Netflix's Dark Crystal Comic-Con Panel Was the Stuff of Dreams

The Dark Crystal finally took the big stage at San Diego Comic-Con.
Image: Netflix

The third time was the charm for Lisa Henson. At San Diego Comic-Con Friday, the daughter of legendary filmmaker Jim Henson said she’d been to Comic-Con two times before with a Dark Crystal project. Neither of those panned out. It wasn’t until this time, sitting in front of 7,000 fans inside Hall H, with a brand new Netflix prequel show on the horizon that her dream finally came to fruition.

Dreams were a theme on the panel for Netflix’s new show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance coming in August. Dreams of the people behind it coming to fruition, dreams of the famous voice actors getting to be a part of it, and the dreamlike trip for fans who got to see the world of Thra by watching the gorgeous first episode in full.

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Mark Hamill, who voices The Scientist, talked about his memories of the original film. He took his kids to see it in theaters back in 1982 and to this day marvels at what Henson did. “I loved how daring it was. How dark it was,” he said.

Kingsman and Robin Hood actor Taron Egerton watched the film when he was about seven and found it “enchanting.” He jumped at the chance to lend his voice to a character, who also happens to be the lead character, Rian. Rian uncovers a plot by the evil Skeksis who want to become immortal by stealing the essence of his people, the Gelflings.

At the time of the original, Henson was a production assistant, helping her father and the team basically invent new forms of animatronics and puppeteering in pre-production. She explained that the team did years of research, development, and design before the movie was even written but all that hard work is still paying off now. It gave them plenty of story to explore in a series like Age of Resistance, which takes place before the film.

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Louis Leterrier, best known for The Incredible Hulk, directed the entire series and said “Every shot is the most complicated shot of my career. Every shot is a nightmare.” But there was no way he, or Netflix, was ever going to tackle this world unless it was fully puppets, just like the original movie. That level of detail event went down to something as small as the electronic eye of Hamill’s character, The Scientist. Leterrier explained that, in the original film, the eye had a TIE Fighter with Darth Vader in it for some reason. So, of course, he had to do the same thing this time and having Hamill do the voice made it even sweeter.

Hamill and Egerton talked about how, by the time they came into the process, it’s basically done. “We really are just the top layer of a very tall cake,” Egerton said. When all these big stars come in to do the voices, puppeteers have already done the voices on set while performing. So everyone made sure to acknowledge that they are the true heroes of the show. And, in fact, after Age of Resistance is released, Leterrier said a documentary about the making of it would follow.

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That all begins on August 30 when The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance debuts on Netflix.


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Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo