How Netflix's The Dark Crystal Prequel Ties Into the Original Movie
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, streaming now on Netflix.
One of the biggest draws of Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance for fans was how the series would eventually tie into Jim Henson's 1982 puppet classic about the battle for the soul of Thra. As a prequel, it's only natural this show, set "many years before," would dovetail into the film and form the building blocks of the Skeksis' rulership of the planet. And while it doesn't act as an immediate precursor to the adventures of Jen and Kira as the last of the Gelflings we saw over three decades ago, the 10-episode first season does pave the way in key instances for the lost shard to be reunited with the crystal in order to save the drained planet from certain doom.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
THE RISE OF THE GARTHIM
The Garthim are giant cockroach-like creatures under the watch of SkekUng, also be known as the Garthim Master in the '80s flick. As the General, he used the monsters a force to wipe the Gelflings off the planet, also helping to corral them so their essences could be drained at the Skeksis' castle. This series doesn't bring the species into play, though, until the very end in a post-credits sequence.
The Scientist/SkekTek presents the creatures to the Emperor, having just figured out a way to mix the dead spider-esque monsters known as the Arathim with the DNA of the Gruenaks, another alien species. The latter tried to kill the Scientist but after murdering one of these assistants in the lab, he realizes their genetics could hold the key to turning the Arathim into obedient foot-soldiers. The Arathim turned on the Skeksis, opting to ally with the Gelfling Resistance, but once SkekTek splices the species together, we see the first successful trial running out into the Emperor's chambers, ready to do his bidding.
DEET'S VISION OF KIRA
When Deet connects mentally to the Sanctuary Tree in the Grottan realm, she gets a vision of the Darkening spreading throughout the land thanks to the fractured crystal. It's a purple infection that must be stopped, and the Tree uses Deet as its avatar, allowing her to see a possible future. In it, she catches a glimpse of a Gelfling woman with a white hood trying to hide a baby. Fans have already posited this toddler could be Kira from the '82 movie.
When she met Jen then, he told her he thought he was the last of the Gelflings, hidden with the Mystics. But Kira revealed she was stored away in a small cave by her mom, which resulted in the Podlings raising her. While the movie had a quick dreamfast of her mother putting her into the hole, this new scene does seem to reconcile both events, because there's no other important Gelfling that would be hidden in the forest of what appears to be Stone-in-the-Wood. Deet is apparently seeing the saviors of the future so it makes sense this is indeed Kira as an infant, as her mom's hood looks the same in both properties.
THE SHARD IS FOUND
The film focused on Aughra and the Mystics tasking Jen with placing the shard back into the crystal. Jen did just this, curing Thra and restoring it to its glory, ushering in a new era of peace and sustenance with Kira. However, the prequel only addresses how the shard went missing and doesn't really bring the piece into play until the very end.
In the battle against the Skeksis cabal in Stonewood, all seven Gelfling clans unite only for the Emperor to use the Darkening against them. Deet saves the day, harnessing the infection and becoming something superior, but Rian also had his time in the limelight, using the Dual Glaive from the Grottan clan to fight the Emperor off. When the fight's over, Brea discovers the shard after the glaive (which stored it) broke, and Aughra realizes this is the key to fixing the planet. They use it as a symbol to kickstart the rebellion, setting the stage for Jen to find the shard in Aughra's observatory years later.
THE URSKEK HISTORY
When Jen reunited the shard and the crystal at the end of the movie, the Mystics combined their essences with the Skeksis, becoming the UrSkeks once more. UngIm, their leader, told Jen about how they came to Thra, got the crystal from Aughra and then manipulated it, splitting into two species -- one for good and one for evil. Here, we get the detailed history at the Circle of the Sun when Rian's fellowship meets the Skeksis Conqueror and the Mystic known as the Heretic in a clear homage to the movie.
They put on a puppet show, ironically, and reveal how they were banished to Thra, only to meet Aughra and the crystal. They admit they were arrogant and ran their own experiments, shattering the crystal, which led to the Mystics going into hiding and the Skeksis tricking Aughra into making them custodians while she roamed the cosmos mentally in exchange. In the series, we find out just how careless and selfish the UrSkeks were and why the hidden Mystics are seeking redemption for tinkering with the crystal, all while sharing a soul with the Skeksis.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is directed by Louis Leterrier, and features the voice talents of Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel , Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander, Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg and Donna Kimball.