Another World, Another Time... In the Age of Wonder.

"End, begin, all the same. Big change. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad." ~ Aughra

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is an American fantasy series created by Netflix and The Jim Henson Company.


The Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal released in 1982 with a sequel recently coming out that explores the world of Thra created for the original film.


The film features three Gelflings: Rian, Deet, and Brea, as they try to bring together the Gelfling tribes in order to fight against the tyrannical Skeksis and save their world Thra from a deadly disease known as the Darkening.


The series premiered on August 30, 2019 and was widely praised by critics. However, in September 2020 it was announced that the show had been canceled after just one season.


Title: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Release date: August 30, 2019
Country of origin: United States
Language: English

Filming locations: Iceland

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

IMDB rating: 8.4/10 (24,638 votes)
Appropriate for ages: All ages


#1 End. Begin. All the Same.


More than one thousand years ago, Mother Aughra entrusts the Crystal of Truth to the alien Skeksis. They siphon its lifeforce in order to maintain eternal youth while proclaiming themselves Thra's rulers.


The energy-giving dark crystal starts to fail, and the Skeksis emperor orders his scientist to find an emergency solution. In an attempt to keep their world going, the Skeksis accidentally discover how to use the Crystal to steal other people's vitality in order for them to rejuvenate themselves.


skekSil suggests that they abduct the Crystal Guard Gelfling Mira, who is searching for an Arathim in the catacombs. This results in her death as the Skeksis feast on most of her essence. Rian, Mira's boyfriend, witnesses this act and escape them.


Meanwhile, Princess Brea of Ha'rar discovers a sign while researching the Skeksis' rules after Ha'rar's tribute to skekOk and skekLach. Deet, of the Grottan Clan, is chosen by the Sanctuary Tree to defend Thra from being consumed by the Darkening, a corruption of the Crystal.


Episode 1 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Jeffrey Addiss & Will Matthews
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 1 hour 1 minute

Episode 1 Review

The Dark Crystal is a film that many people who grew up in the 1980s remember as being just as entertaining and charming as its cinematic siblings The Goonies, Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, E.T., The Princess Bride, and Star Wars, among others. Jim Henson and his crew brought the story of the Gelflings' efforts to regain their lost world of Thra to life.

Since then, the prominence of puppets in popular entertainment has decreased dramatically. By modernizing the classic storytelling vehicle for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, we not only take a trip down memory lane to revisit a Time 30 years ago but are also reminded that with an excellent narrative and unparalleled visuals, we can bring back elements of the past that have long been forgotten.

Aside from that, what distinguishes Age of Resistance is the ingenious employment of an art that was once considered but has now been forgotten. Stop-motion animation is a painstaking process, but it can result in some truly stunning visuals. Age of Resistance pays homage to the 1982 classic Kubo and the Two Strings with its own unique visual style, which is a welcome change of pace.

The film not only features excellent puppet work on the characters, but also some scenes that channel the psychedelic nature of Doctor Strange. This creates a clear and concise visual that feels otherworldly.

A rousing, action-packed adventure with a strong female protagonist that is married together with excellent voice acting from Taron Egerton, Helen Bonham Carter, Mark Hamill, Alicia Vikander, and other actors, making for a tremendous entertainment experience that surpasses the original in every way.

"End. Begin. All the Same" is the prologue of this series, which would make it a novel. A fantastic work of world building, characterization, and conflict. It sets the stage for Thra's universe, its people, and how the Skeksis seized power while placing the main characters in position to begin their great quest. If this episode is any indication of the future episodes, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a delightful Netflix original series.

#2 Nothing Is Simple Anymore


As Deet begins to heal upon seeing Aughra's distress on Thra, the Podling Hup arrives with a traveling companion in the form of the Podling Hup as they head to Ha'rar. Brea goes to Elder Cadia of the Sifa Clan for advice on deciphering the meaning of the symbol.


cadia_attempts Cadia instead attempts to wipe out Brea's memory by having her drink powdered null root, only for her to switch the drinks at the last second.  onica Cadia's apprentice Onica offers her services if Brea brings s tomorrow night.


Back in the Castle, Rian uses dream fasting to reveal Mira's death to their friend Gurjin after being labeled a murderer. Gurjin and Rian realize that they need to obtain the vial of Mira's essence in order to expose the Skeksis' past wrongdoings. The two are able to get it when skekTek catches skekSil stealing it, but Gurjin is taken while Rian manages to escape with the vial.


skekSkekTek tells skekSo that The Scientist is to blame for Rian's escape before skekSil spins the tale so that The Scientist is held responsible. After tracking down Rian, skekTek is stung in the eye by a peeper beetle as punishment for his disobedience.


Episode 2 Details:



  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: J.M. Lee
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 48 minutes

Episode 2 Review


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance continues with the three main characters Rian, Brea, and Deet as they move forward in their own narrative arcs after the first episode prologue. While the first two are struggling with unfortunate obstacles, Deet's journey takes a more positive turn.


The Skeksis continue to spin the yarns that the uneducated Gelfling accept at face value, despite our heroes' efforts to expose the truth. The Aughra's rebirth, on the other hand, may complicate the Skeksis' plans for Thra, since her link to this world might aid her in overcoming the Skeksis' deception veil.


Even the Aughra won't be able to take on these vultures by herself; she will need others who are willing to stand up and fight against a lifetime of being told that the Skeksis are the best rulers. It won't be easy, but it's necessary in order to prevent the planet from falling into chaos.


The second episode, “Nothing is Simple Anymore”, skillfully advances the story. It provides a more insightful look into the deviousness of the Skeksis with each other while also showing tiny moments of optimism for our heroes.


Several of the following snippets are intentionally difficult to understand where Rian and Brea are mentioned, but it makes sense that the two people who have the strongest evidence against the Skeksis' lies would face stronger opposition. Before it's too late, Rian, Brea, and Deet must find a way to communicate the truth with their relatives.

#3 What Was Sundered and Undone


Deet and Hup are both outsiders in the village of the Stonewood clan. Hup is arrested after defending Deet's honor, and Deet is prevented from seeing Maudra Fara ask for Hup's freedom. Meanwhile, Fara and Ordon try to stop Rian from getting away.


Rian and Deet encounter each other after dark, with the latter inspired by Rian with a plan to liberate Hup. In the meantime, as skekSil provides his partner skekTek with Gruenak assistants, Aughra arrives at their castle and confronts them. The Skeksis banished her from their domain but not before she learns about the Crystal's corruption.


As a penalty for the diplomatic incident she caused by wiping out Cadia's memories, Brea is sent to the Order of Lesser Service for one year. When cleaning Podlings, Brea escapes the Order and encounters Tavra, who explains that their mother tasked her with bringing back Rian.


Brea journeys to Onica's chamber, where she is reunited with her father. She then goes to Ha'rar and obtains her mother's most valuable object an Unamoth chrysalis for Onica. Brea asks the chrysalis for answers and follows the reborn Unamoth down a concealed passageway beneath her mother's throne, guided by Onica.


Episode 3 Details:



  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Vivian Lee
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 52 minutes

Episode 3 Review


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance opened on a lighter note for the second episode in a row, reminding audience members of the significant burden that the three heroes must carry as Rian confronts his father Deet, Hup encounters trouble with another clan, and Brea holds the answers to her visions and destiny of Thra in her hands.


Given the means used to tell this story, "What Was Sundered and Undone" is a much-needed injection of comic relief in an otherwise gloomy narrative. More significantly, it does so in such a way that is both natural and doesn't interrupt any of the good momentum established thus far by the series.


All three protagonists move forward in their separate journey, not just from the story's point of view but from their own character development. A great story is told when the actions of both the protagonists and antagonists are not only logical, but also captivating enough to maintain a fast pace. Each episode should give viewers just enough information to make them want more.


Though I can't be sure how big of a role she will play in the series, the writer's ability to make Seladon feel like a sympathetic character is amazing.


My first impressions of her were very negative, but watching the reality behind what she's going through the dismissive attitude of her mother towards her that fuels her insecurities and even after Seladon properly reminds her mother of their duty to avoid "matters of the heart" from distracting them is a reminder that we must choose our words carefully when it comes to judging others.


While this won't excuse someone for their terrible deeds, it's important to understand that often their motivations are complicated.


With Aughra now awake, she can hopefully instill some trust in the Gelfling and break through their loyalty to the Skeksis. Is it possible that the Gelfling simply haven't had enough of a reason to move beyond their Skeksis loyalty, or is it rather because her slumber was so long and most people have never seen her as the Crystal's keeper? This Aughra may be a crone, but I have the feeling she's got some more tricks up her sleeve before she's done.

#4 The First Thing I Remember Is Fire


Deet frees Hup from the Stonewood clan's dungeon by posing as a monster that terrifies the guards. In Ha'rar, Brea attempts to decrypt the secret chamber's riddle before realizing it reveals the Gelfling clan hierarchy to be false, awakening a stone giant that plays a recording on its body.


The voice belonged to a giant who went by the name of Lore. He promised to guide her to the Circle of the Suns. This caught Seladon's attention Brea's oldest sister. Meanwhile, Aughra ran into urVa The Archer who gave her some advice; in order to reconnect with Thra, she needed learn from those around her first.


The Skeksis' lavish dinner in celebration of skekEkt's return goes sour when skekSo replaces skekSil as his counselor. This piques skekSil's interest, and he calls out for skkemalt The Hunter to aid him in retrieving Rian.


skekVar and skekZok leave to recruit "volunteers" from the Gelfling tribes, while skekMal finds Rian after he has a dream in which Tavra, Ordon, Gurjin's sister Naia, and Kylan learn the truth. skekMal survives Ordon's sacrificial attempt to stop him with ravenous Gobbles and then runs off with Rian as Deet and Hup watch.


Episode 4 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Simon Racioppa & Richard Elliott
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 49 minutes

Episode 4 Review

The Skeksis get their largest amount of screen time yet as Rian finds a glimmer of hope in the unlikeliest of places, and Brea discovers that the Gelfling clan hierarchy accepted within her society might be the very thing preventing them from seeing the facts.

For ages, the image of a physically dark and twisted villain has been a part of fiction. It's easy to see why "The First Thing I Remember is Fire" presents the Skeksis as a terribly egotistical crew because Age of Resistance is a prequel to The Dark Crystal which was set in the 1980s. At that time, most villains had some similar qualities  Regardless, it's clear that this film wants audiences to remember how terrible these creatures can be.

Not only are they physically repulsive, with their rotting bodies, but their behavior is gluttonous and self-centered. Watching them feast on the return of their Ornamentalist is both dull and yet enjoyably accurate.

“The First Thing I Remember Is Fire” is the most disappointing episode of this young season, despite its moments. The final action sequence, as well as the Skeksis and their one-track mentality, are two important elements of this.

Deet, Hup, and the Aughra are simply minor characters with little significance who add to the lighthearted atmosphere. Brea's puzzle-solving abilities aren't enough to carry "The First Thing" past the conventional and uninteresting story.

#5 She Knows All the Secrets


SkekZok and skekVar gather seven people from Ha'rar to form a new Arathim army, but Rian is saved by Naia and Gurjin while Tavra remains in the Castle. In Ha'rar, skekVar and skekZok recruit seven volunteers under the guise of prospective recruits for a new Arathim revolution.


Brea appeals to the All-Maudra to meet Lore, and Seladon encounters Hup and a disguised Deet who have sneaked into the Citadel. Aughra eventually learns at the Sanctuary Tree that she must listen to Thra in order to hear its song again, with Rian's group, the All-Maudra, Brea, Deet, and Seladon all ending up in the Dream Space while dream fasting.


Aughra's refusal to believe in the Skeksis' power over her forces Seladon back into reality, where he is imprisoned by his father. Aughra, enraged at their abuse of Thra and determined to save him, rallies the Gelflings against them. The All-Maudra fights the Skeksis and is slain by skekVar, with a grief-stricken Seladon allowing the Skeksis to take the "traitors" away as her first command as the new All-Maudra.


Episode 5 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Jeffrey Addiss & Will Matthews
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 50 minutes

Episode 5 Review

Although the Skeksis try to stay ahead of their enemies, Aughra manages to assemble a group of diverse protagonists in order to warn Thra about the impending danger. However, an unforeseen tragedy puts the heroes in a difficult position once again.

Given that the franchise begins 50 years before the original film, in which the Skeksis are finally defeated, it's possible it'll be more of the latter.

“She Knows All the Secrets,” which was an afterthought in comparison to other previous episodes, restores the Age of Resistance's momentum. The narrative progression more than makes up for the stumbles and questionable character decisions, but some of the scene transitions lacked the smoothness of prior episodes.

Now that they have been caught and the time for secrecy is over, this film hiatus has become a turning point. The Gelflings, Skeksis, and allies all know each other's plans and can finally start fighting for Thra podium.

#6 By Gelfling Hand ...


On the way to the Castle, skekVar and skekZok's group is stopped by Rian's group. They lose their prisoners when Lore gets to their carriage. Rian convinces the Paladins that they should tell others about what the Skeksis have done wrong.


They stage a rebellion that is swiftly put down, as they are imprisoned and drained, with Tavra among the captives. After an incredible skekSil appears and informs them that the Stonewood clan has sided with the Skeksis, the Skeksis decide to attack Stone-in-the-Wood.


urVa learns that he must confront skekMal in order to fulfill his destiny. Aughra tells him this will require a sacrifice. Seladon, meanwhile, is preparing for her coronation as All-Maudra in Ha'rar. She sends the Living Crown pieces to the other Maudras and cremates her mother's body for "treason." However, she soon finds herself challenged by Fara for the title of All-Maudra.


Seladon renounces the Living Crown in response, donning Skeksis-inspired regalia and declaring herself All-Maudra by the Skeksis' will. Fara and Laesid leave while the others bow to her.


Rian and friends are met by Rek'yr, a Dousan clansman, at the Crystal Sea after a night of mourning. He then takes Rian, Deet, Brea, and Hup to the Circle of the Suns while the others leave in order to gather their clans.


Episode 6 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Kari Drake
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 52 minutes

Episode 6 Review

A new adversary is born out of her mother's ashes, eager to carry on the Skeksis' will as the three Gelfling heroes draw closer to their destined goal: reaching the Circle of the Suns.

A key element of fantasy stories often involves the protagonists being split up and each having their own mission to complete. As the story builds towards the climax, these characters usually come back together again.

With the exception of the Orange and Green nights, who are by far the strongest characters in the show, "By Gelfling Hands..." is a confusing mess of unnecessary plot points.

In just a few sentences, the Skeksis' gruesome killing of castle guards is mentioned as they dismiss any pretense of being a beneficial contact with the Gelfling.

Granted, the series’ declining popularity may have been due to its loss of dramatic integrity in action sequences between characters, but it still leaves an ugly hole in the narrative.

Overall, the story provided many positive aspects in our heroes' journey. However, Tavra's capture and subsequent rehashing of Skeksis gluttony dragged down the story unnecessarily.

“By Gelfling Hands...,” on the other hand, serves as a decent transition to the second half of Season One. It's a shame it's such a rickety structure built out of decaying boards and lacks stability.

#7 Time to Make ... My Move


Rian's party reaches the Circle of the Suns, where they run into a Skeksis named skekGra The Heretic and his Mystic counterpart urGoh The Wanderer. skekGra and urGoh gradually disclose their species' histories as splintered urSkeks as a consequence of Crystal's corruption.


GraGoh, the unification of two previously separate beings, announce their desire to merge back into one and end Skeksis rule. They need Gelflings to help to use the Dual Glaive for this task. Rian's group is ambushed by skekMal before they can venture to the Caves of Grot, where the Dual Glaive rests. Although mortally wounded by urVa, skekMal manages to kidnap Brea and escape.


Meanwhile, keeping a lid on the fact that the Caves have been taken over by the Darkening, skekSo wins Arathim Ascendancy's assistance by returning their ancestral home if they assist in stamping out the Stonewood Gelflings.


The Ascendants ask for Tavra as a possible host for their mind-controlling Arathim, which will take control of the Stonewood and march to Castle.


Episode 7 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 47 minutes

Episode 7 Review

"Time to Make…My Move" was a much-needed balm after the extreme disappointment from its immediate predecessor. With its strong narrative arc and the introduction of two entertaining characters whose purpose elevated the necessary historical exposition, this story was captivating and enjoyable.

Given that the information is not only a relevant addition to the story but also that Maudra Fara has been removed from the board, our protagonist's odds are reduced.

"Time to Make…My Move" was a great addition to the series, and it's exactly what we needed as we head into the final third of the series. Let's hope the storytelling remains as good as this lucky number seven."

#8 Prophets Don't Know Everything


Rian and Deet journey to the Caves of Grot through the Breath of Thra, which are thermal vents from the planet's core. They hope to find the Dual Glaive there, but instead, discover that the Arathim has taken over the caves and that Deet's family and Maudra Argot are among those under their control.


When the Arathim is assaulted by the berserk Nurloc and Rian and Deet inform them of the Skeksis' duplicity, Rian and Deet persuade the Ascendancy to join them in attacking the Skeksis while getting them and Deet's family to safety.


The Sanctuary Tree offers Deet the ability to draw out the Darkening from others before the Nurloc destroy it. Seladon, meanwhile, goes to the Castle to beg for mercy from the Skeksis after ignoring Aughra's attempts to reason with her.


However, she discovers the truth from the Skeksis themselves and is taken captive as a mortally-wounded skekMal returns with Brea to the Castle. SkekSo commands that skekMal's life be saved at all costs, prompting Aughra to state that she now understands what she must do.


Episode 8 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Simon Racioppa & Richard Elliott
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 50 minutes

Episode 8 Review

The pieces continue to move across the chessboard of Thra as Rian and Deet begin their hunt for the Glaive in the Caves of Grot, Seladon recognizes her folly, and the ever devious Chamberlain plots to rejoin his Emperor's good favor.

Rian and Deet race to Grot on the Breath of Thra's expedient routes, oblivious to whatever dangers they may face along the journey. The interaction between these two is always a pleasure, despite the fact that the narrative frequently derails anything more than a few bites for them to share. This isn't altered in "Prophets Don't Know Everything."

The Gelfling have made an alliance with the Arathim, which has equalized the power struggles a bit, though they are still lagging behind.

The fifth season of “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” "Prophets," does not provide any firm answers, instead focusing more on a set-up for the later two episodes. It does an excellent job with this but by dwelling on the Skeksis and their petty bitterness once again, "Prophets" doesn't quite live up to its potential.

#9 The Crystal Calls


Ordon had hidden the second half of the Dual Glaive in Stone-in-the-Woods' crucible, and Maudra Argot gives it to Rian and Deet. They then find out that Ordon had kept the other half at Stone-in=the Wood's crucible as well. SkekOk suggests bringing back the other Skeksis to Castle Skarsnik with them.


In exchange for the freedom of the captured Gelflings, Aughra offers her essence to recuperate skekMal. SkekSo accepts, but before they depart, skekVar is ordered to execute the captives. Tavra exposes the Arathim-Gelfling relationship and wounds skekVar before being slain by skekSil after permanently joining with the Ascendancy.


SkekVar's loyalty is won when he receives a vial of essence to heal himself with. When it appears that Aughra's essence was not sufficient to save skekMal, skekSil suggests creating an obedient army out of Arathim corpses.


Tavra later passes away in front of her sisters. Rian rejoins the Dual Glaive and demands all Geflings to gather at Stone-in-the-Wood. SkekSo, hearing through the Crystal and issuing a warning of retaliation, calls for an attack at first light to prevent the Rebellion from happening.


Episode 9 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Margaret Dunlap
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 47 minutes

Episode 9 Review


Rian and Deet'ssearch for the Dual Glaive continues as they find it in record time, but Mother Aughra makes a disheartening sacrifice.


The Skeksis have Brea and Seladon cornered, and they are about to extract their essence to heal the dying Hunter. But then Mother Aughra arrives just in time. Aughra is one of the few characters who really deserved more time on screen. She's always standing up for what she believes in and commands authority without even trying.


When she enters the castle and demands that the Emperor frees the Gelfling, her fearless tenor intimidates any Skeksis from touching her. The Hunter's life is in peril, so desperate to keep him alive; The emperor agrees to let his prisoners go if Aughra hands over her essence willingly.


Aughra sacrifices herself to save the others, Brea, Seladon, and the other slaves flee the keep after Tavra has some kind of symbiosis with it. Unfortunately, when Tavra is struck down by the Chamberlain as she readied to strike the killing blow on the General, it's nothing more than a passing comment.


The decision to kill off Carole is a poor one by the writers, but her death may not be in vain. The Tree of Knowledge is the emotional crux that drives everything forward; it sparks two vital narrative components: first, it gives Chamberlain legitimacy to suggest a strategy for generating an army of super soldiers to fight on the side of the Skeksis, and second, Tavra uses her last breath to mend the substantial gap between Brea and Seladon.


"The Crystal Calls" has an emotional-charged ending, but there is something missing from it. It's difficult to identify what that is, but it's a crucial piece nonetheless. While the finale lead-in is adequate, the resounding triumph and expectation of what comes next are muted by the road taken to get there.


Perhaps it's the rigid structure of how the episode is edited or some of the questionable narrative decisions made about certain characters...Nevertheless, "The Crystal Call" just can't seem to get over that hump that keeps it from being something more exceptional.

#10 A Single Piece Was Lost


Rian, Deet, and Brea are waiting for the other clans to arrive when skekSo summons the Darkening. He then leads the Skeksis into battle, telling skekTek to stay at the castle and work on their new army.


After the Skeksis' arrival, skekSil sets up skekVar to fight Rian and covertly murders him as the battle begins. When urVa leaps off from the Circle of Suns, causing Aughra to be reconstructed out of his disintegrating body, skekMal is revealed to be alive but is soon murdered for good when u'Va breaks the Dual Glaive.


When the revolting Gruenaks169; begin to cause trouble, skekTek becomes so frustrated that he kills them in a fit of anger. When the other clans arrive, skekSo unleashes the Darkening, which Deet rebounds to kill skekLach while the other Skeksis retreat.


As Brea finds the lost shard of the Crystal in the Dual Glaive's broken hilt, Deet leaves because she is scared of how powerful Brea has become. The Skeksis are introduced to Garthim, who was created by grafting a dead Gruenaks with an Arathim corpse.


Episode 10 Details:


  • Directed by: Louis Leterrier
  • Written by: Jeffrey Addiss & Will Matthews
  • Original release date: August 30, 2019
  • Runtime: 51 minutes

Episode 10 Review

Writing a season finale is always tricky, especially when that finale also acts as a prequel for future installments. Though the first half of this episode was slow, the second part picked up the pace and generated a level of tension that Age of Resistance had failed to reach.

Many of the narratives are adversely affected by the need to stick to the events of the movie, especially where it's necessary for the Skeksis enclosed in the battle to escape. In spite of the events revolving around the creation of the Scientist, "A Single Piece Was Lost" brings a decent conclusion to the Age of Resistance.

The latest season is a mixed bag, but it delivers on the action and emotional weight that the story needed more than any previous season.

With questions remaining unanswered about the Crystal Shard found in the wreckage of the Glaive, Deet's infusion with the Darkening, Seladon becoming the All-Maudra her mother always envisioned, there is plenty of material that could be explored if creators choose to come back for a second season.

Best of all, “A Single Piece” altered my opinion regarding a second season from “thanks, but I'll decline" to "I wouldn't mind seeing that after all." And this is the most important thing it could have done.