Fans of Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power might want to sit down for this one. Showrunner Noelle Stevenson revealed exclusively to EW that the upcoming fifth season of the animated series will be its last one. With the final season set to hit the streaming service on May 15, Stevenson released two posters representing just how dire the fifth season will be for Adora and offered some insight on what viewers can expect.
Stevenson wants to reassure fans that they were aware of what their total episode order was from the start, so the team was able to plot out the show's entire narrative arc to cover five seasons.
● Stevenson is proud of the work that the team accomplished, and appreciated knowing the episode order they had to work and the way the stories evolved:
"It has been such an incredible journey so far just getting to share these seasons that are already out and seeing the reactions. I do feel very lucky because we knew from the very beginning what our episode order was, so we got to tailor the story very specifically to how long the show was gonna be.
It was tailored to be 52 episodes, the length that it is, and that's a real blessing for a storyteller because it means everything happens when it's meant to happen. The story definitely evolved along the way, from people who worked on it and following the story threads that seemed right and where the characters led us. We set out with a plan, we executed that plan, so it's very satisfying to see it wrap up like this. I'm very happy with where we got to with this story. I'm really excited for people to see it. I hope they'll be as happy as I am."
● For Adora, the upcoming season sees a lot of past narratives put to rest – creating a level of uncertainty that Adora's never faced before:
"Going into season 5, our board has been wiped clean a little bit. It has been a self-contained world in a self-contained struggle, where the sides of dark and light seemed well-defined at the beginning. But immediately those lines started getting blurred: Characters switched sides, characters who you thought were evil became good and good became evil, and then we started questioning what good and evil even means here. But it was personal for them. They're fighting people they know, and for people like Adora and Catra they know each other very intimately. Now suddenly they have a villain who they don't know. They're getting exposed to the wider universe. Even people who had been fighting for world domination are suddenly realizing how high the stakes are.
For a lot of them, I think that what they thought they were fighting for has become a little bit irrelevant at this point, including Adora. She assumed that she was this hero, that this was her destiny to balance the planet and save Etheria, and then she finds out her actual purpose is to be the trigger of a gun, and now she's lost that destiny. But there's still this huge threat looming, and she has to do something; she has no idea what, she just knows she has to do something. For her and for all of their characters, they've been reset a little bit — some of them literally, like Hordak. From all their goals and motivations, a lot of them are left with nothing at this point. All the pretenses and personas that they cultivated for themselves that were false in some ways, that's all been stripped away. Our characters are gonna have to actually look at themselves, ask hard questions of themselves, and figure it out from there."
● Interestingly enough, Catra's story resembles Adora's in that both are looking to redefine themselves after heavy losses and brutal truths:
"Going into season 5, Catra is kind of a wild card. She has been spiraling and struggling for control the entire time we've known her in the show. With Adora being the hero and Catra feeling abandoned, she took the other route she could find: 'I will ascend to the top of the Horde, I will conquer Etheria and I will be this villain because that's all I've been told I'm good for.' She got so close to that! She seemed like she was gonna win.
But at the end of season 4, she's lost everything. Every single person who's ever been kind or sympathetic to her no longer is. They're gone, and it's her fault, she pushed them away. The thing she's fighting for, control of Etheria and the highest position in the Horde, is suddenly meaningless because Horde Prime is here and it's a whole new game. What is she gonna do? She's always been a survivor, so how is she even going to play the field? Does she even want to play the field anymore? Who is she now that this one singular goal she had has sort of slipped through her fingers? I think that's a big question going forward: What is she gonna do? I don't think even she knows yet."