For children of the '80s and '90s, there are a handful of fantasy films that stand above the rest in the canon. Two of those films come from the mind of the late Jim Henson: Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. The former is currently in some stage of pre-production to make a movie sequel. The latter was picked up by Netflix, which decided to go with a prequel series. Now, fans of the original film have their first look at Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance trailer, and how the 21st century will help upgrade the story once told entirely via puppets.
The original The Dark Crystal was the story of Jen, a Gelfling raised by the Mystics, a profoundly spiritual and intellectual race, who once populated the planet Thra. When the Mystics' home is attacked by Garthim, Jen is driven out with nothing but a promise to his master he would "find the shard" and "heal the Crystal" though he didn't know what either means.
His travels take him the Augra, who bestows the shard on him, and then to Kira, a Gelfling girl raised by Podlings. She knows the Gelfling's history and along with Jen learns the truth about their people. They then travel to the Crystal, which is guarded by the evil Skeksis, in hopes of healing it with the shard.
In the film, Kira and Jen are the only known Gelfings, the rest having been wiped out. The prequel looks to be set not long before this happens and may focus on why.
The synopsis for the new series is as follows:
The world of Thra is dying. The Crystal of Truth is at the heart of Thra, a source of untold power. But it is damaged, corrupted by the evil Skeksis, and a sickness spreads across the land. When three Gelfling uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit, and an epic battle for the planet begins.
As someone raised on the original, the CGI moments in the new trailer and the smoothness of some of the scenes are a little jarring. But I'm willing to be open-minded about this inevitable inclusion of 21st-century technology, especially in light of the cast, which is absolutely stacked.
Meet Deet, played by Game of Thrones' own Nathalie Emmanuel:
This is Brea, voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy of Peaky Blinders fame.
And this is Rian, voiced by Taron Egerton, who is currently starring in Rocketman.
They're joined by a supporting cast of A-List talent that includes Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, and Alicia Vikander.
Then there are the Skeksis and Mystics, who are, in effect, the ruling classes of this world of Thra.
These roles are voiced by some serious Hollywood luminaries, including Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Simon Pegg, and Andy Samberg.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will consist of ten one-hour installments, all of which arrive on Friday, August 30, 2019.