Hey Guys it is Gadget; and have I got a treat for you, What if I told you that the “Skeksis’” and the “Mystics” are back?
Well they are and this August on Netflix, a childhood favorite of mine returns with all new stories in a “Prequel” to the greatest Jim Henson wizardry ever to grace the movie screens of the 1980’s; “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.”
But, before we talk about this, we need to go back in time to where the story conclude; but began.
Those of you, like me, who grew up in the 1980’s saw shows like the “Muppet Show” or “Stars Wars” and are familiar with the works of Jim Henson and his creature shop. In the 1980’s puppetry was an art form all its own; and using that art form were two people by the names of Jim Henson and Frank Oz; as they used that talent to directed a little move called “The Dark Crystal” in 1982.
“The Dark Crystal” told the story of “Jen the “Gelfling” on a quest to restore balance to his world by returning the lost shard of a powerful but broken gem called “The Pure Crystal“.
It spoke of a prophecy: “What was Sunder and Undone shall be whole; the two made one. At the time of The Great Conjunction, a Gelfling would heal the Dark Crystal reuniting the Skeksis and Mystics into the UrSkek.”
It seems that over a thousand years ago on the planet “Thra” the crystal had been cracked and in that damage created two new races to appear: the malevolent “SKEKSIS” and the kind wizards called “MYSTICS.” Yet the story was portrayed as very dark for children, yet many kids (like this reporter) did go to see it despite the adult undertones. It seems kids were more resilient back then; and understood what was fantasy and reality, but I digress.
During his quest Jen meets “Kira”, another surviving Gelfling, who can communicate with animals. Along the way they discover that they have a telepathic link between each other which Kira calls “Dreamfasting”; showing each other’s lives before they met. Dodging all the tricks and traps, set by the Skeksis’, Jen and Kira reach the Crystal’s chamber in the hopes of healing the crystal before the darkness fall on them. Jen, fulfilling the prophecy, leaps onto the crystal and drops the shard as the Skeksis’ try to stop him; but Kira retrieves it and throws it back to him, but is given a fatal wound as she is impaled by the Skeksis’ high priest. Then the Mystics enter the chamber, as Jen plunges the shard into the crystal, and in one whoosh of bright light the Mystics and Skeksis merge into tall glowing beings known as “UrSkeks.”
The leader of the “UrSkeks” explains to Jen, as he holds Kira’s lifeless body, that in their “arrogance” and “delusion” they shattered the “pure” crystal and this darkness caused their world to spit apart. As a reward for Jen’s courage and sacrifice; the UrSkeks revive Kira and, leaving the Pure Crystal to the Gelflings on the now-rejuvenated Thra, ascend into the heavens fulfilling the prophecy of their existence.
There were talks to create a squeal during the development phase of The Dark Crystal. Director Jim Henson and writer David Odell discussed ideas for the possible sequel as, almost 25 years later, Odell and his wife Annette Duffy pieced together what Odell could recall from these discussions to draft a script for “The Power of the Dark Crystal.”
Yet, back in 2012, do to many complications production on the film has been suspended indefinitely.
Then on July 1, 2013, there was an announcement was made by “The Jim Henson Company” and partners that they would be hosting a “Dark Crystal Author Quest Contest” to write a new Dark Crystal novel, as a “prequel” to the original film. J.M. (Joseph) Lee of Minneapolis, Minnesota, whose story, “The Ring of Dreams,” was selected; and May 2014, Lisa Henson confirmed that the film was still in development, but it is not yet in pre-production.
Ultimately, plans for a feature film were scrapped, and the un-produced screenplay was adapted into a 12-issue comic book series “The Power of the Dark Crystal” from Archaia Comics and BOOM! Studios, released in 2017.
Or so we thought……..
Now that we know about the end of the story, Let us talk about the beginning; the beginning of the darkness of “The Dark Crystal”……
It was announced that on May 2017, The Jim Henson Company and Netflix would pick up where (in May of 2014) they left off. Three years later and they finally decided to produce the “Prequel” of “The Dark Crystal”, but instead of a movie it world be a serial series on Netflix
“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” , set to air August 30, 2019 on Netflix, takes us back years before the events of the 1982 movie and tells the story of three Gelflings –> “Rian, Brea and Deet” as they discover the secret behind the Skeksis’ power, and undertake a quest to start a rebellion and save the world.
The new plot of this story is that the world of Thra is dying and “The Crystal of Truth” (originally called “The Pure Crystal in 1982 version) is at the heart of Thra, a source of untold power. But it is damaged, corrupted by the evil Skeksis, and a sickness spreads across the land. When three Gelfling uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit and an epic battle for the planet begins.
Written by Jeffrey Addiss, Will Matthews, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach filming began in the United Kingdom in November 2017; with Louis Leterrier serving as director for this incarnation of “The Dark Crystal”. At New York Comic Con last year (which this reported attended); Leterrier insisted that the series would depend on puppetry and not CGI,except for the use of green screen to remove the puppeteers, realized using classic puppetry with cutting edge visual effects was they way to go this time around.
*Video courtesy of New York Comic-Con 2018 Netflix and Chills
“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” voice cast is also something to speak about as it has a whose who of stars:
Taron Egerton, as “Rian”
Anya Taylor-Joy as “Brea”
Nathalie Emmanuel as “Deet”
Donna Kimball as “Aughra”
and additional voices who will grace our ears in future episodes:
- Caitriona Balfe
- Helena Bonham Carter
- Harris Dickinson
- Alice Dinnean
- Natalie Dormer
- Harvey Fierstein
- Louise Gold
- Mark Hamill
- Ralph Ineson
- Jason Isaacs
- Eddie Izzard
- Theo James
- Hannah John-Kamen
- Toby Jones
- Keegan-Michael Key
- Shazad Latif
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw
- Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
- Simon Pegg
- Andy Samberg
- Neil Sterenberg
- Mark Strong
- Alicia Vikander
- Victor Yerrid
So tune in to Netflix this August 30, 2019 and find out the secret than many of us already know…..
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Story by: Felicia Ann McNamara aka Gadget of Gadget Vlogs
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