The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Another world, another time, another age. This is the setting for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, the ten part Netflix series, prequel to the 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, created by Jim Henson of The Muppets and Sesame Street fame. In the land of Thra, filled with many different creatures and lifeforms, such as the Gelflings, separated into seven different clans, the Skeksis, large, birdlike, powerful creatures that rule over Thra. Many years before, Mother Aughra, who acts as a mother to the creatures of Thra, in exchange for a laboratory in which to see the stars, entrusted the Skeksis with the dark crystal, a stone that wields immense power. The Skeksis took that power, and abused it. Three Gelflings from three separate clans: Rian, a Crystal guard, member of the woodland warrior stonewood clan, Brea, princess of Har’ar, of the pretentious Vapra, and Deet, of the cave-dwelling Grottan clan, all find out the dark secret of the Skeksis, and set out to end their terrible rule.
Before I start my review, I, admittedly, did not grow up with The Dark Crystal. I only heard about it a few years ago and only watched it recently, and so to those of you who grew up with the film, this show will be a lot different to you than it was to me when I watched it. To be clear, there were plenty of things I did enjoy about the original film, like the set design and the puppet design and the music, but there were certain things that just felt off, like a lot of the writing and some of the voice acting felt strange to me upon my first viewing. Something about the use of natural human voices on Jen and Kira, compared to the voices of Elmo and Kermit from Sesame Street and The Muppets respectively, which don’t sound like they come from a human being, felt, to me, in the realm of creepy, which, given Jen and Kira are the main characters, this damaged my perception of the movie.
If this movie scared you as a child, the puppets freaked you out or the human voices with puppets scared you, this is not the series for you. If you do not like puppets in general, for any reason, do not watch this series. You will not enjoy it.
However, if you liked The Dark Crystal, or at least liked the visuals, and the music, and were intrigued by the setting, you will like The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. A lot of the visuals and the music were very similar to that of the original movie, and the setting was expanded upon, so if those aspects captured your attention, this is the show for you.
As far as the actual story goes, what the movie suffered in, the show made up for a great amount. It’s an incredibly well done show. All of the different characters are well-developed and likable and the show delves into different themes of racism, environmentalism, and the corruption of power that were all really well done. The show’s main antagonists, the Skeksis, have a complexity to them that makes me see them less as the pure evil they were shown as in the film, but as characters that also had a level of depth, humanity, and relatability to them. Sure, there are moments where the show is cheesy, but there are very few moments where the cheesiness becomes overbearing. There are some lines that genuinely made me laugh, genuinely made me cry, and genuinely made me scared.
In the original film, there are some absolutely terrifying moments. There’s the scene where all the Skeksis are eating, and every slurp and every tearing of strange meat set pangs of fear up my spine, for example, and the scene where they use the crystal to literally suck the life out of someone, turning him into a heavily wrinkled, grey-haired, pale figure. There are plenty more of these scenes in the series. I was so creeped out by some of the moments, a few times I pulled my knees up to my chest and my blanket to my chin.
The show does have a PG rating, and the movie was originally intended for a child audience, but as far as the enjoyment a child may receive, it’s very much comparable to the work of Tim Burton. A lot of people have fond memories of being the only one of their friend group to be able to sit through the movie, “Coraline”. A lot of other people, adversely, were the friends that had to leave, and had nightmares about what they saw, and now hate the film for that reason. This is very much the same for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. You’re either going to love it or hate it.
Lastly, the show has an all-star cast, with actors such as Taron Egerton, Simon Pegg, Benedict Wong, Harvey Fierstein, Keegan-Michael Key, Awkwafina, and-hold your breath, Mark Hamil. While it is interesting to see that all these different actors are playing roles in this series, a fair warning, it’s hard to tell with a lot of them who they’re playing, and I wouldn’t just watch the series if you’re Awkwafina or Simon Pegg’s biggest fan just to see them in it, as it is hard to tell which of them plays who.
This is a faithful adaptation of the original movie and definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of the original.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Season 1 Review
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 8/108/10
User Review( vote)