Steven Universe: The Movie takes place two years after the season five finale. Lots of things have changed — Connie is going off to space camp, gems have built a Little Homeworld on Earth, and Steven has a neck.
But one of the biggest things that happens in the movie isn’t a question of what, but who, as a surprising character enters the scene. What’s the story behind this new fusion?
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Steven Universe: The Movie]
At one point, Steven and Greg Universe jam together, trying to get Pearl to remember who she is. They’re hoping that music will unlock that for her, but Pearl seems too hyper fixated on Greg, who she considers her new mascot. So Steven and Greg decide to do what they’ve never done before, what they don’t even think is possible: they decide to fuse.
The idea is that if Greg isn’t there, Pearl will be able to confront a world where the object of her devotion disappears, much like when Rose gave up her life. It does work in that regard, but also gives us the absolute banger “Independent Together,” and the fusion of Greg and Steven, who is called... STEG. That’s right — STEG.
The muscular Steg has rippling hair, chiseled abs, and best of all, a killer crooning voice. But just who voices Steg?
It’s Ted Leo, a singer, songwriter, and frontman of rock group Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Leo started his career by forming New York band Citizens Arrest and continued in the punk scene, playing in bands like Chisel, Puzzlehead, and the Sin-Eaters. He founded Ted Leo and the Pharmacists in 1999, while continuing his solo career. His band released six albums between 1999 and 2010.
In 2013, he formed an indie duo with Aimee Mann (who voices Opal) called The Both; the band released its first album in 2014. In 2017, Leo released his first solo album, entitled The Hanged Man, which explores some personal grief and trauma.
Leo regularly appears on radio shows — most notably, The Best Show with Tom Scharpling, aka the voice of Greg Universe... which is probably how he nabbed this sweet gig.
Oh Steg, how you make us swoon.