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Home | Tag Archives: Dark Crystal

Tag Archives: Dark Crystal

TNTM Review: Dark Crystal Age of Resistance is a great prequel

**Warning, spoilers may follow **  The Dark Crystal has been one of my favorite movies ever since it came out back in 1982.  There is nothing groundbreaking about the story-line.  It is the same age old plot of an unexpected character making an incredible journey and performing heroic feats to save their world we’ve seen played out a million times in other movies.

It is the way Henson presents his characters that make you connect with them on an emotional level that sets his movies apart.  That is no easy task when you consider the cast for his movies are either entirely or mostly made up of puppets.

When I first heard Netflix was developing a 10 part series that would serve as a prequel to The Dark Crystal as was both excited to revisit the world of Thra and apprehensive it wouldn’t do justice to the movie.

I binge watched The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on this long Labor Day weekend and I can say my concern was unwarranted.  I got to see Thra during the rise of the Skeksis and learn what started the Great War that wiped out most of the Gelflings.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance boasts a star-studded voice cast of Nathalie Emmanuel (Deet), Taron Egerton (Rian), Benedict Wong (The General), Harvey Fierstein (The Gourmand), Simon Pegg (The Chamberlain), Jason Isaacs (The Emperor), Mark Hamill (The Scientist), Keegan-Michael Key (The Ritual Master), Toby Jones (The Librarian), Awkwafina (The Collector), Helena Bonham Carter (All-Maudra), Mark Strong (Ordon), Sigourney Weaver (The Myth-Speaker), Natalie Dormer (Onica), Eddie Izzard (Cadia), Andy Samberg (The Heretic), and Lena Heady (Maudra Fara).

It is really difficult to have puppets display the whole range of human emotions effectively.  That is where the voice actors really earned their money.  There were a few where the emotional limitations of the puppets was a bit offputting, but for the most part the voice talent was able to overcome those issues and bring the characters to life.

Since we are on the subject, let’s discuss the puppets for a moment.  Every single character in this series is represented by a puppet of some type.  There are absolutely no computer generated characters whatsoever in this series.

The only time CGI was used was to remove puppeteers or cables from the final video.  In a time of blockbuster movies being made entirely on CGI this was a gamble.  That gamble paid off as the practical puppetry makes the series stand out.

Jen and Kira, the Gelflings from The Dark Crystal movie, are not in this series.  It is set long before they are born.   You are introduced to the thriving Gelfling communities that inhabited Thra during the Skeksi’s rise to power.

You learn there are 7 Gelfling clans each with their own Maudra (leader).  Of those 7 Maudras, one is chosen to be the overall leader or All-Maudra.  The Gelflings believe the Skeksis are benevolent leaders and therefore serve them so they will continue to care for the Crystal of Truth.

The Crystal of Truth is the soul/essence of Thra.  The Skeksis are corrupting the Crystal in order to extend their already long lives and give themselves immortality.  The Skeksis also discover a method to drain Gelflings of their life essence.  When they drink the life essence it gives them incredible strength and vitality for a limited time.

When the Gelflings discover they are being killed to give the Skeksis a quick “high” they revolt.  This was the start of the Garthim War.

Aughra is the embodiment of Thra.  She serves as the caretaker of the planet.  The Skeksis were able to take over Thra by distracting her with an Orrery.  They built a machine that would allow her to explore the universe with her mind. Aughra spends many years motionless in the machine while her mind was travelling all over the cosmos.

When she awakens she find the Crystal of Truth has been corrupted which is allowing the Darkening to happen.  The Darkening is bad juju that turns things evil.

You will also recognize some of the Skeksis from the movie in the series.  Since they have a pretty long life span, they look the same.  You do meet a new and terrifying Skeksi named SkekMal the Hunter.  This Skeksi chooses not to live in the Crystal Castle.  He is all about the hunt and obtaining trophies from these epic hunts.  His name strikes fear in the other Skeksis, and rightfully so.

The Hunter is one bad dude.  He moves quickly, is able to climb and jump, and can track anything down anywhere on Thra.  You don’t want to be on his bad side.

If you watched The Dark Crystal movie you know each Skeksi has a Mystic counterpart. If you didn’t watch the movie let me quickly explain.  When the Urskeks traveled through the crystal to Thra their good (Mystic) and bad (Skeksi) personas were split into individual beings.  The Hunter’s Mystic side is UrVa the Archer.

The Archer is an expert bowman and martial artist.  That has to be difficult when you move as slow as a Mystic.

Another couple of characters worth mention are skekGra the Heretic and UrGoh the Wanderer.  SkekGra was originally a military leader among the Skesis.  He had a shared vision with his Mystic compadre of the Mystics and Skeksi eventually reuniting into urSkeks.

When he tried to convince his fellow Skeksis of this vision he was exiled and branded a heretic.  He met up with urGoh and they decide to orchestrate the restoration of the urSkeks by giving the Gelfling the Shard of the Division.  They set up in the Circle of Suns in the Crystal Desert awaiting the Gelfling to find them in order to guide them to the shard.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is not only visually pleasing, but it fills in a lot of the history leading up to the movie.  Great story-telling accomplished through amazing voice actors in typical Hensonesque backgrounds.

The series is receiving lots of praise and it has earned every bit of it.  Netflix has not announced if there will be a second season or not.  If they do decide to green-light another season I hope they do their research and make it another season of meaningful Thra history rather than a cash grab to satisfy stockholders.

I highly recommend this series to anyone, even someone without prior knowledge of the movie.

I gotta go and hook up my VCR now so I can watch my VHS copy of The Dark Crystal movie.

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Vlog: Talk Nerdy to Me for the Week of August 17, 2019

This week we talk about Batman #77, Sony keeping Spider-man, Matrix 4, Spidey & Black Cat marriage, Keaton Batman suit auction, Hellboy wrestling in Japan, Spawn #300, Krypton cancellation, Superman 14 & Supergirl 33 recall, Marc Maron hating superhero movies, Breaking Bad movie, Bloodshot movie, Star Wars #75, Dark Crystal Age of Resistance, Rambo Last Blood, and so much more.

We have a Google Voice number where you can call and leave us your thoughts. If they are good, we will use them on the show. The number is (575) 323-1332.

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Video+Story: ‘Dark Crystal Age of Resistance’ is prequel to Netflix series

The Dark Crystal is the groundbreaking 1982 film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.

It is the story about a young Gelfling who embarks on a quest to save his world from the vicious Skeksis by restoring the lost shard of the broken dark crystal. A prequel television series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, will premiere on Netflix on August 30, 2019.

As a lead in to the Netflix series, Boom Studios will be publishing a twelve issue comic book series based on a story from the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

“AGE OF RESISTANCE will go deeper into the history of Thra and its inhabitants than ever before, making it an essential read for any fan of Jim Henson’s beloved film, but also illuminating the Netflix series in ways you won’t want to miss!” said Matthew Levine, Editor, BOOM! Studios.

“There’s something extraordinarily universal about the theme of good vs. evil that seems to speak to so many people from so many walks of life. It’s why I think The Dark Crystal has such a strong legacy, even to this day!” said writer, Nicole Andelfinger. “When I was offered the chance to play in that sandbox, exploring the facets of that conflict through some pivotal AGE OF RESISTANCE characters, well, I couldn’t say no! With Matias Basla’s beautiful art, I’m sure you’ll come to love and adore these new additions to the world just as we have.”

The Dark Crystal universe is something that has always fascinated me, from its unique artistic design to its history. Having the opportunity to work on AGE OF RESISTANCE with such awesome characters and such a unique world is a joy as an artist.” said artist, Matias Basla. “This is the kind of project that one faces with much love and respect, and I’m very happy to be the artist for this amazing series.”

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TNTM: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix

I was always a big Jim Henson fan growing up.  I never missed the Muppet Show and I loved all the movies.  Dark Crystal and Labyrinth were among my favorite movies.  Those movies hold up well even now.

Netflix has another potential big hit on their hands with the new Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series.  They have ordered a 10 episode series that will serve as the prequel to the original Dark Crystal movie.

Since this series is a prequel to the movie we will probably see some of the characters from the movie like Emperor Skeksis and Aughra.  The official plot description from Netflix is “When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.”

Looks like the time frame will be just after one of the Urskeks accidentally cracked the crystal unleashing the Skeksis and all sorts of chaos, but before Jen and Kira embark on their epic journey.  We should see the rise of the Skeksis and the darkness they threw over the world of Thra.

Did you enjoy the Jim Henson TV shows and movies?  Are you excited to see the Dark Crystal prequel?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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