The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance press conference at Comic Con featured Lisa Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, and director Louis Leterrier as well as Taron Egerton (Rocketman), who voice acts as Rian, one of the three Gelflings in the new series. Concerning how The Dark Crystal ended and the fact that the series, as a prequel, must end on a dark note, Henson replied that she felt the ending was poetic, showing just how much fight the Gelflings actually have in them. Terren added on that it is melancholy, but isn’t that what the fans love so much about the original? He went so far as to say that the melancholy is an intrinsic part of the film, and thus the series. Henson tagged on to Egerton’s idea, adding that in the writer’s room, it became a mantra that it’s The Dark Crystal, not “The Light Crystal.”
Henson and Leterrier clarified that as the original film was the center of a very long story, this prequel starts from the beginning. Their main hope is that the show will draw new fans. Leterrier claimed that The Dark Crystal was one of the first movies that inspired him to start making films at the age of eight. His goal with the prequel series is to reintroduce the world to a new audience. He confirmed that while the series will be enhanced with CGI, it will be mostly puppeteering with 80-95% being “real,” or puppets.
Additionally, Egerton, given his new popularity in the film Rocketman, promised that fans can expect singing in the new series.
When asked about the timeliness of the series, Henson commented that now was the perfect time to make the series, with the influx of 80’s reboots, especially with Netflix’s large stake in such nostalgia-driven shows (Stranger Things was referenced). She also delved into the first stages of the show, and how it was originally going to be either a sequel movie or a prequel animated show. Instead, she was pleasantly surprised when the series was green-lit with premium specs. Henson added that while Brian Froud, the original designer of the puppets, also worked on the making of the series, none of the original puppets could be used. However, they were copied in order to build new characters.
Summed up, the new series is about adventure, wonder, and according to Leterrier, it is “as fun as it is dramatic.” At the end of the press conference, Leterrier added that there will be a documentary about the making of the Dark Crystal series that will show the intricacies and relentless labor that went into the making of the series.
Mark Hamill joined the team in the panel and shared some insight on his character in the show, which happens to be a younger version of The Scientist from the original film. Concerning his role in the series, Hamill reminisced that “To be able to do the things you loved as a kid…I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’m so grateful.”
The group repeatedly gave credit to the puppeteers as well during both the press conference and the panel. “The amount of craft that goes into the making of the puppets, the artistry that goes into those creatures, and then the guys who operate them, Egerton said. “We arrive and it’s there. It’s inspiring in itself, the work that everyone else has done kind of feeds your performance.”
You can watch a sneak peek of Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance below. The 10-episode series will be available August 30 on Netflix.
All photos by Raymond Flotat