35 years after The Dark Crystal was unleashed upon the world by Jim Henson, we’re finally getting a return to its strange world. Released in 1982, The Dark Crystal was originally directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, and served as a sort of showcase for the Henson’s groundbreaking puppet-mastery and animatronics. Reaction to the film was initially mixed upon its release, but it has evolved into something of a cult classic over the years—so much so that Netflix has ordered a ten-episode prequel series titled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
The original film was set a thousand years ago on the planet Thra, and revolved around securing and repairing the “dark crystal” that maintains the equilibrium of the planet. When the crystal was originally broken, a new race of evil, vulture-like Skeksis appeared and took control of the titular crystal, giving them long life. The last two survivors of the elven-like Gelling race rush to steal back the crystal before the Skeksis become too powerful and entrench themselves as Thra’s permanent rulers forever. It’s typical Tolkien-esque fantasy, set apart by the film’s fantastical creature designs and campy charm.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will focus on the events leading up to the film. Netflix’ official synopsis states that:
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.
Presumably the good guys fail, given the events of the subsequent movie (this is a problem with any prequel), but hopefully the story will still resonate with fans of the original film. In this way—and this way only—the series looks to have some hints of last year’s Rogue One. Whether there will be any large-scale beach invasions or space dogfights remains to be seen.
The good news is that everybody associated with the project, from director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) to Jim Henson’s daughter—and current CEO of The Jim Henson Company—seems excited for the series.
Lisa Henson provided her own statement to go along with Netflix’ official announcement:
Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life. Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.
There’s no official timetable or release date set for the fantastical return to Thra, so eager fans will have to tide themselves over by watching The Dark Crystal on repeat until the foreseeable future.
Be sure to check out the official teaser above and see where The Dark Crystal places among our list of other outstandingly creepy children’s movies.