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'Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' just won an Emmy, but two days later Netflix canned the second season. Why is that?

No award could save it: ‘Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’ is canceled

How does it feel to have a beautifully-crafted show that expands on original material win an Emmy, and then get canceled two days later? For fans of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, it’s a shot in the heart. 

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was a prequel to Jim Henson’s seminal cult movie The Dark Crystal. While the film was overshadowed at the box office, it’s considered a seminal work in special effects. It’s also remembered fondly by people of a certain age. 

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was a prequel, explaining the near extinction of the gelflings, the race of creatures The Dark Crystal’s protagonist, Jen, hailed from. Tying in political commentary and beautiful effects, the prequel went into detail about how the evil Skeksis came to be, Aughra, the one-eyed shaman who helps Jen, and how the Skeksis could persuade the gelfling to set up their own destruction.

Apart from being a treat for older fans, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance had a wonderful story full of new, heartwarming, relatable characters. The protagonists are three gelflings from different clans who have to unite to resist the Skeksis & learn the truth about where they came from. 

The series ends perfectly, leaving viewers wanting more. The plot also leaves room for the second season. Are any of our gelfling Jen or Kira’s parents? How will the gelfling fall? Unfortunately, our questions won’t be answered since a sequel has been permanently shelved.

Is that it, though? 

Lisa Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter and Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’s producer confirmed Netflix’s decision in a statement. However, she gave fans a glimmer of hope in The Hollywood Reporter that the story would continue in other ways. “We know fans are eager to learn how this chapter of The Dark Crystal saga concludes, and we’ll look for ways to tell that story in the future,” she said.

Other Jim Henson fantasy works, such as the cult classic Labyrinth, received sequels in comic book & manga formats. Supplemental material from The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth’s concept designer Brian Froud also exists, giving fans a glimpse into his beautiful art. Perhaps we’ll see the story continue in these formats. 

However, Netflix is moving on despite positive reviews. They released a statement expressing their gratitude to the artists & producers who worked tirelessly on this Emmy-winning series. 

But . . . why? 

Why would Netflix cancel a beloved, Emmy-winning show? Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance garnered positive reviews and fans looked forward to the second season. Inside sources point to the executive shakeup in Netflix’s ranks as a reason. 

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed a shakeup in Netflix’s ranks. Netflix Co. CEO Ted Sarandos announced that he was promoting Bela Bajaria to VP of global television, ousting his longtime partner, Cindy Holland. Sarandos explained his decision to Netflix employees in an online town hall.

The Hollywood Reporter’s sources indicated that the shakeup was Sarandos’ attempt to create a clearer hierarchy in the Netflix corporation and expand global outreach. According to sources, Sarandos believes Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was “an expensive disappointment” for the streaming service, possibly because it failed to entice international audiences to subscribe. 

“The real power of Netflix is not the stuff we talk about [think Stranger Things]; it’s The Witcher, Money Heist, Dark, and all the international stuff — not making more Ozark. And [Bela Bajaria] made smart acquisitions and spear-headed unscripted, too,” a former Netflix executive told The Hollywood Reporter about the shakeup.

Could COVID-19 have also done the show in? 

Possibly, another reason could involve COVID concerns. Behind-the-scenes footage of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance reveals that puppeteers have to work in very close quarters with each other (in narrow, underground pathways), making it more difficult & possibly costlier to film and social distance at the same time.  

If you’re a fan of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, do you think there’s any way to save the show? Let us know if you still want a second season, or if you want to wait & see what the Jim Henson company will do for a sequel.

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Comments
  • The series was amazing and nowhere near an “expensive disappointment” compared to the thousands of low-budget movies that Netflix has in their catalog. I am certain it was a dream come true for the puppeteers and engineers that worked on the project as well as fans like myself that loved the original movie. If Hulu or Disney+ picks up the series, Netflix will regret this decision.

    October 11, 2020
  • I’m so very disappointed in Netflix cancelling the Dark Crystal! I have grown old sharing the movie with my children and now grandchildren, the 1st season of Resistance was a wish come true. Would have loved to see more seasons come to life, will miss the whole crew and the dreamers who brought them all into our homes.

    October 13, 2020
    • I use to be a fan of watching the Dark Crystal Age of Resistance and I agree want a second season that is Disney plus would a perfect stream service for continuing the series will show on winter holiday is bringing back that I don’t decide to be bored.

      December 9, 2020
  • Dark crystal was a work of art. Im sad that they cancelled it to a cliffhanger.

    October 13, 2020
  • Very sad this awesome series was cancelled. I sure Lisa Henson does indeed find a way to tell the story in the future. Would have loved a second series.

    October 17, 2020
  • Money over quality. Profit over art. Garbage decision. The themes explored in this amazing work are more mature and timely than most stuff out there.

    October 18, 2020
  • Hopefully Netflix goes the way of the dinosaur they tend to do this with every good show that said hopefully a company that cares about their shows picks it up.

    October 19, 2020
  • IMO, it’s out of question any other way to get a closure but a second season, all the efforts and commitment invested in the first season are worth it!

    October 19, 2020
  • Has to be another season! Its the only show I have watched over on Netflix, its so beautiful and perfect. I need to know what happens to Deet!

    October 20, 2020
  • “According to sources, Sarandos believes Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was “an expensive disappointment” ”

    No. You’re an expensive disappointment. I hope they cancel YOU Sarandos. Literally no logic to this decision at all.

    It’s an extremely expensive show to get started due to the immense cost of the puppets/scenery/training/puppeteers /etc. Now with that cost out of the way and nothing but extremely positive feedback from fans and media/reviews/awards you decide to cancel the show? You already made the investment and it worked, at least make one more season to recoup some of that money and give the fans some kind of closure. Illogical and stupid. Netflix wonders why people aren’t subscribing and they’re losing money. Doesn’t take a genius to know that these are the reasons why.

    October 20, 2020
  • Whoever is smart enough to pick up the second season will win a huge reward for sure. Now that you got all our and our children’s attention it’s time to keep it, especially our children as they grow. If a show can hold the attention and love of multiple generations then they have done something more that just got the job done. Too bad I go guess Netflix just wants the quick buck and not the enduring foundation?

    October 21, 2020
  • I was very disappointed when I heard this. Me and my two oldest daughters loved age of resistance. I´ve watched it all several times and still find it magical. To me it brouhgt back the magic of the movie and how I loved the story as a child. I would really have preferred a second season, since the skillful pupeteers adds an important part of that magic to me.

    October 23, 2020
  • So very sad- Age Of Resistance is a work of Art… that there is not a second season for this beautifully made producing is a true leadership failure..
    if you want Europeans to watch … USE Subtitles..
    SHAME SHAME SHAME…

    October 25, 2020
  • Netflix cancels all of my favorite shows with substance. They keep literal garbage on there. Sense8, now Dark Crystal. I’m just so done with them. Prefer my HBO Max and Disney+ now.

    October 26, 2020
  • what about Disney. could they be interested in picking up help get this great family story back up. with Disney+ gives the platform to help it. I also think Disney should look into some of these other films netfix is cutting out second season when the story only just begun. and surely with covid yes filming will have it new challenges but all filming in these times does. but to story is there. the artist and actors are they to make it work and keep it alive. Have faith in it.

    October 27, 2020
    • No, no, no…..and HELL NO. Disney of late has a reputation for outright killing franchises with extreme prejudice, for no other reason than because they can (Star Wars anyone?) The Dark Crystal franchise is simply too good for Disney’s dirty, toxic paws.

      November 2, 2020
  • Well it looks like netfix is trying to be the myspace of streaming. They cone on show what can be done and instead of growing they take steps back and before they know it everyone else will have passed them up. It takes shows like the Darkcrystal to keep a wide viewership. Its just a shame to watch what at first got me to get netflix now be puts to the side for shoddy work. It makes me want to get rid of netflix. Im starting to hope they don’t pick up Percy Jackson. I’d hate to see a great season only to have them drop it for 4 new b level slap stick movies.

    November 13, 2020
  • we need another seasons. theres so much to explore with the story and technology of puppets and how the works of puppets can still beat good CGI. what other series can you say gets all family ages together and wanting to watch the next episode together. JIm work company does that and who knows this could lead to more programs using great puppeteering or get future young people wanting to go into puppeteering work career.

    November 16, 2020
  • I do want season two of Dark Crystal Age of Resistance because I want to see what’s going on in the series. When I started to feel about new characters and more might in series. All I know is what happens to Deet and the Skeksis use the Garthim to destroy the Gelfling. I just hope Disney plus pick it up so I don’t be sad and bored was what will to happen to all the characters especially Deet. Please bring the story back and I happy to see it.

    November 18, 2020
  • I want season two of dark Crystal Age of Resistance and I prefer on Disney plus I be happy to see new characters and more. I can watch continue the rest of the story. And I can’t wait for series.

    November 18, 2020
  • I want still season two of Dark Crystal Age of Resistance and I am a huge fan. I can watch on Disney plus it could work out right away and I love to see new characters and more to the story it will be exciting. I wish they bring it back this year in Disney plus.

    November 18, 2020
    • When I still want season two of Dark Crystal Age of Resistance, will they know that I want it badly and they get on that right away.

      November 24, 2020
    • I wish the season two of dark crystal age of resistance were here on Disney plus already and I just beg is coming on holidays then I hopefully is not too long.

      December 6, 2020
  • Please Disney or HBO, pick this gem up. I want to see a continuation of this magnificent series.

    November 20, 2020
  • This absolutely has to at least have one more season to close it out. It’s the only reason that I even subscribed to netflix in the first place. I will be cancelling it now. There is nothing good left on there anymore. With the loss of this as well as charmed. Pointless. So many awful low budget movies and shows on here. I hope disney or prime or someone picks this up. I’m sure it would profit. They definitely would from me!!

    November 22, 2020
  • If Netflix ended several low budget bullshits series which they certainly have enough of then they could easily extend this epic series loved by many!

    November 28, 2020
    • I agree with you!

      January 10, 2021
  • I be glad to get second season that Disney plus will pick it up by the time. I don’t have to wait if that’s fine with them is they can get it now and I being happy to see and watch.

    November 29, 2020
  • That is such sad news. I litterally finished watching it again yesterday. I love that series. They left it on such a big cliff hanger.
    The dark crystal was such a big film in my childhood.
    I understand that netflix wants to be more international
    But I can honestly say I don’t watch all the foreign films they have available. Some of the rubbish they air on jetflix and now they take this away it was a bad decision one that has left me sad. Lets hope prime video or as a comment above maybe Disney can continue it. If I could I would fund it. I wonder if a fundraiser can be made so that all the fans pay for it together. Maybe there is enough of us. I would gladly pay its so worth it and I’m dying to know the next saga for thra

    December 1, 2020
  • So sad, i was hoping for season 2 for winter holidays… :(

    December 1, 2020
  • This was the biggest disappointing/mistake coming out of Netflix. This show was breathtaking, incredible and captured the hearts of not only myself, but my children and other members of my family including members of my family that don’t like puppeteering as an art medium. Blaming COVID for this would also be a mistake as they could have simply announced a TBT postpone hold on the show until things settle down.

    However instead Netflix gave us something special, and it achieved the highest honor in awards…and then they slapped all of us in the face and told us they don’t care…while all of these other low budget garbage shows get multiple seasons and low ratings. Like any other industry, I feel Netflix has a responsibly to their subscribers that if they release content that is successful or award winning, they need to follow through and finish the work for the fans, regardless of excuses.

    I was super close to cancelling my Netflix subscription after hearing this news but kept it because of Castlevania…which is the only other show on Netflix that I truly care about. I can’t support a company or trust Netflix to continue other newly created shows I like if they can’t even keep this one that won an emmy.

    December 3, 2020
    • Please renew a second season!! I was hoping for a second one while I was still watching the first one! It was so successful and won awards. The plot isn’t even concluded. Its also my favorite and the best on Netflix

      January 10, 2021
  • Me too I was thinking about is season two on new stream maybe Disney plus is now.

    December 3, 2020
  • I discovered late that there was a Dark Crystal pre-quel series and finally subscribed to Netflix to watch it and other fantastic shows and movies available. I have three more episodes to complete! Like others who commented, I LOVE the Age of Resistance series and want to see it continue or even see a movie made! The original movie enchanted me as a kid and continues to inspire me as an artist. I am hopeful Lisa Henson and the Froud family will find a way to continue the story. It is beautiful – a unicorn in today’s cg world – and as critics back in the day deemed, “timeless”. I will be keeping close watch on updates from the Henson’s about their plans for the franchise. I can’t wait for more!

    December 10, 2020
    • I agree with you!

      January 10, 2021
  • Please it will come on Disney plus that I’m sure it must show up this Christmas as soon as the Jim Henson Company bring it back on stream service.

    December 15, 2020
  • Please renew a second season!! I was hoping for a second one while I was still watching the first one! It was so successful and won awards. The plot isn’t even concluded. Its also my favorite and the best on Netflix

    January 10, 2021
  • I canceled my Netflix when they canceled this show.

    January 14, 2021
  • Bring back Dark Crystal!

    March 2, 2021
  • The World NEEDS the second Season badly. And probably more after that.

    March 17, 2021
  • I watched this with my family. Everyone one loved it.
    We’re really disappointed there is no season 2.
    This weekend we’re planning to re-watch season 1.

    March 18, 2021
  • Why are they canceling good shows but keep garbage on like Money Heist and Dark ? Talk about being out of touch with people.

    April 10, 2021
  • As much as I like Netflix, after this and Away were cancelled, I seriously considering cancelling my Netflix account. I did not renew after a credit card change for several months. I signed up a gain but after seeing some of the crap that has replaced these shows I am debating cancelling again after I see the shows I wanted to finish/continue this year. The presence of Shadow and Bone and a few others may convince me to stay but if that gets cancelled…. goodbye Netflix. There is no point in watching shows that will never get finished. I REALLY hope someone else picks up the Dark Crystal Series.

    May 18, 2021
  • Anyone who thinks Disney+ picking it up would be a good idea needs to have their head examined. Disney’s Leftist agenda, and their allegiance to the Chinese govt, would mean the end of this show. and in not a good way.

    June 11, 2021
  • I would love to see a sequel series or at least another film to supplement this series & link to the original film. Its really annoying that Netflix does this. They have no obligation or customer/fan support. At least give the producers a chance to finish the story!
    I certainly would buy a DVD of a second film or a few episodes to complete the story.

    July 7, 2021

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