Thoughts on the Dark Crystal Prequel Series Trailer

I’ve been really looking forward to the trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance despite the fact that, for various reasons that I don’t want to get into right now, I don’t subscribe to Netflix. The Dark Crystal is my favorite non-Muppet creation of Jim Henson’s and I was looking forward to getting at least a peek back into the world of Thra. In a way, it felt like coming home. 

It all looks spectacular, and if anything could convince me to subscribe to Netflix, this would be it. Even if I don’t get to see it, I’m still glad that it exists, and that it seems to be branching off in new directions while remaining rooted within the mythos and ethos of the original movie. 

I do have some specific thoughts about it, however. Most good, some bad…

  • Everyone has been gushing about the visuals, and with good reason because everything looks amazing. But I also really like the song that plays over the beginning. it’s both full of wonder and slightly creepy, much like the original Dark Crystal.
  • The still pictures that had previously been released don’t do the characters justice. From the pictures, it looked like Deet, the cave-dwelling Gelfling, had totally black eyes. In reality, it turns out that she has flashing amber-colored irises.
  • Deet seems like an altogether charming character based on what little we’ve seen of her, but I like her slightly less since I’ve realized that she shares her name with an insect repellent ingredient that I’m still not entirely convinced is safe. 
  • Apparently Gelflings can dreamfast with flowers. That’s such a kooky idea that I wish I had put it in my Dark Crystal story that I wrote back in 2013 as my Author’s Quest entry.
  • I want to know more about when those two mechanical arms grab the Crystal and bring it down into the shaft. Are those practical effects? Digitals? A composite of the two? It’s getting so hard to tell the difference, I hardly trust my own eyes anymore. 
  • There are two characters previously known to us who speak in the trailer: Aughra and the Chamberlain. They both sound indistinguishable from the originals.
  • More than anything, I want to find out who’s voicing skekTek (i.e., the Scientist Skeksis, i.e., Steve’s character). There’s been a list published of voice actors performing the Skeksis, but it doesn’t say who’s who. 
  • Oh, speaking of voice acting, there have been several media stories about the trailer that claim that Frank Oz “voiced” Aughra in the original movie. WHY is it so difficult to understand the difference between puppeteering and voicing a character?!? I’m willing to cut the casuals some slack when it comes to the Muppets, because voicing is part of the puppeteer’s performance (usually) but in this case, claiming that Frank Oz voiced Aughra is grossly inaccurate!
  • Getting back to skekTek, he appears to have gotten a new, larger glowing eye. Which is fine, but it makes me a little sad. About a year ago, I found out that his original eye was the cockpit from a Star Wars Tie Fighter toy, and it made me very happy to know that. I love when my fandoms come together in random ways that don’t involve lawyers and synergy. 
  • I remember seeing a remark on one of the fan sites that observed that the two main Gelflings who aren’t Jen and Kira sure look a lot like Jen and Kira. It’s a fair point, but we’ve also seen a variety of distinctly different Gelfling characters, albeit mostly in the background so far. It really drives home the point that there are, in fact, many different races of Gelflings and they’re not a homogenized unit. And as for the Gelflings who look like Jen and Kira, maybe they’re their ancestors. This takes place hundreds of years in the past, so its certainly possible.

Apparently the series is based upon related to the books that resulted from the Dark Crystal Author Quest. If I can’t watch the series, maybe I should read those books instead. I’m a little reluctant to do so, because that would mean admitting to myself that I’m never going to write the long-form Dark Crystal story that I outlined six years ago in hopes that I might win the contest. It’s been six years, though, so it’s probably time to put that behind me. 

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