Netflix's 'Dark Crystal' Will Make You "Forget You're Watching Puppets"

The world of Thra and its residents come to life.

Friday evening at San Diego Comic-Con was a big night for fans anticipating the arrival of Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance. Those who attended the Dark Crystal panel at SDCC 2019 were treated to insights from executive producer Lisa Henson, director Louis Leterrier, and stars Taron Egerton and Mark Hamill. Attendees also got a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the Jim Henson Creature Shop, who made the world of Thra, the Gelflings, the Skeksis, and everything in between come to life with such artistry that, as Leterrier promised in the video, would make you “forget you’re watching puppets.”

The behind-the-scenes sneak peek — which you can watch at the top of this page — also included a trailer with lots of new footage for fans to feast their eyes on. The trailer reminds us of the 10-episode TV series’ plot, which revolves around three Gelflings (voiced by Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel) realizing they must unite to save their world from an evil group of creatures known as the Skeksis who plan to take over Thra with the help of the very powerful Dark Crystal.

Deet (voiced by Nathalie Emmanuel) is a Gelfling living in Thra in 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'
Deet (voiced by Nathalie Emmanuel) is a Gelfling living in Thra in 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'

In the sneak peek on how the show came together, Henson shared just how much effort was put into bringing this show to life. “Everything is hand-sculpted [and] hand-painted,” she tells viewers. “Just an amazing amount of craftsmanship that you see across the whole image.”

Cast member Simon Pegg, who voices The Chamberlain, echoes Henson’s comments, noting, “Puppetry is an art form in itself. That’s what you’re watching.”

Later in the sneak peek, Leterrier brings it all together as he teases, “The idea is that you watch the show and you forget you’re watching puppets.”

Both the sneak peek and the new trailer really focus on this aspect of the show, allowing viewers a closer look at how the puppets come together, how the production team sews, builds, and painstakingly paints unique detail into every puppet and piece of scenery; how scenes are staged with actors operating the puppets in such a way to make it look like the puppets themselves are actually sentient and moving on their own; and how Leterrier helps bring it all together for one seamless viewing experience.

The Skeksis convene in 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'
The Skeksis convene in 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'

The is no shortage of wonder at any point in the new Dark Crystal footage premiered at SDCC 2019. If anything, the preview confirmed the entire Dark Crystal team has been focused on honoring Jim Henson’s 1982 film, right down to the look and feel of the world of Thra and its inhabitants, while also modernizing it to make the adventure feel even more real. All in all, fans have been promised an exciting, fast-paced viewing experience which they’ll get to dive into when Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance debuts at the end of August.


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance arrives on Netflix on August 30, 2019.

Media via Netflix, Netflix.