For Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, the feature film dark crystal was a passion project. It is the story of a world divided between good and bad creatures whose war has destroyed the environment and drove the humanoid Gelflings almost to extinction. Now Netflix just announced a prequel series, Dark crystal: the resistancewhich tells the backstory of the takeover of the evil Skeksis and a group of brave Gelflings who challenge their rule.
The team behind the series is promising. The resistance is executive produced and directed by Louis Leterrier, who began his career with Luc Besson on the carrier movies and later at the helm The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. Additionally, the writing team includes fan favorite Javi Grillo-Marxuach (Intermediary, the 100), which is great news. Grillo-Marxuach is known for mixing humor into dark scenarios, and that will be the perfect touch for the Dark Crystal universe. Anyone who’s seen the original movie knows he wasn’t afraid to go crazy, despite its epic scale.
Netflix described the show in a press release, saying: “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all-new adventure. When three Gelflings discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they embark on an epic journey to ignite the fires of the Rebellion and save their world.” For those who remember the original film, this statement gives us another few hints about First, it tells us that we won’t see the events that led to the breakup of an ancient group of powerful beings into the benevolent Mystics and evil Skeksis, as the Skeksis already exist.Second, the presence of a Gelfling team clarifies that The resistance takes place before or during the Gelfling genocide. The series is likely to shed light on why the Skeksis are so obsessed with “essence of Gelfling.”
Netflix VP of Content Cindy Holland said the series will “combine the art of puppetry perfected by the Jim Henson Company…with a blend of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects.” Translation: Don’t get too excited about the practical effects as there will definitely be VFX in there. This is a bit disappointing, as the fun of the original dark crystal watched artist Brian Froud’s vision come to life with Henson’s incredible dolls.
This series also signals that the 80s-style fantasy revival that began with films like Guardians of the Universe still going strong. The dark crystal is pretty much the perfect embodiment of this era in fantasy, complete with easy-to-identify bad guys, a straight-forward quest, and plenty of sparkly, saturated colors. When the ambiguous, grim world of Game of Thrones didn’t work for you The dark crystal should be a perfect antidote.
List image by Jim Henson Productions