By Joey Delahunty, Entertainment Editor
“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” is Netflix’s new high fantasy show, and at first glance it is a perfectly generic fantasy story. That first glance isn’t entirely inaccurate in all honesty, but it also undercuts quite a bit about this strange show.
The show is a prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 movie, “The Dark Crystal,” which apparently was very beloved when it came out. Just as in the original, every character is portrayed by a puppet. It mainly follows three small, elf-like creatures called “gelflings” who are on a journey to start a rebellion against the Skeksis; the evil, bird-like creatures who corrupted the magical crystal that keeps this world alive, and who rule the world.
Although the plot itself isn’t too original, the world it takes place in is full of character and charm. On their journey, Rian (Taron Egerton), Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel) encounter and battle all sorts of interesting people. Although the movie draws its fictional races and world from the original movie, there’s a stunning amount of original world building that the 1982 movie lacked.
From the scheming villain Chamberlain Skeksil (Simon Pegg) to the eclectic profit Mother Aughra (Donna Kimball), every side character in this story is just full of personality and charm. The movement and design of the puppets is impressive as well, but occasionally it’s distractingly obvious that these are puppets, not real characters.
However, my biggest complaint about this show is actually the three main characters. Unlike the side characters of the story, the three protagonists are two dimensional and visually kind of boring. They have their occasional moments of charm, but overall they are unable to break out of the generic nature of their story.
Despite the interesting world, memorable side characters and fun nostalgia of the show, the writers seemed to focus on the wrong story. I would rather have a show about the Chamberlain and his competition with the other Skeksis, or a show about Andy Samberg’s character, a Skeksis called, “the Heretic” who betrayed the others and lives with a monk-like creature called a Mystic.
If you saw the original movie and enjoyed it, this can be a fun nostalgia dive in an expanded version of the same fascinating world, but if you’re looking for well written fantasy, the three main characters drag this show down too much. If more stories are to be told in this world, I’m ready to try them, but for now, I’d pass on “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.”