The future of fantasy series on television has reached a crossroads. Nowhere was this more evident than at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The event wasn't focused on shows that are in the middle of successful runs. Instead, there were concluded shows like Game of Thrones, or shows to come, like The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The latter dazzled fans in Hall H, with a panel that included one of the genre's biggest names, and footage that has to be seen to be believed. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance behind-the-scenes video that was released after the panel at least gives viewers who couldn't attend a glimpse of what's to come.
Based on the 1982 Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal, Netflix's new eight-part series seems almost impossible to fathom in this age of computer-generated imagery. It's a series made almost 100% with handmade puppets, creating a believable world the old fashioned way.
Voiceover stars Taron Egerton and Mark Hamill were on hand at the SDCC panel. They were joined by director Louis Leterrier and CEO of the Jim Henson Company, Lisa Henson. This has been a passion project for Henson, one she's tried to bring to fruition for decades.
But the real stars were the puppets, of which the panel showed plenty of footage. The behind-the-scenes sizzle reel was made available to the public after the panel ended, and can give viewers an inkling of what's to come.
But while the puppets may have stolen the show, Mark Hamill came pretty close to pulling focus whenever they weren't on screen. The actor has been an A-lister to these type of events since starring as Luke Skywalker in the 1970s Star Wars trilogy. He was completely at home working with puppets, and Henson puppets at that, as they were responsible for many of the Lucasfilm characters, such as Yoda.
Explaining to the audience he was a "muppet fanatic," Hamill talked about how much he loved the original film in the 1980s.
What I loved about [The Dark Crystal] was how daring and dark it was, as opposed to the other projects that were associated with the Muppets, and it’s really come into its own.
Egerton agreed he too has also been a longtime fan of the film.
My father showed me it, and I just thought it was enchanting and completely unlike anything else. I still feel that way about it.
Egerton admits he was just as enthusiastic to learn he was working on the project with Hamill, who is one of an entire murderer's row of talent assembled for the project. Turns out despite the two of them both being in The Kingsman sequel, they hadn't met before Age of Resistance.
Mark was in Kingsman: Secret Service, and we sadly never met and I was heartbroken because — can I swear? — I mean, he’s Luke f—ing Skywalker!
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was co-created and written by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews, in addition to writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach. It will consist of ten one-hour installments, all of which arrive on Netflix on Friday, August 30, 2019.