my own ship? The Sun Incinerator’s specialized nova thrusters give off an energy signature I could recognize from the other side of the galaxy! Now, surrender to me, or be destroyed.
Lars: I’d never surrender to you! Blow us into stardust like you’ve always dreamed of.
Emerald: Very well. Prepare yourselves for destruction!
Stevonnie: Lars! What are you doing?
Lars: Drop the shields, Rhodonite.
Rhodonite: But that would leave us open to their attack! We wouldn’t stand a chance.
Lars: Trust me, we’ll be just fine. Now lower the shields.
And, despite having all the firepower she needs to make good on that threat, Emerald only knocks out their weapons and shields.
Lars: You really do have a heart, don’t you, Emerald?
Lars: You’re not going to hurt this ship! You love this ship. It’s your best friend. You’d much rather let it get away than destroy it.
Stevonnie: Wow Lars, I missed you.
Unfortunately, while Emerald would never destroy her precious ship, she has no compunctions about crippling it and stranding them in space. And with the ship’s weapons down, their only option to defend themselves is a fighter jet which Lars (presumably) built and which none of the Gems know how to fly, so Lars would have to pilot it himself.
Stevonnie: But Lars, your crew needs you here on the ship.
Lars: You got a better idea?
Stevonnie: Captain Lars! Permission to go in your place! If it’s anything like driving a car, I should be fine.
Lars: Permission granted.
So Stevonnie manages to take out the ship’s big guns…but still gets hit by a close-range missile.
Until next time…