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[Netflix Review] The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Season 1 (2019) ★★★★★

Brea Hup Weet and Rian in The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance season 1

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is an epic adventure with wonderful imaginative creativity and enchanting wonders.


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a dark fairytale fantasy adventure series and a prequel to the 1982 movie The Dark Crystal (1982). Just like the film, this series is completely made with puppets controlled by the puppeteers. We return to the world of Thra before all the Gelflings were killed by the Skeksis in the war and we get to see the events that led up to that horrific event. Although it’s something pretty dark and dire, it’s a  wonderful story of friendship and courage for children and adults alike. 

The series is again beautifully designed. The puppets, the detailed world, all the practical designs look stunning and bring this magical adventure to life. An epic adventure that evolves around three brave Gelflings who go on a dangerous quest that is dark, funny, moving and tragic. Although it has been 40 years since the film was released the series manages to capture that eighties feel and it feels like nothing has changed. While the techniques have improved a lot which shows and results in even more beautiful designs. It’s a series of trials, hope and courage that immediately will reel you in.

This first season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 46-61 minutes. It has a continuous storyline about three Gelflings who go on an epic quest together, traveling through the world of Thra. 


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Plot

In Thra live the Gelflings who are ruled by the evil Skeksis who did not come from Thra and once were one species with the Mystics and were called urSkeks. But when this species was split into the evil Skeksis and the good urRu, the Mystics, the Skeksis used the Crystal for their own gain and used it for power. Now they rule over Thra and use the Crystal to live forever. When three Gelflings, Rian, Deet and Brea find out the truth they go on a mission to save Thra. 


Why you should watch it

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance takes place long before the adventure of Jen and Kira the two last Gelflings. Now we learn that there are seven kinds of Gelflings, seven clans who live in different types of surroundings and who are always lead by a woman. Each kind is a bit different from the others and each have special powers that all connect to nature. They all have different designs that are creatively shaped and add richness to the story.

The Vapra are the most proud and live in a great civilization in the mountains. The Stonewood clan lives in the Dark Wood and are mostly proud soldiers and guards of the Castle of the Crystal. The Grottan clan lives in the caves and are mostly forgotten but live in great harmony with Thra. The Sifa clan are a sea folk. The Drenchen clan lives in the Swamp of Sog. The Dousan clan lives in the desert and have a fascination for death. And the Spriton are a warmongering clan and lives deep within in the Dark Forest. 

Deet is a Grottan who learns from the Sanctuary Tree through a vision that the Darkening is coming so she goes to the Vapra in the mountains to warn the All-Maudra. On her journey she meets Hup who wants to become a Paladin. Meanwhile Rian a Castle guard and a Stonewood learns that the Skeksis use life essence to stay young. When Brea the princess of Vapra meets Deet and Rian they set out on an epic journey accompanied by Hup. During their journey into Thra Deet, Rian and Brea meet almost all of these clans who have their own abilities and knowledge to help them. 

Due to the fact that this series has a lot more time than a movie, there’s a lot of attention for the world of Thra. We get to see even more creatures and different kind of places. The sea, the desert, the mountains, the forest, a swamp, the caves and much more. It’s a beautiful journey that is often breathtaking and imaginative. Everything looks so incredibly realistic. The wind rustles the leaves, everything breathes and is truly alive. Every creature is so originally created and designed and offers a colorful world. The cinematography is stunning as well. The Dreamfasting is a great new addition to the story about Gelflings and who they are as a race and how they can communicate with each other on a high level, which makes them spiritual beings. 

But the Skeksis are also more fleshed out. Male and female Skeksis who each have their own profession and role and are very different from each other. From a Scientist to a Hunter and a Heretic to the Chamberlain, the General and the Emperor. They each bring much more to the story than only pure evil. 

The storytelling is an amazing epic tale of the ultimate battle between good and evil. It’s often funny, always adventurous, sometimes tragic, or moving, it’s heroic and epic. It covers all the emotions that together create a wonderful story that will move you. Some scenes can be pretty heavy, cruel and tragic so that it is truly a dark series. But this is compensated by means of a lot of humor and hilarious scenes. But the whole story is very imaginative and surprising and offers some very original scenes, like the puppets who put on a puppet show, a play and even an opera to tell the origin story of the urSkeks. 

And we see some familiar places like the Planetarium of Aughra and Aughra herself. More Fizzgigs, Podlings and of course some familiar Skeksis and some new faces. But there are also new creatures like the Nurlocs and the Arathim. Every character is very well fleshed out from the three Gelflings and Podling Hup to the evil hunter skekMal and the comical duo skekGra and urGoh who also represent what the urSkes once were, two sides of one coin who can’t exist without each other. 

The whole concept and idea of the story and how the world of Thra works, was already established in the 1982 film but now it’s even more expanded and the story is so much bigger with more Gelfling clans, and all the issues and problems and struggles that come with it. The universe is very elaborated and incorporates everything that an adult fantasy story is all about.  Although still a wonderful story for kids this epic tale has become so  much more than that. 


My favorite part

I loved the comical duo skekGra and urGoh who added something very unique and epic and also very funny to the story while explaining what this story actually is all about. But I loved Hup too. He was such an endearing character. Aughra was of course feisty as ever and the way the Gelflings were created in their separate clans and rivalry, offers another take on them and makes them more realistic. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Epic factor: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★☆☆☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


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Cast and crew

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is created by: Jeffrey Addiss, Will Matthews and directed by Louis Leterrier. Voices of: Taron Egerton (Rian), Anya Taylor-Joy (Brea), Nathalie Emmanuel (Deet), Jason Isaacs (The Emporer), Mark Hamill (The Scientist), Keegan-Michael Key (The Ritual Master), Simon Pegg (The Chamberlain), Donna Kimball (Aughra), Caitriona Balfe (Tavra), Alicia Viaknder (Mira), Andy Samberg (The Heretic), Helena Bonham Carter (All-Muadra), Awkwafina (The Colelctor), Benedict Wong (The General), Ralph Ineson (The Hunter), Harris Dickenson (Gurjin).Puppeteers: Alice Dinnean, Beccy Henderson, Dave Chapman, Damian Farrelle, Helena Smee, Katherine Smee, Kevin Clash, Lousie Gold, Olly Taylor, Victor Yerrid, Warrick Bronwlow-Pike, Neil Sterenberg.

Music by: Daniel Pemberton, Samuel Sim. Cinematography: Erik Wilson. Edited by: Kate Baird, Jesse Parker, Andrew MacRitchie. Production company: The Jim Henson Company. Original network: Netflix.


Check the trailer below


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