What's Coming for the Skeksis in the 'Dark Crystal' Prequel?

by Monica Hunter-Hart
YouTube user enshandur / Jim Henson and Universal Studios

In 1982, the Lord of the Rings-like puppet epic The Dark Crystal from Jim Henson, the legendary Muppets creator behind classics like The Muppet Christmas Carol and Fraggle Rock, took the world by storm. The film is a classic to this day, and is now getting a 10-episode Netflix prequel that’s supposedly “coming soon.” The series will delve more into the backstory of the evil Skeksis race; what will we learn?

Netflix’s description of the prequel reads: “When three Gelflings discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.”

The Skeksis are cunning, distrustful, and petty race, explained by concept artist Brian Froud as “part reptile, part predatory bird, part dragon.” Henson compared The Dark Crystal’s Skeksis characters to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Now, we know that this won’t exactly be an origin story of the Skeksis. The way the species came into being was already revealed at the end of The Dark Crystal: basically, the evil Skeksis and benevolent Mystics were once one species, the urSkeks, but they split in two when the “dark crystal” was accidentally smashed.

But we’ll definitely be learning a lot more about the Skeksis, including this so-called “horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power.” It could be some sort of reveal explaining the Skeksis’ impressive physical prowess; in The Dark Crystal we see them smash huge rocks like bosses. Or it could be relating to the Skeksis’ efforts to prolong their lives (their bodies degenerate faster than normal). We already know they use acupuncture and light that’s reflected through the dark crystal to do so, but maybe there’s another, as-of-yet unrevealed, method.

Speaking of which, will the dark crystal be featured largely in this film? And which Gelfling characters will we be following — new Gelflings, or will our old protagonist Jen be among them?

Right now, we have more questions than answers, so let the speculation begin.

Actually, The Dark Crystal already has a prequel in the form of a Tokyopop manga novel, Legends of the Dark Crystal. It’s possible that the TV series may take some plot points from the book.

Jim Henson, of course, has been dead since 1990. Hopefully this spin-off will be a great homage to his legacy.

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