People who remember the 1980s might remember The Dark Crystal. For those who are unfamiliar, it was a fantasy movie that came out in 1982, which was marketed as something that the whole family could watch but was nonetheless quite a bit darker than what most people would have expected based on that marketing. On the whole, The Dark Crystal had its issues but possessed plenty of charm as well, thus explaining how it went on to become something of a cult classic for fantasy fans.
With that said, chances are good that people who remember The Dark Crystal won’t mistake it for something else because it possesses a number of characteristics that cause it to stand out. For starters, the whole thing was animated using puppets. Moreover, those puppets came from what is now called the Jim Henson Company, which makes sense because Jim Henson was one of the two co-directors alongside Frank Oz. On top of this, it should be mentioned that the setting of The Dark Crystal was much bolder than a lot of its counterparts in that it was much more willing to lean towards the fantastical side of things.
Generally speaking, fantasy media likes to retain a sense of familiarity. This is because this makes it much easier for interested individuals to build a sense of connection as well as filling in missing information on their own. As such, even when fantasy media is original rather than derivative in nature, it is very common for it to feature humans because perhaps unsurprisingly, humans like seeing humans even in the most exotic of stories and settings. Dark Fantasy wasn’t one of these fantasy works, as shown by how its most important species are the Gelflings, the Skeksis, and the urRu.
In short, the Gelfings are humanoids with what one might call an elvish look to them. This is no coincidence because the main concept artist was a man who had been famous for his designs of dwarves as well as fairies. Something that should come as no surprise to those who recall that female Gelflings bear vestigial, butterfly wings. Meanwhile, the Skeksis and the urRu are more unusual still, with an excellent example in how the first combined traits of reptiles and predatory birds while the second combined traits of dogs and dinosaurs. However, the two species’ physical appearances were by no means their most unusual characteristic. Instead, that would be how there are ten of the Skeksis for ten of the urRu. Something that can be explained by the fact that the two species split from the same individuals of the same species, which is how the Skeksis winded up as the evil counterparts of the urRu and vice versa.
Story-wise, The Dark Crystal was much more conventional, though even then, it wasn’t without its twists and turns. Essentially, the hero of the movie is a Gelfling named Jen, who was raised by one of the urRu after his entire clan was killed. Said character is told that he must heal the titular Dark Crystal by restoring one of its shards lest the Skeksis rule for the rest of time. As such, Jen heads out on a journey to recover the shard so that he can fulfill the task that has been entrusted to him. Curiously, while a lot of similar fantasy stories conclude with the Skeksis overcome, The Dark Crystal was interesting in that it concluded with the remaining Skeksis and urRu merging into the UrSkeks. After which, the UrSkeks depart from the world after entrusting the no longer Dark Crystal to the Gelflings.
Whatever Happened to The Dark Crystal?
When The Dark Crystal was still being developed, there were some discussions about a hypothetical sequel. Said discussions served as the basis of a proposed sequel that was worked upon on and off through the 2000s as well as the 2010s. Eventually, the plan for the movie fell through, with the result that the planned material was turned into the basis of a comic book series called The Power of the Dark Crystal instead that came out in 2017.
What Do We Know About The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance?
Based on this, it is clear that there is still both creator and fan interest in The Dark Crystal franchise. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that Netflix has teamed up with The Jim Henson Company to release a ten-part prequel series to the movie called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
Like the name suggests, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will have a very different angle from its predecessor. After all, while the original movie was very much centered on a single hero’s journey to save the world even if he had considerable help along the way, the upcoming series will be centered on a trio of Gelflings called Rian, Brea, and Deet who choose to start a rebellion when they realize the true nature of the Skeksis’s incredible power.
In any case, interested individuals should know that a trailer (above) has been released for the upcoming series, meaning that they don’t need to listen to other people’s opinions but can instead get a small taste of what they can expect on their own. Certainly, the premise has potential. Furthermore, it seems to be backed up by some excellent visuals, a setting that is more interesting than most of its kind, and a cast that features some pretty well-known names. As such, it is no wonder that there are a lot of people who are already expressing considerable enthusiasm for the series that is set to release on August 30 of 2019.
Due to this, it will be interesting to see whether The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be capable of living up to the hype created by its trailer or not. Furthermore, one can’t help but wonder what will happen within it. Considering the state of the setting at the start of the movie, it seems reasonable to speculate that the overall tone of the series will be more than a bit reminiscent of its name. However, considering the trailer’s emphasis on hope, it will be very interesting to see whether the series will not just choose to go for an existential victory but also manage to execute it well.