Netflix's Final 'Dark Crystal' Trailer Is a Case for More Epic Puppets

There's some CGI, sure, but all the magic is in the practical puppets of Netflix's 'Dark Crystal' prequel.

Existing promotional material for Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance tease a gorgeous television show that uses more puppets and tactile, physical sets than cutting-edge CGI. And while the final trailer confirms there will be plenty of computer-generated effects, it doesn’t stop Age of Resistance from proving there is still magic to be made out of old school puppeteering.

On Tuesday, Netflix released the final trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel series to Frank Oz and Jim Henson’s cult 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal. The series is set to premiere on Netflix on August 30.

The trailer shows off more of the story and plot of Age of Resistance, in which three young Gelfling named Rian, Brea and Deet lead a rebellion against the sinister Skeksis in their world of Thra. New scenes depict a beautiful mix of traditional puppeteering and digital visual effects.

See moments like when the characters touch magic crystals or flowers and are covered in bright mystical energy. Or when roving vehicles roam Thra with the puppets hanging on for dear life. While that’s obviously VFX, it’s seeing how much of it works with, and not against, the physical puppets and meticulously crafted sets that makes the imagery beautiful.

Throw in that 4K resolution and you’ve got the perfect blend of old and new school filmmaking.

Seriously: More epic puppets, please! Whatever your opinions on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, the overabundance of CGI condemns those films to feel weightless than the original trilogy that had, arguably, too many puppets.

At Comic-Con International in San Diego last month, executive producer Lisa Henson and director Louis Leterrier presented The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance at a panel in front of hundreds of attendees. A behind the scenes video debuted at the panel, where Leterrier promised that the series will make you “forget you’re watching puppets.”

“Everything is hand-sculpted [and] hand-painted,” Henson says in the video. “Just an amazing amount of craftsmanship that you see across the whole image.” Simon Pegg, who voices “The Chamberlain,” echoed Henson in the video, saying, “Puppetry is an art form in itself. That’s what you’re watching.”

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will arrive later this month. In the meantime, you can watch and/or rewatch the original 1982 film on Netflix, which should get you primed in time to binge the new series.


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance airs on Netflix on August 30.