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The grand fantasy world of 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' is coming soon. Let’s look at what we know so far about the new Netflix show.

‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’ featurette: Everything to know

The legendary Jim Henson took his puppeteering skills back in the early 80s in a less child-oriented direction with the film The Dark Crystal. The auteur’s attempt at a darker, more fantasy-based storyline was left in the dust by most, but has kept a significant cult following over the years. 

Netflix took notice of this longterm fandom and decided to bring the movie back into the light with its new prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

The ten-episode series focuses on three Gelflings (human-elf hybrids, same as the lead protagonist in the film) who uncover a dark secret that threatens their home planet of Thra. The Gelflings start an uprising against the Skeksis (a sort of humanoid combination of reptile and predatory bird). 

For those unfamiliar with the original, The Dark Crystal focuses on one of the only remaining Gelflings after they were massacred, Jen (Stephen Garlick), who goes on a quest to reunite the lost shard of the titular crystal and make it whole, thereby restoring balance in Thra.

If this doesn’t sound interesting to you, may we remind you of the other dark fantasy film that Henson created that you may be a little more familiar with: Labyrinth. The Dark Crystal laid out a blueprint so Henson and his collaborators could turn David Bowie into a hot goblin king. You might say The Dark Crystal walked so Labyrinth could run. (Fans find rather the opposite: TDC a symphony and Labyrinth a weak echo.)

But enough about the original film; The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance tells a new story. With such a grand fantasy world coming back to our screens, let’s look at what we know so far about the new Netflix show and how this prequel ties into The Dark Crystal.

The show looks at the events leading up to the massacre of the Gelflings

A featurette for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance dropped on August 20th discussing the show’s ties to the original film. Three Gelflings, Rian (Taron Egerton), Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel) are on a journey to save their home planet of Thra after learning the dangers of the Skeksis’ activities.

Age of Resistance tells the story of what led up to the Gelfling massacre (which happened before the events of the original film) and how the titular Crystal Shard separated from the Crystal. 

Going into The Dark Crystal, audiences know the Skeksis are evil, but in this show, it’s back when they’re treated as gods by the people of Thra. These creatures created by the power of the Crystal are looked upon as legendary beings, but once Rian sees something he shouldn’t have, he knows he has to stop the Skeksis.

The puppet designs are exactly the same as in The Dark Crystal

A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to bring The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance to life. With a legendary puppeteer like Jim Henson behind the original story, there were a lot of expectations to bring these characters to life with equally great puppets. 

It’s been 40 years since the release of The Dark Crystal and the puppeteering work on Age of Resistance is just as complicated as before – but old faces are coming back to help out. The legendary designers of the puppets from the original film, Brian and Wendy Froud – the latter created Yoda for The Empire Strikes Back! – are on the design team for the new show.

The Frouds also brought their son Toby, who’s worked with Laika on their stop-motion animations as of late, to help with the puppet designs. Plenty of other puppeteers influenced by The Dark Crystal came on to help with the show and bring the world of Thra back to colorful life.

Big names fill out the cast

We’ve already mentioned above how the three main Gelflings are played by Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones). 

But the big names don’t stop there. Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland, Sweeny Todd), Jason Issacs (The OA, Star Trek: Discovery), Simon Pegg (Star Trek film series, Ready Player One), Sigourney Weaver (Alien), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender) are just some of the names in the supporting cast, all with huge track records in sci-fi and fantasy franchises. 

Though not in every episode, the supporting cast of Skeksis and Gelflings is just as key to the story. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’s marketing implies a Gelfling rebellion against the Skeksis, so these characters will play a large role in the final battle at the end of the season.

The big names extend behind the scenes

Manning the director’s chair for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is French director Louis Leterrier. Leterrier is also behind The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans, so his track record with sci-fi and fantasy unfortunately isn’t stellar. But he did make a great heist thriller with Now You See Me, and he’s got great names supporting him with Age of Resistance.

Jim’s daughter Lisa Henson, who took over control of The Jim Henson Company after her father’s death, is on board as executive producer and using the company to help produce the show. Newcomers Jeff Addiss and Will Matthews, fanboys of The Dark Crystal, came on board as head writers to develop a story for the new show. Also onboard as a writer is The 100 and Lost producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach. 

Just as important as the look of the show is the sound. One of the key ingredients in the staying power of The Dark Crystal was its stunningly gorgeous, evocative, and also innovative music score of mixed live orchestral and synthesizers by Trevor Jones.

Composers Daniel Pemberton and Samuel Sim will bring the sounds of Thra to life in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Pemberton has composed a variety of films over the years, from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. On the other hand, Sim has focused on scoring British TV dramas, like iTV’s The Bay, BBC One’s The Victim, and By Any Means.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance premieres August 30th only on Netflix.

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