Released in 1982, The Dark Crystal is considered by many to be Jim Henson's masterpiece. The puppet animated dark fantasy adventure film, The Dark Crystal told the tale of Jen and Kira, two Gelfling on a quest to restore balance to their world, Thra, by returning a lost shard to the powerful Crystal that is the heart of the world -- a Crystal being used by the vicious Skeksis for immortality. The film's story was, in many ways, the end of a chapter. The story of how the Skeksis decimated Thra is largely absent in The Dark Crystal but Henson never had a chance to further explore Thra's history or future. He passed away in 1990. Last week, however, Netflix released The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel series that explores that time in Thra's history and according to his daughter, Lisa Henson, it's a series she believes her father would be happy with.
"I feel confident that he would like it and be really happy," Henson said. "And I think he'd feel happy that other people are doing it, because he really wanted his projects to be passed on to other people. He was thrilled when Frank Oz directed The Muppets Take Manhattan, because he could move on to other things. I was talking with [Muppeteer] Dave Geolz on set; he had worked on the film and then came on the show to puppeteer Baffi, and he was so flattering about the way we were making the series. He said that the spirit on set felt very true to the heyday of Jim and the Muppets."
When it comes to passing things on to other people, that's something that really comes to life in Age of Resistance. Director and executive producer Louis Leterrier spoke in a video featurette released at San Diego Comic-Con about how every character in the series truly are puppets and done in a way so that viewers forget.
"The idea is you watch the show and you forget you're watching puppets," director and executive producer Louis Leterrier said in the video.
And when fans are watching the series, they really will be seeing puppets. While CGI is used to enhance things, the characters themselves are not digital. They're actually carefully crafted puppets, something Leterrier said made the project the most complicated of his career.
"It was always puppets, thanks to Netflix," Leterrier explained, noting that do to the challenges, "every shot is the most complicated shot of my career."
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance prequel series follows the adventures of three young Gelfling -- Rian, Brea, and Deet -- as they go on a journey together to discover the secret behind the Skeksis' rise to power. Film director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me) is bringing the 10-episode series to life for Netflix.
The streaming service has assembled an absolutely stellar voice cast for this prequel, with Kingsman star Taron Egerton, Split and Glass standout Anya Taylor-Joy, and Game of Thrones alum Nathalie Emmanuel portraying the three main characters. The trio is joined by Mark Hamill, Andy Samberg, Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham-Carter, Harris Dickinson, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander, Harvey Fierstein, Ralph Ineson, Keegan-Michael Key, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Simon Pegg, and Donna Kimball.
You can check out a short synopsis for the series below.
"The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis' vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects," Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix, previously said in a statement. "I can't wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life."
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is now streaming on Netflix.