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Adventure Time’s Bubbline special Obsidian will go into the past and future

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Here are the first details on HBO Max’s new Distant Lands installment

Poster for the Bubbline Adventure Time episode Obsidian Image: HBO Max

While the first installment of HBO Max’s Adventure Time: Distant Lands whisked fan-favorite BMO off on its own sci-fi stand-alone, the second, titled Obsidian, will explore a piece of the show’s canon that fans have been aching to see expanded. According to executive producer Adam Muto, who spoke on the series’ San Diego Comic-Con 2020 panel on Friday, the special will dive deep into the relationship between Bubblegum and Marceline — both in scenes set before the end of the series and after — as the two figure out their romance.

In the final scenes of the Adventure Time series finale, Bubblegum and Marceline expressed their love for one another with a kiss, making good on the “Bubbline” ship that even Marceline voice actress Olivia Olson had been rooting for. But the moment was simply that: a one-second payoff and, to some, an empty gesture. Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Obsidian will provide both a foundation and what-happened-next continuity for the pair.

During the panel, Muto explained how the title Obsidian relates to the characters’ journey. “It had a lot to do with the setting,” he said. “It takes place near a place that we haven’t shown on the show, in the Glass Kingdom. Spiritually, obsidian can be protective and absorb negativity, but it can also be weaponized as an actual material. [The special] kinda has those elements to it. Not a perfect metaphor, but a metaphor.”

Though many think Olson confirmed Bubbline back at a 2014 Barnes & Noble book signing, the actress clarified that at the time, she was merely dreaming out in the open, hoping that by her saying something, the creators of the series might be nudged to make it a reality. She got her wish, and in Obsidian, Marceline’s life will become even more complicated as she deals with genuine love.

“I think a big arc for her in Obsidian is getting over some of the barriers she’s put up for herself,” Olson said. “Her story started way before the Finn and Jake timeline of things. She’s gone through lifetimes of ups and downs with different people, seeing them come and go, and her walls are up really, really high. […] She decodes some of those themes, because ultimately she can’t move forward with Bubblegum unless she tackles those issues.”

Though the special will dig through two characters’ histories, Muto promises lots of fresh Adventure Time weirdness in the special, too. Finn and Jake won’t make appearances, but in their place are a handful of heroes from the Glass Kingdom, including Glassboy, who has “elements of Finn, if they were more extreme” and whose enthusiasm eventually helps Bubblegum and Marceline deal with their baggage. Glassboy will be voiced by none other than Michaela Dietz, who voiced Amethyst on Steven Universe. Muto said they had a hard rule about not casting Steven Universe actors while former Adventure Time writer-storyboarder Rebecca Sugar’s show was still on the air, but since it wrapped earlier this year, they felt comfortable bringing on Dietz.

The panel did not debut a new trailer for Obsidian, but showcased the first promo art for the series and a new song featured in the special, “Monster.” Check out Olson performing the original tune at the 35-minute mark of the panel in the video above.

Poster for the Bubbline Adventure Time episode Obsidian Image: HBO Max