First Impressions: The Dark Crystal – Age of Rebellion

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Rebellion” is an episodic prequel to its 1982 film edition by Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. Released on Netflix on August 30, 2019, it’s clear from the first scene that the creators have stayed true to its predecessor. “Age of Rebellion” features incredibly complex and detailed sets, minimum CGI, and the use of puppeteering to animate most characters. 

The Dark Crystal is a cult classic, stemming from its 1982 release and the comic series that began its debut in 2016. The narrative focuses around Gelflings, a race of elf-like creatures inhabiting the fantasy world of Thra, and the Skeksis, a crude and borderline cruel race of birdlike creatures that rule over the Gelfings. 

The effort put into creating The Dark Crystal universe is absolutely phenomenal. The strong point is in set design but plot design comes in as a close second, given the multi-faceted and complex stories that weave together as the season moves on. 

With an extremely complex world and history behind it, it’s clear that The Dark Crystal is a passion project of Henson. With narratives involving heavy themes such as fate, morality, time, and plenty of ‘restoring the balance,’ The Dark Crystal Universe not only entertains but gives food for thought.

With the Netflix edition, Lisa Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter, plays a crucial role as executive producer in order to match the creative design of her father’s work. Her effort was astronomically successful. Most movies made in the 21st century have utilized a certain amount of CGI, but “The Dark Crystal” left this on the backburner, returning to its roots to deliver a truly unique experience. 

Enough effort was put into this film to render it a masterpiece in filmmaking – not to mention that it’s a ten-part series, with each episode lasting roughly 40 minutes long. The rating for “The Dark Crystal: Age of Rebellion” is ten out of ten for cinematography, seven out of ten for Plot, and seven out of ten for the soundtrack, bringing it to an eight out of ten overall.