In 1982, The Jim Henson Company—hot off the first Muppet movie, but a few years before their masterpiece Labyrinth—set a new puppet-populated fantasy-fiction standard with The Dark Crystal. Featuring newly imagined characters—in original creature categories called Gelflings and Skeksis—and an immersive world known as Thra, it pioneered immersive animatronics and set design. This year, more than three decades later, Netflix viewers returned to Thra with the prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. It wholeheartedly honors the filmmaking style of the original film—only each hero and villain feels more artfully alive. It’s a dark adventure that many age groups will appreciate, in a world that services more than those seeking nostalgia.
A companion to the series, Daniel Wallace’s all-access book The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – Inside the Epic Return to Thra takes readers on a parallel adventure: that of producer Lisa Henson, director Louis Leterrier and the legendary Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Together with costume designer Brian Froud, designers, artists and puppeteers, the journey—from concepts to conclusion—gets the documentation it deserves. Published by Insight Editions, the 192-page book features sketches, photographs and interviews that connect the prequel not only to the streaming service, but also to the original film.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – Inside the Epic Return to Thra is available for pre-order online now for $45. It will release on 5 November.
Images courtesy of Insight Editions