Netflix's new series The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance is unlike anything else in the medium of television — a fantasy series that isn't animated, but also doesn't feature a single human actor on-camera, instead employing intricate puppets to bring the creatures of Thra to life. The series is the biggest addition to the world of Dark Crystal in over 25 years and is a momentous occasion for fans of the original film and fans of the film's creator, Jim Henson. With the premiere of Age of Resistance looming, there's no better time to revisit the original Dark Crystal movie — or watch it for the first time if you've never seen it before.
Dark Crystal may be over a quarter-century old, but in that time has amassed a beloved cult status as a singular work of art that is in direct defiance with what people expect from films. The puppeteering work and ornate production design feels like a precursor to iconic film projects like Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth and Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings film trilogy, but even those had human actors for the human audience to relate to where the Dark Crystal cast was solely comprised of complicated puppets.
The Dark Crystal is a unique film, but is it still worth watching 25 years later, or can interested parties jump right into Age of Resistance without having ever heard of Dark Crystal?
What's The Big Deal About This Movie, Anyway?
The Dark Crystal's legacy is a result of the film itself — it's a gleefully fantastic story with dark plot twists But the reason that people paid attention to The Dark Crystal in the first place is mainly because Henson was involved with it.
The Dark Crystal is the passion project of the man who gave the world the gift of The Muppets and Sesame Street, and his daughter Lisa has called Dark Crystal her father's "biggest challenge and most personal film," per Deadline.
How Is The Movie Connected To The Series?
Age of Resistance is a prequel to The Dark Crystal, featuring the same places as the original film but mostly new characters. While there are some minor characters that appear in both The Dark Crystal and Age of Resistance, such as The Skeksis General, skekUng, the series tells a different, unique story.
Where Can I Watch The Dark Crystal?
The Dark Crystal is available for streaming on Netflix, meaning you can watch it immediately before or after watching Age of Resistance without having to subscribe anywhere else. If you don't have Netflix, however, and are interested in The Dark Crystal, the film is also streaming on Amazon Prime and is available for purchase.
Do I Have To Watch Both?
Since it's a prequel with mostly new characters, you can drop right into Age of Resistance without having seen the original film, read any of the Dark Crystal novels, or even play the Dark Crystal video game, but each of those will be waiting for any new Dark Crystal fans who want to spend more time in Thra after they finish Age Of Resistance.
Since the story of Age of Resistance is mostly separate from the story being told in The Dark Crystal, the film and the series are best thought of as companions to each other rather than a continuation. Even if you choose to skip The Dark Crystal and go right to Age of Resistance, it's worth understanding the impact of the original film before diving into the new series so newcomers can understand just how big a deal that over 25 years later, Dark Crystal fans finally get to return to the world of Thra.