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YMMV / The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Skeksis and the Mystics, both of whom get a thorough fleshing out and more complex motivations.
    • Ingesting the Gelfling essence plunges the Skeksis into a kind of addicted madness and they were never the most stellar of individuals before, but opinions are divided as to how bad they were pre-essence, how much of a direct role the substance itself played, and whose fault it was that they started down this road in the first place. It would explain why the Chamberlain abstained from drinking essence: he didn't want his mind polluted like the others.
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    • The majority of the Mystics spend the season in hiding and we learn that they're highly reluctant to tackle the mounting Skeksis problem themselves, whether it's through pushing reunification or confronting them directly. They're said to be "unimpressed" when the Wanderer suggests the former, and it's unclear whether they're strategically playing the long game (waiting for the Great Conjunction to move to the castle, which happens at the end of the 1982 film) or simply as fallible and afraid of death as everyone else.
    • Were the Skeksis always an Always Chaotic Evil race or were they more on a Blue and Orange Morality scale and became corrupted due to Immortality Immorality?
    • Do the Heretic and the Wanderer actually want to be rejoined and lose their individualities in the process? Or have they simply concluded it's the least unpleasant path forward and/or the best one for Thra?
  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack by Daniel Pemberton.
    • ''Story of the Dark Crystal'' chillingly captures the sinister side of the Skeksis that's about to become overt over the course of the series, and the expected reprise of the 1982 film's main theme can be found here.
    • ''Together We Fight'' is a desperate variation of the main theme that plays when Ordon and Rian fight skekMal.
    • ''What Lies At The Dream's End'', the heartbreaking piece which accompanies the Archer's sacrifice.
    • ''All-Maudra Ceremony Song'' A simple but hauntingly beautiful song performed by Rian, Deet, Brea, Hup, Kylan, Naia, and Gurjin as a makeshift funeral for All-Maudra Mayrin. Also, the instrumental version, ''Speak for the Dead''.
  • Complete Monster: Emperor skekSo is the greedy, depraved ruler of the Skeksis. Upon discovering the Dark Crystal can extract the essence of Gelflings, skekSo, to prolong his life, plans on a mass draining of Geflings, purging his own palace guard and plotting to attack the Gelfling clans to harvest as many as possible. Abandoning all pretense of benevolence, skekSo is fit to have his own Skeksis tortured and mistreated for failure, having the scientist skekTek's eye eaten by a Peeper Beetle at one point. Making a deal with the Arathim to crush the Gelflings, skekSo plots to abandon them to their deaths when their purpose is served and eventually leads his troops to smash the Gelfling resistance, bent on massacring them and harvesting the survivors. By the time of the first film, skekSo is responsible for the genocide of the Gelfling race, willing to condemn countless beings to stave off his own death.
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  • Continuity Lock-Out: For viewers who have only ever seen the original movie and not read any of the supplemental materials, the nature of Aughra's whole "I am Thra!" personality might seem a bit out of left field. In the film, she was portrayed as a crotchety old Yoda-type at best, and a confused, reactionary Cloud Cuckoolander at worst, with almost no stakes in the plot whatsoever. These viewers could thus easily be forgiven for not realizing that Aughra is, in fact, the literal avatar of the world of Thra, the first living thing, born of the crystal and the planet itself, as described in the prequel comic series The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths. Even the Netfilx series' opening narration only vaguely hints at this fact, but doesn't actually explain any of it.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Skeksis yet again, with the "awesome" part of equation amplified by new members like skekMal the Hunter.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Cadia completely losing his memory would be horrifying, except for Eddie Izzard's comedy skills making him so inexplicably happy about having no idea who he is and cheerfully shouting "Hello!" to everyone he meets.
    • The Collector’s head exploding. Especially since it’s preempted with them saying "That wasn’t so bad!".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • SkekGra the Heretic has quickly proven popular for his generally lovable personality and for being the only non-hostile Skeksis in the entire franchise.
    • His mystic counterpart urGoh the Wanderer has also become a fan favorite for being a humorous member of the typically stoic mystics in addition to his banter with skekGrah.
    • SkekMal the Hunter, in contrast to his more decadent brethren, is a savage, vicious and athletic killer voiced imposingly by Ralph Ineson, who comes off as a great threat all on his own. Coupled with a terrific design, this has made him quite a fan favorite.
    • Likewise, his counterpart urVa the Archer is beloved for being the flat out most noble of the Mystics, being willing to actually do something from helping Aughra to killing himself for the sake of everything.
    • Hup, the Badass Adorable Podling who wants to be a Paladin. His humorous moments, his fearless bravery, and his earnest desire to do good combined with his heartwrenching breakdown of self-loathing after being humiliatingly tossed aside like he was nothing by skekMal has gotten just about everyone in his corner.
    • It's generally agreed that the fandom will riot if anything happens to skekTek's bird.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some fans theorize that the series is going to branch into its own Alternate Continuity in which the Gelflings actually win, thanks to Aughra's line about seeing numerous possible futures, and the Sanctuary Tree's vision of the future appearing to feature Rian restoring the Crystal shard just as Jen did in the film. Though others believe the shard Rian uses is a false shard, like the extra ones Aughra had in the movie, especially since it only goes in halfway.
  • Even Better Sequel: A rare prequel example, that is. While The Dark Crystal's reputation has grown over the years to the point of becoming a Cult Classic, many still consider the film to be rather weak in terms of plot, writing, and characters. Age of Resistance has been widely acclaimed and faces no such criticism, though having ten hours to develop a story vs one hour and a half surely helps.
  • Evil Is Cool: Besides the Nostalgia Filter or the All-Star Cast, one of the main reasons people probably wanted to watch this show is to see the Skeksis getting their evil on.
  • Fanon: SkekGra and urGoh are often portrayed as hippies in the fandom, which includes allusions to them getting high in their free time. Due to Ho Yay undertones of their relationship, they're also a very popular ship.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Quite a few fans suspect that Tavra being permanently bonded to the Arathim allowed her mind to survive in their hive when her body was killed, especially given the oddity of introducing such an intriguing change to a character only to immediately kill them off. This is helped by the fact that this turns out to be her fate in the YA novels.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: The Heretic Skeksis, skekGra, and Wanderer Mystic, urGoh, have lived together for a long time, bicker (at least on skekGra's part) Like an Old Married Couple, and seek to become one being once again, being literally each other's other half.
  • Jerkass Woobie: SkekTek is a nasty individual who plays a major role in getting the Skeksis' villany ball rolling, but he's also routinely bullied by the other Skeksis, has his eye ripped out by a hungry beetle, and sincerely loves the little bird-creature he keeps as a pet. It's also telling he's treated like trash despite being the one keeping the entire Skeksis race alive.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Anyone who's seen the movie won't be too concerned about Aughra dying.
  • Love to Hate: The Skeksis, naturally.
  • Moe: Because of her name, Puppy-Dog Eyes, gentleness and curious personality, Deet manages to be incredibly cute and sympathetic.
  • Narm:
    • Seladon's new Skeksis-esque wardrobe is so obviously evil that it's a little too on-the-nose and seems to work against the idea that she simply thinks she's in the right.
    • Deet's spasms when absorbing the darkening discharges from the emperor in the last episode can be considered this.
    • The whole starting premise of the show is that the Gelflings all have the wool pulled over their eyes by characters who were first created to be over-the-top Obviously Evil fantasy villains. That the Skeksis were, at one point, far more affable leaders is information found only in side material, and without knowing this, the Gelfling seem pretty clueless.
    • The Skeksis will occasionally break out into spontaneous dance parties when things go right for them and it's always impossible to take seriously. The one viewed by a crying, traumatized Rian immediately following Mira's death is especially hilarious.
  • Nausea Fuel: The show has a rather surprising theme of gut-churning fluids flying in all directions in virtually every episode.
    • Pus frequently oozes out of skekLach the Collector's pustules, some of which falls into his food, which he promptly gobbles up.
    • The Emperor's rotting fingers ooze white pus. What's underneath his nose plate is also quite unpleasant.
    • The scene where skekAyuk the Gourmand urinates three streams onto the walls.
    • SkekTek begins experimenting on a dead Arathim. After shocking its organs, they spew green gunk all over his face and into his mouth.
  • One True Pairing: Most fans agree that Rian and Deet make a cute couple.
  • Signature Scene: The puppet show in episode 7 (done with help from youtuber Barnaby Dixon) has become one of the most well-known and praised moments of the show.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: It takes the entire first half of the season for all the heroes to meet and get on the same page with the stakes they're facing. Luckily, most reviews agree Tropes Are Not Bad in this case, as it allows for a ton of development for the world and characters beyond what the original film was able to do.
  • Too Cool to Live: SkekMal the Hunter, being the strongest Skeksis who was agile and fast, being able to capture Rian twice. The second time he had to be killed by urVa, his Mystic counterpart, committing suicide in order to be stopped. Also applies to urVa, since he's the first Mystic to have actual combat skills.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Arathim that implant themselves on Gelflings to force them into their collective mind? Terrifying. The lone Arathim carrying Aughra's eyeball on its back to help her spy on the Skeksis? Adorable.
    • The peeper beetle. Yes, it's The Dreaded and it eats your eyes, but it's soooo cute with its traditionally Muppety eyes. It really looks like something Jim Henson would've made back in the day.
    • The Skeksis themselves. How cute you find them will largely depend on how cute you find vultures, but it doesn't hurt that they're noticeably more colorful and expressive this go around.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The original film’s practical effects are all faithfully recreated to again make Thra a truly living, breathing world, and now with the ability to add some subtle CGI touches for things that would be impossible with puppets.note 
    • Even better is the exposition scene in Episode 7, where more traditional types of puppets, such as hand puppets and shadow puppets, are used by skekGra and urGoh to explain to the Gelfling protagonists what long-time fans of the original movie already do. In order words, you have puppets puppeteering puppets for other puppets.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: SkekLach, who was referred to as male in the manga, and now has a female voice actor. Then again, with the manga now rendered at least partially non-canon (being that skekLach the Collector was alive and well through the Garthim Wars in the manga, whereas the very first Garthim was only just created at the end of the first TV season after skekLach was already killed), The Collector's gender is up for interpretation. More blatantly, skekEkt has gone from having a male voice actor in the movie to a female one in the show. If some of the earlier notes on the original movie (such as the behind-the-scenes and the novelization) are still canon, the Skeksis are either agender or hermaphrodites as are their counterparts, the Mystics.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Much more so than in the original. We get dialogue that frequently lapses into Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, a Skeksis pissing, sexual innuendos, some very overt violence, and attempted genocide. One of the show runners has said their mission statement was "It's The Dark Crystal, not The Happy Crystal."
  • Win Back the Crowd: The Henson Company had attracted a lot of Snark Bait following the abysmal failure of The Happytime Murders, which left some to question the Henson family's ability to pull off the series following its announcement. Any snark or doubt against the company faded after the first trailer dropped, before dying out altogether with the series earning high acclaim from critics and fans alike.
  • The Woobie: The Gruenaks have it all: their species was wiped out by the Skeksis, they were enslaved by the Skeksis, the Chamberlain stitched their mouth shut, promised them freedom then screwed them...


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