‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’ review

That 1982 Essence


The Dark Crystal

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” is a prequel series to Jim Henson’s 1982 cult favorite film “The Dark Crystal”. It is a truly ambitious project that thoroughly surpasses the source material. While the first episode is exposition heavy and the plot originally seems dense with so many characters and proper nouns, in time the show reveals an engaging tale that is easy to invest in.

In the world of Thra, the malevolent Skeksis rule over the gentle Gelfling. The Skeksis are the Lords of the Crystal of Truth, which essentially is the embodiment of all of Thra. The Skeksis abuse their power and rather than protecting the crystal. steal its power to prolong their own lives. This has corrupted the Crystal of Truth, and changed it into the titular Dark Crystal. The abuse of the Skeksis was so great that the crystal no longer preserves them and brings forth the Darkening, a catastrophic energy that threatens all creatures of Thra. After the crystal no longer provides the life essence the Skeksis need to survive they turn to harvesting the creatures closest to Thra’s heart: The Gelfling. 

Let’s get the most obvious flaws out of the way early. It seems almost impossible that the Gelfling wouldn’t know how vile the Skeksis are. Even before they begin harvesting Gelfling Essence, they are opening hostile to the Gelfling. Add to that their wonderfully horrible character design and it is a major stretch that the Gelfling don’t realize how sinister the “benevolent” Skeksis are. There is also the problem facing every prequel story, the audience knows where things end up. In the 1982 film, all but two of the Gelfling have been wiped out. If the show is truly carrying on the story of the original movie than we know that our heroes resistance will not end well for them. The problem in this case is that watching one season of the show delivers far more narrative and investment than a stand alone film can manage.

Despite those negatives, the positives of “Dark Crystal” far outweigh its negatives. The cast is an embarrassment of riches. From Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Taron Egerton (Kingsmen), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 9-9), Bill Hader (Barry) and so many more. Honestly, do yourself a favor and check out the cast list. Simon Pegg, who plays the Skesis known as the Chamberlain, is particularly awesome. The vocal performances are so strong that it’s easy to forget that we are watching a bunch of puppets move about the screen. 

The puppets may lead you to think the show is aimed at kids but au contraire mon frère, the show gets dark and is not afraid to go there. Being born in the 90s, I was never fully able to appreciate how messed up kids stuff was in the 80s. It was the wild west in terms of ratings and as such a lot of harrowing topics were able to be addressed. This show is no different as the show blends these mature themes with a dense plot that feels more akin to “Game of Thrones” than “The Muppets.”

Even if you have never seen the original film you owe it to yourself to give “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance “ a chance. From its stellar use of practical effects, strong performances and engaging storyline, it is a can’t miss experience. Even though they’re puppets, we’re not on Sesame Street anymore.          

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” is awarded 52 potatoes on The Sipps’ Potato Scale.