"The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" it is a rare stone.

Go with the acronym!

"Anusther world. Another time. In the age of wonder. "

Original poster of Jim Henson's film "The Dark Crystal" from 1982
The charm of the original

It was the 1982 when it came out in the cinema what has become, over the years, a real cult fantasy: "The Dark Crystal". Created by the fervent imagination of the late Jim Henson (Sesame Street, The Muppett Show), inspired by the designs of Brian froud, scripted by David Odell and co-directed by the friend Frank Oz (Star Wars Yoda), The Dark Crystal is a fairy tale, at times obscure, entirely shot and filmed with animatronic puppets and puppets, by the wicked Skeksis, to the peaceful UrRu mystics, to the brave Gelfling and to the rolling fur balls of the fizzgig, plus a large variety of plants, insects and animals.

But maybe it's better to start from the beginning ... of the story!

Go again with the acronym!

"Another world. Another time. Another age. "

Narrator (Sigourney Weaver)
Promo of the Netflix original tv series "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"
Tradition and innovation

"The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" is a 10-episode Netflix Original series that premiered on August 30th and serves as a prequel to Jim Henson's original work.

"Thra is a wonderful planet, revolving around three suns and at the center of which is the Crystal of Truth, the heart of Thra, the source of all life."

Narrator (Sigourney Weaver)

The glittering deserts, the majestic seas, the luxuriant forests and the deep caves, teem with the most disparate multitude of creatures and animals, giant worms and flying races, the adorable ones podling and above all i Gelfling. These, with anthropomorphic features and gentle elven features, are the primary species of the planet. Then, a thousand "triune”(The annual trine of the three suns) ago, they came up THRA two alien entities, the urru, also called Mystics, "part dog and part dinosaur“, Related and interested only in the natural world, and the Skeksis, "part reptile, part bird of prey, part dragon". The latter gave the knowledge of the depths of space to Aughra (Donna Kimball), who left the Crystal of Truth, to be able to dream of the infinite skies. During his sleep, the Skeksis began to draw on the power of Crystal of Truth, corrupting it slowly until it becomes the Dark crystal. But not only that, they also subjugated the Gelflings and other species of Thra, bending them to their will and proclaiming themselves Lords of the Crystal. From that point on all Gelflings have begun to worship and worship the Skeksis as something akin to the gods, serving them as guards and paying them tithes. The Podlings, on the other hand, do the most humble jobs. From a world where all creatures lived in harmony with each other, we came to a society divided into castes, with the Skeksis at the top.

A glimpse of the landscape and the creatures that inhabit Thra
Aughra and her Planetarium, a Mystic, an Arathim immersed in a glimpse of Thra

From the first episode we get to know our heroes: the young man Rian, guard of the clan of the stonewood, who discovers the terrible secrets that lurk in the maze of the Castle of the Crystal, the fragile deet OF THE Grottan who, having received the visions ofDarkness looming, it will leave the underground caves to warn all the other Gelflings and the strong-willed Brea of the clan Vapra, daughter of the ruler of all Gelflins, theAll-Maudra, driven by the insatiable thirst for knowledge.

The puppets of the heroes and their voice actors
The gathering of heroes: Brea, Dreet and Rian

As can be seen, the letimotive of the story, as also in the original film, is the classic quest (The looking medieval) undertaken by the various characters first individually, to then find themselves in the same place more or less ready to face the inevitable.

Why does “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” work so well?

The luck and the excellent success of this series must be found above all in the foresight of Netflix and in the due involvement of the production company Jim Henson Company and the daughters of the late Jim, Lisa e Cheryl, and of all the workers linked to it. Do yourself a favor, after finishing the series, watch the documentary "The lure of the Crystal - the realization of Dark Crystal: the Resistance“, You will see the magic take shape!

Who is directing “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”?

In the director's work Louis Letierrer (The Transporter, Clash of Titans) who, by directing all 10 episodes, has therefore given a continuity of visual language to the whole series, the close collaboration with writers and producers is phenomenal. His work with the camera is on the verge of transcendental from how revolutionary it is for a puppet film! The camera is never static, always moving to follow the movements of a living world (since even Netflix executives have been "enlisted" to shake trees and other objects, to bring Thra to life).

An expanded world

The episodic nature of the work manages to give due recognition to the complex and articulated life on Thra and to expand it: starting from the matriarchal social system of the Gelflings, to their politics and division into clans each with their own role, colors, peculiarities , to the point of exploring their religiosity with the blind adoration of the Lords of the Crystal; the carefree life of the Podlings, made up of simple relationships, noise and escapes from the bath (in my opinion one of the funniest scenes!); the complex hive civilization of fearsome arachnids Arathim.

The Gelflins who try, in vain, to bathe the little Podlings
Bathing the little Podlings is no small feat too!

The story of "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"

The story is partly inspired by the film, and by the various works that have collected its legacy over time (books, graphic novels, video games, etc.), but it is also completely original. In turn it is a source of inspiration for a new video game, presented at E3 2019, out this year, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics", developed by BonusXP and En Masse Entertainment.

The pens of Jeffrey Addiss e Will Matthews, together with the producer and writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, have given us realistic characters, jealous sisters, cowardly lovers, mean and twisted villains, all entwined in a tapestry of adventure, betrayal and rebellion.

Do we want to talk about the vocal cast?

As for the Skeksis we have: Mark Hamill (Star Wars, the Joker in the DC Batman animated series) gives voice to skekTek lo Scientist, whose ego is equaled only by his cruelty; Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery, Harry Potter, The OA) double skekSo, the wicked Emperor; Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead) utters the greasy and malicious words of the Chamberlain skekSil, with a twisted mind always ready to give birth to new betrayals; Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) lends her voice to theHeretic skekGra, and from what we hear he is sure he had a lot of fun, maybe too much ...

The puppets of the antagonists and their voice actors
The Emperor, the Chamberlain and the Scientist

The Gelflings feature an equally stellar cast among their voices. Brea is dubbed by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander) plays his sister, attitude; Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter, The King's Speech, ...) gives voice to mayrin, their mother and ruler of all the Gelflings, the All-Maudra. Taron Egerton (The Kingsman) interprets Rian; Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) double deet. Two other Game of Thrones veterans lend their voices, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) a Maudra Fara of stonewood e Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) ad Onyx of the clan Healing.

Another roundup of Gelflin puppets and their voice actors in the TV series The Dark Crystal
Mayrin la All-Maudra, her second daughter Tavra, Maudra Fara and Onica

And we could go on with the list: Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Ghostbusters), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), Eddie Izzard, Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, The Mole), Toby Jones (Sherlock, La Talpa) ...

The puppeteers

In the credits, each character is credited not only with the voice actors, but also with the puppeteers, and with good reason! The puppeteer is half the character because he gives life to every movement and facial expression, both delicious and exhausting work. To name just a few: Neil Sterenberg, Louise Gold,  Alice Dinnean, Dave Chapman e Kevin Clash.

The real hero

I leave for last Victor Yerrid who is both puppeteer and voice (a very amusing and understandable grammelot) of my absolute favorite character: the Podling Hup. Hup was meant to be adorable CARDIGANS AND JUMPERS, fully embodies the essence of the Muppett!

“Her appearance, to me, is so sweet. It was designed this way, and my goal was to pay off the way the character was conceived and written by the creators of the show. While it oozes that inherent lovability, it also has many other qualities. "

Victor Yerrid

You will love Hup because he is a serious and exciting character. Unlike the other Podlings, who generally work, take care of the little ones and are lovers of life, music, drinks and happiness, Hup aspires to be a warrior, a paladin ... and this will inevitably lead him to face the most dramatic situations, armed only with his naive courage and his powerful wooden spoon!

Podling paladin Hup with his powerful wooden spoon in the tv series: "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"
The heroic Paladin Podling, Hup, unleashing his trusty spoon

"The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" it's a fantastic story for all ages!

The work focuses on the importance of treating the environment in which we live and others with respect. Someone could make comparisons with the situation our world is experiencing today, but you shouldn't. How The Lord of the Rings, also "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" it is attempting to weave a timeless warp, which can function in any age you look at it, because at any time there will always be those who will use force to subdue others.

Stories that talk about the dangers of power and hatred are universal and withstand the passage of time better than those super timely works that try to ride the feeling of the moment. And what better way to tell them than through fantastic narratives? This is the reason why The Lord of the Rings it will still be relevant a hundred years from now, as when Tolkien first put ink on paper.

Younger people might find it in "The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance" the themes of deception, fear and the dangers of absolute power, for more viewers aged the story is exciting at the right point and the motivations of the antagonists so strong that they don't feel bored. We are not faced with a petty fantasy but one, tinged with darkness from which love, friendship and perseverance burst. Unlike the cynical dark grim that's so popular lately, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" reminds us that rebellions are built on hope and that although bad things may happen, there is always light in this world!

A word of advice before seeing the series

A dispassionate advice: watch the film before seeing "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" to avoid ruining the final twist of the 1982 opera. There is a detail in the film that is kept hidden and revealed only at the end of it all, while in the series it is revealed about mid-season. Knowing the end of the journey first allows you to appreciate the journey more when you undertake it!

Fingers crossed!

We also hope that Netflix gives the green light for at least another season because, although this has its own story arc concluded, we are still far from the beginning of the story told in the original film.