The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance | Trailer | Netflix

Janx

Adventurer
I watched the entire series over the course of the long weekend, and I really liked it. This is after watching the movie last week in preparation.

I too thought that some of what they did in the first few episodes was contradictory to what happens in the movie, but later in the series, things start lining up a bit more. My only (minor) complaint is the extra emphasis on Augrha and the fact that she's this uber-character similar to Elminster or Gandalf. Again, though, it's only a minor quibble.

I really liked the fact that at one point in the series, you can actually see the D&D party being formed. You can look at it and say, "There's the fighter, there's the barbarian, the podling is the paladin...that guy right there is definitely the bard...oh, and she's the druid."
Good to know I wasn't totally wrong. I didn't think it was a deal breaker, and I knew they'd obfuscate the the Skeksis origin, but it didn't seem quite right.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
My only (minor) complaint is the extra emphasis on Augrha and the fact that she's this uber-character similar to Elminster or Gandalf. Again, though, it's only a minor quibble.
If this seems out of left field, I believe her status was established in the comics, and isn't something they did just for the series.
 

Raunalyn

Adventurer
If this seems out of left field, I believe her status was established in the comics, and isn't something they did just for the series.
I won't say it was out of left field, just that I thought it a very minor annoyance. Like I said, it was only a little quibble to an otherwise outstanding series.

Admittedly, the first couple of episodes were a little jarring for me; the puppetry looked very strange and slightly off kilter to the original movie. But once I got past that, it wasn't an issue and I was able to really delve into the story.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
If this seems out of left field, I believe her status was established in the comics, and isn't something they did just for the series.
The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths graphic novel established that Aughra is actually an emanation of the planet Thra with the task of observing for the planet, having the ability to remove her eyes to extend her view of her surroundings.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
This Dark Crystal fan finally finished the series, and I'm ready to discuss.

But the initial premise as explained by Sigourney Weaver feels a bit contradictory to the movie
The prologue said the Skeksis showed up from another world and then distracted Augrha with an Orery and then took over the crystal.

It's not deal breaking, but it seemed an odd way to phrase their origin, even if trying to keep the movie reveal a secret.
@Umbran does a good job of explaining this, particularly the unreliable narrator and all that: e.g., who built the Orrery? (Answer: TekTih.) However, if you were to ask SkekTek who built Aughra's Orrery, then as far as he is concerned, he did. He would not be entirely wrong, though its not entirely right either.

I would note that the opening narration of the Dark Crystal movie also does not tip its hand by prematurely revealing the prior existence of urSkeks. The Narrator even says that the crystal cracked and then two new races appeared (i.e., the skeksis and mystics/urRu) when in fact two new races appeared and then the crystal cracked. But as far as the gelflings were concerned, the urSkeks left and then left these new Skeksis in charge.

My only (minor) complaint is the extra emphasis on Augrha and the fact that she's this uber-character similar to Elminster or Gandalf. Again, though, it's only a minor quibble.
Aughra's importance to the world is far from a recent development - it even predates the aforementioned comic series Creation Myths - and her origins are even discussed in the book The World of the Dark Crystal (1982) that was released around the time of the original film and incidentally nominated for a Hugo. And for the longest time, this was virtually our only extra-film source of information we had about the setting. Here is an excerpt from "The Song of Aughra" in that book:
Of the race of Aughra, I, Aughra, am alone, the first and last. Born from the need for rocks and trees for an eye to see the World. The wind blew and the blind trees sang and roots twisted in the dark rocks and the roots sang and the rocks cracked and I was Aughra. This is my song. The rocks willed me to be their eye; the roots willed me to be their eye. Blind rocks that felt the heartbeat of the World; blind trees swaying in the breathing of the wind made me to view for them all the shapes of the World. Slowly, slowly the roots split the rock and I was free. The first age of Aughra was of innocence, and it was long. Then it was Aughra and the race of Gelfling who shared the world. The Gelfling sang and danced for the joy of their lives, and I was a part of that joy.​

Basically Aughra has always been an extraordinary figure in the original conception of Thra's history and mythos.​
 
I've watched the first three episodes with my daughters and have been pleasantly surprised. I am a big fan of the original film and find it to be one of the few really good fantasy films. I find that remakes and rehashes are almost always mockeries of the original (which is why I'm glad the Bryan Singer version of Excalibur never got made). But this series does a good job of honoring the vibe of the original film (if not being quite as atmospherically rich, imo), while adding a more contemporary sensibility.

Perhaps what is most impressive is the transfer from a film to a series - they've done a really good job of it.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
I was kinda surprised at the dark turn it took, and the creation of the Gathim was disturbing and tragic. But I suppose the original had its horror elements too

Yet to watch the conclusion but I am impressed and keen for more
 
We've still got two episodes to go, but I actually feel it weakens a bit further in. It becomes a bit too "Games of Throney" - focusing on the human and interpersonal elements. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but it makes it a bit tricky with muppets. As my 11-year old daughter said, "the only thing I don't like is there is no emotion on their faces."

The film worked so well because it was pure fantasy. No psychological pathos, except as expressed through the mythic archetypes.

Still very good, though.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
I have mixed feelings about it. It looks fantastic and the nostalgia is there, but it also feels a bit padded out, and the mouth movements occasionally look a bit off (the sock-puppet effect). I wish their mouths could emote as well as their eyes.

The whole creation of the Skeksis is confusing to me. According to the show, the Skeksis corrupted and cracked the crystal. But wasn't the cracking of the crystal what created the Skeksis in the first place? After all, healing the crystal (as shown in the movie) merges the Mystics and Skeksis back into one creature. Supposedly the crystal is now tied directly to all life on Thra, and yet the Skeksis are also bound to this crystal, despite them not originating from Thra? This is all so convoluted.

At the start of the show, we are shown how the Skeksis abuse the crystal to prolong their own life, and then later on in the show this apparently no longer works, and so they start draining Gelflings for essence. But at the start of the movie they are still using the Crystal to prolong their life AND they are draining lifeforms for essence. So which is it? How does this all work?

The show has way too much dream-fasting and talking about uniting the Gelfling clans. It becomes tiresome due to how often they repeat the same dialogue in numerous scenes. I also feel that the way the Gelflings are now militarised (they have weapons and armor!) is in conflict with how peaceful and innocent the Gelflings are portrayed in the movie. This lord of the rings style resistance feels like it doesn't fit this universe very well. The importance of Aughra also comes out of left field.

But the show looks wonderful. It's remarkable what they were able to do, and how they combine the puppetry with CGI. Occasionally you can clearly tell what is CGI, but when they use the CGI to hide puppetry and add backdrops it all looks great. My only pet peeve is with fake dirt and grime being put on the camera lens, which just looks jarring. They do it a couple of times during action scenes and it just annoys me. I'm not sure if they used CGI to add eye blinking and Skeksis-tongue movements. If they did, they did it well.

Something that stands out in this show, is what they do with the movements of the characters. The quick insert shots of feet help sell the illusion that the characters have feet. They also do some very complex things with the manipulation of the hands. In the movie they would often cut to a shot of an actors' hands, which was a bit jarring. In the show they never do this, and given the complex things that the puppets have to do with their hands, it is quite an accomplishment. I think some of these scenes probably required very specific gimmicks for what is a merely a shot of a few seconds. Shots of a Gelfling picking something up, or placing an object down gently, are incredibly difficult to do with puppets. But they do it all with actual puppetry.

Overall I enjoyed the show. But it's just okay.
 
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Aldarc

Adventurer
The whole creation of the Skeksis is confusing to me. According to the show, the Skeksis corrupted and cracked the crystal. But wasn't the cracking of the crystal what created the Skeksis in the first place? After all, healing the crystal (as shown in the movie) merges the Mystics and Skeksis back into one creature. Supposedly the crystal is now tied directly to all life on Thra, and yet the Skeksis are also bound to this crystal, despite them not originating from Thra? This is all so convoluted.
No, and admittedly the opening narration of the film (and TV series) is misleading. If you watch the film again, you can notice that the crystal shard shows Jen a brief vision of a skeksis breaking the Crystal of Truth. So the skeksis and urRu would have split prior to that point.

The urSkeks were political exiles from their planet who were banished due to their own inner imbalance. (The sources are vague on the details.) On Thra, the urSkeks hoped to utilize the Crystal of Truth for the next Great Conjunction to purge themselves of their inner darkness and return to their homeworld, which also supposedly had a Crystal of Truth of its own. But the sorrow of one of their number* caused this ritual to fail, and instead the Crystal of Truth split them into the Skeksis and urRu. In the midst of this confusion and rage at their new selves, one of the skeksis cracked the crystal, and two pairs of skeksis/urRu also apparently died in this time.

* One of the gelflings who had been invited to the Great Conjunction was a bard who had secretly heard one of the urSkeks sing a sad song on a small island in the ocean years before. When the gelfling played this song at the Castle, it apparently had triggered a resurfacing of anger, nostalgia, and sorrow among that one urSkek. Since this urSkek was singing, some have speculated that this unnamed urSkek may have been SilSol, who split to become urSol the Chanter and SkekSil the Chamberlain.

At the start of the show, we are shown how the Skeksis abuse the crystal to prolong their own life, and then later on in the show this apparently no longer works, and so they start draining Gelflings for essence. But at the start of the movie they are still using the Crystal to prolong their life AND they are draining lifeforms for essence. So which is it? How does this all work?
The ritual of the sun gives some life but not as much anymore. I also think that the skeksis are creatures of habit who are numbly performing their rituals, much as urRu are said to be doing the same. So the answer is both.

I also feel that the way the Gelflings are now militarised (they have weapons and armor!) is in conflict with how peaceful and innocent the Gelflings are portrayed in the movie. This lord of the rings style resistance feels like it doesn't fit this universe very well. The importance of Aughra also comes out of left field.
The two gelflings in the movie were raised by urRu and Podlings, neither of whom are militaristic. So Jen and Kira do not exactly show a normative sense of how gelflings were prior to the Garthim Wars. The militarization of the gelflings is congruent with what we see in the prequel comic Creation Myths, which shows the initial formation of the Alliance of the Crystal between the skeksis and gelflings.
 

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