As a little kid in the early 80’s, I grew seeing Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal quite a few times on cable television as it was all over the place. It might not have been as successful as he would’ve liked, but it did turn into a beloved cult classic that still rings true today. Netflix, quickly on their way of becoming the king of nostalgia, knows about this all too well, as they assembled some of the best cast and crew out there to bring us a prequel series in The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance. Fans will love returning to Thra in a new light while newcomers will find their essence drawn into this beautiful epic.
Taking place in the magical world of Thra, Age Of Resistance turns back time way before the events of the original film, and shows us that there was once tons of Gelflings and their many different tribes. They do their best to live in harmony and make sure their world is a peaceful place. For a time, it seemed like the always cunning Skeksis were also about keeping the peace, but sadly that’s not the case as they’ve corrupted the magic crystal of truth which keeps the balance of the world.
They’ve used its power to cheat death and live for thousands of years, and now the crystal is dying and causing peaceful creatures to turn monstrous and corrupt which they dub “the darkening”. One of their scientists has found a way to drain the life force (aka essence) from the Gelflings and use it to make an elixir to keep on living forever. When a young warrior named Rian (voiced by Taron Egerton) learns of this, he tries his best to tell his fellow Gelflings the horrible news. The others think he’s crazy as they and the Skeksis have worked together for thousands of years, leaving Rian to flee for his life as he’s been branded a traitor.
It doesn’t take long for him to make new friends and a few enemies with the several Gelfling tribes, from the young princess Brea (voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy) who is trying to help, to the lovely Deet (voiced by Nathalie Emmanuel) who is seeing the topside of Thra for the first time in her life as her tribe lives underground. They’ll need each other in order to expose the Skeksis and their evil plans, and to restore balance to the world before it’s too late.
There’s so much more to tell, but for the sake of not spoiling such a well made series, I dare not say more. It’s best to just pull up a couch and binge watch this one for yourself, and you will be tempted to watch all of it in one sitting as it’s that good. The cast and crew are perfect, from the voices to the puppeteers, everything just comes together nicely.
This is especially true for the disgusting but delightfully entertaining Skeksis that steal the show. Everyone who worked on the show knows these characters are the most fun to play, and that’s why a lot of famous actors sought out these roles, from Simon Pegg who sounds exactly as the Chamberlain did in the original film, to other actors such as Mark Hamill, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Jason Issacs and Awkwafina voicing some of the others. They’re all perfectly cast and will either disgust you or make you chuckle, with most times being both.
This is a show where I could go on and on about how great and fun it is, but you should stop reading this and go check out The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance. It’s true you’ve seen fantasy tales like this one before, and you’ll quickly see where it’s going, but the amazing cast and puppetry will pull your essence in and won’t let go until the final episode ends. Here’s looking forward to season two that can’t come soon enough.