Follow TV Tropes


Head Scratchers / The Dark Crystal

Go To

  • The Podlings taught Kira to call the animals, and she uses the ability to get them to break out of their cages, attack the Scientist, and free her before she gets her essence completely sucked out. Couldn't the countless Podling captives before her have done it themselves?
    • Because they didn't have a cheerleader like Kira did.
    • As the Scientist's own words state that Gelfling essence is more potent than Podling, she may be the only victim of the device who lasted long enough even to make the attempt.
    • Maybe they didn't understand that it could be done. Animals aren't always clever.
    • Actually it was Aughra who told her to do so since she was captive too.
  • If the Mystics are supposed to be so supremely benevolent, and they knew about their link to the Skeksis and about the horrors their counterparts were perpetrating, why didn't they just selflessly commit suicide a thousand years ago to spare the Gelflings from genocide and the Podlings from enslavement?
    • Note that the split gave the Skeksis the lion's share of the intelligence and the urRu have wisdom but not the knowledge of how to apply it — they may not be capable of this level of forethought.
    • Advertisement:
    • Word of God says that the Mystics lacked the will to act, above all else. The Skeksis represent the power of will and the desire to act; the mystics represent the wisdom and understanding of right action, but have no will to accomplish it.
    • Or perhaps the Crystal is an artifact that is necessary for the continued existence of the world. If the urSkeks were to all die, the Crystal may shatter completely, plunging the world into a cataclysm. We've all seen the effects that screwing around with the crystal has had on the rest of the world.
    • At the very least, the mystics did represent some balance against the Skeksis. Even assuming the mystics were willing to commit suicide, they'd essentially just be removing both factions from Thra, but still leaving the after-effects of the Skeksis' rampage. They'd just be committing the same sin that created them all over again: Inflicting their will upon the world, heedless of the costs.
  • So, the Skeksis and the Mystics are very similar anatomically because as we find out, they are two split parts of a single being. Why then, when we finally see the two made one, the creature we are shown looks ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like either species? If one hadn't seen the movie, you would never peg the two-armed crystalline humanoids becoming long-shouted, four-armed, avian/reptilian creatures with tails. Is there some explanation/symbolism, or is this just a design error?
    • Would you ever peg a caterpillar to become a butterfly? Besides, these are aliens. With magic. One can chalk it up to Rule of Symbolism or Bizarre Alien Biology.
    • The urSkeks do have some features that are a blend of the two, like their hair being composed of long strands like a Mystic's mane, yet sticking up like Skeksis quills. But their erect stance and flat faces, being so different from both, are probably intended to make them look more "noble" and impressive to a human audience, not to be a perfect compromise between the two fragment-species.
  • So to determine the Emperor's successor the General and Chamberlain have a duel to see who can cut through a stone pillar. That's by the Chamberlain's choice. The Chamberlain shows no signs of combat prowess or skill with weapons, so why did he choose that kind of contest against a general whose very job would require some kind of military experience?
    • More than likely it's senility. The Skeksis are shadows of their former selves and are dying of old age that they have artificially prolonged. Their species, in the past, was able to destroy whole civilizations whereas now they can barely take down two Gelfings. The Chamberlain is arrogant and proud, but his lack of foresight is very, very clear as the movie progresses as is the other Skeksis who are often seen rambling.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Stone was already pretty badly carved up from previous Trials. Possibly the Chamberlain believed that he, being more agile than the bulky General, could place his cuts more precisely than his rival, potentially felling the Stone by hitting it where it was already weakened. Who knows? It might even have worked, had the General's brute force not exceeded the Stone's limits in fewer blows than the Chamberlain's precision would've required.
    • The General-cum-Emperor is awfully excited at the prospect of being made young again by drinking Essence. Perhaps he's been grousing about his aches and pains so much in the last few years that the Chamberlain believed his opponent was becoming too aged to exert himself fully?
    • For all we know, the alternative to the Trial by Stone might've been an actual Trial by Combat. The Chamberlain might simply prefer losing and being exiled to losing by getting cut to pieces.
  • What animal are the Mystics meant to resemble? The Skeksis are like a combination of bird and reptile but the Mystics are a lot harder to pin down.
    • In general body shape, they most closely resemble pangolins, or the early (flawed) depictions of hadrosaurs. Some early concept art and test puppets depicted them with beaks rather like a sea turtle's, which made them look more like their Skeksis counterparts, but this was softened to a snout to make them more aesthetically appealing.
  • In the Crystal Chamber, why didn't Jen and Kira sneak to each other once they saw each other, give Kira the shard so that she could fly on the Dark Crystal?
    • Kira can't actually fly. Both times she uses her wings, she merely glides (confirmed in the supplementary material; Gelfling girls could once fly, but not any more).
  • Why couldn't Jen have taken all three of the shards he'd identified as likely candidates, figuring out which one was needed later, rather than stick around trying to choose just one? Aughra didn't have any apparent use for the others, and the Garthim might not have trashed her place or taken her prisoner if Jen had already moved on when they arrived.
    • Possible answer: They might have thought it was safer to figure out the right one in the peaceful, quiet environment, rather then waiting until the vital moment, deep in enemy territory, when he might have been found out by that point.
    • Narrowing it down to three was the time-consuming part in any case. From there he solved it almost instantly.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: