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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Premiere Review: A Genuinely Emotional Return to Thra

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Photo Credit: Kevin Baker

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a prequel series to the 1982 Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal. Inspired by Henson’s original film, this series was developed by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews, and directed by Louis Leterrier.

Long before Jen and Kira, the Skeksis had been ruling over Thra as false lords after they tricked Aughra (Donna Kimball) into a deep slumber, giving them dominion over the Crystal of Truth. Initially, the inhabitants of Thra, such as Gelflings and Podlings, were subservient to the Skeksis, believing them to be their almighty rulers who they must obey without questions. While things weren’t exactly fair, they weren’t terrible, not yet. The world of Thra was relatively peaceful. But greed never just punishes the greedy. Everything comes down to the Crystal of Truth. It is the very life of Thra and all the creatures living on it. It gives life. However, the Skeksis use this power to rejuvenate themselves. Essentially, it provided them with eternal life and power. But one day, the Crystal stopped giving.

This is the nature of Episode 1. This is the catalyst that will lead to the events of the 1982 film. As the Skeksis gather around the Crystal to begin to drain its power, they quickly realize the Crystal is getting weaker, and they need to find a solution for their eternal youth before it’s too late. That solution is something for later though. First, we meet our new heroes. Rian (Taron Egerton), a Gelfling of the Stonewood clan who works under his father as a castle guard, Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy), the youngest Gelfling princess of the Vapra clan, and Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel), a Grottan clan Gelfling who loves animals, receives a vision from the Sanctuary Tree (Theo Ogundipe) following an abrupt attack from a giant worm creature that she cares for.

Given that The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite movies and it starts off incredibly bleak, I knew this show was going to give me the feels. What I wasn’t expecting was that the very first episode would genuinely make me cry. I don’t cry during many movies. I’m not saying that to sound like a badass (though I totally am one). I’m really not a crier. But I cried. I can’t tell you why I cried, but just be ready to possibly cry and know that it’s ok, I’m right there with you, buddy. What I can tell you is that Age of Resistance is giving us an absolutely breath-taking look at Thra pre-Crystal shattering. We see familiar creatures, new creatures, colorful trees, luminescent underground hollows, flowing rivers, it’s all so amazing. I’ve read all the new comic series, but actually watching Thra come to life this way is just magnificent.

The puppeteer work is simply fantastic as well. I can only imagine what it’s like to build all of these characters and creatures and then actually control them. It has that old school puppet feel, but at the same time there is a modern-ness to it. I mean, it’s been 37 years, of course things are going to look a little more polished than they once did. Plus, it’s a cult classic revived via Netflix, they probably had a crazy budget.


The only thing that threw me off was the very beginning where the narrator is explaining how to Skeksis came to power. What the narrator tells us and what the story of the origin of the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal seem to be very different things. I’m sure it will be explained/tied together later, but it still bothered me a bit. Even so, whether you have or haven’t seen The Dark Crystal (go watch it right now), you’re going to be hooked in.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is now streaming season 1 on Netflix.

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman is a staff writer and comic review editor at Pop Break. She regularly contributes comic book reviews, such as The Power of the Dark Crystal, Savage Things, Mother Panic, Dark Nights: Metal, Rose, and more. She also contributes anime reviews, such as Berserk, Garo: Vanishing Line and Attack on Titan as well as TV reviews. She has been part of The BreakCast for the Definitive Defenders Podcast. Outside of her writing for Pop Break, Rachel is currently a pre-school teacher. She is a college graduate with her BA in History and MAED. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Raychikinesis.


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