Netflix is about to introduce a whole new audience to the universe, characters, and lore of the 1982 original Dark Crystal and with that may come a few questions about the cult classic. The fantasy adventure genre was alive and well in the '80s and sci-fi was thriving, making it the perfect environment to introduce an epic journey involving mythical, elf-life creatures, a magic crystal, and a whole new set of terminology to fans. Now, with nostalgia reigning supreme, a new crop of fans are delving into the world of Thra and its inhabitants.
Even though the new Netflix series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a prequel and you can stream the 10-episode series without having seen the original Dark Crystal, you might be a bit curious or need to dust off your memory of the Jim Henson classic. The Dark Crystal is not only the inspiration for the new series; it remains one of the highest grossing puppet animated films of all time. (Should you find some time to check it out, it's also streaming on Netflix.) But in case you're strapped for time, here's what you need to know:
The Time & Place
The Dark Crystal picks up approximately 1,000 years after the end of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
The Hero & His Mission
Jen, believed to be the last of the Gelfling species, is raised by a species known as The Mystics after his parents are killed by the minions of the Skeksis, the Garthim. When the Mystic Master that raised him is on his deathbed, he tells Jen his destiny. Around the time the Skeksis took control of Thra, a prophecy was foretold that one day balance would be restored.
"When single shines the triple sun, what was sundered and undone shall be whole, the two made one, by Gelfling hand, or else by none." Or so goes the prophecy.
It is believed that Jen is meant to fulfill the prophecy, and so he sets out to achieve his destiny of returning a broken piece, known as the Shard, to the Crystal of Truth and restore balance to their world. Jen makes his way to Aughra's observatory, where the Shard is believed to be kept. He finds Aughra, a mysterious, almost diety-like, representative for the Crystal and Thra, and retrieves the Shard just in time. Soon after he leaves, the Garthim come for Aughra, take her prisoner, and destroy the Observatory.
Other Heroes Along The Way
In the process of seeking out the Shard, Jen discovers that he is not the last of his kind when he meets Kira, a fellow Gelfling who joins him on his quest. Their mission is much more complicated than simply returning the Shard to the Crystal. It has to be done in the exact right moment. It must be done before the Great Conjunction, when Thra's three suns are all aligned, hence the "when single shines the triple sun" part of the prophecy. If they are unsuccessful, the broken state of Thra will become permanent and the Skeksis will rule forever as immortals.
How It All Ends
Not without a few close calls, Jen and Kira are successful in their mission. Together, they reunite the Shard with the Crystal of Truth before the Great Conjunction, defeat the Skeksis, and restore balance to Thra.
Knowing that good eventually triumphs over evil helps make knowing the prequel results in 1,000 years of oppressive Skeksis rule a lot easier to take. It's still sad, but at least you know that eventually there will be a happy ending.