There is perhaps nothing I’m more anxious to see hit Netflix than The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Stranger who? Black what? It’s all just filling time until we get more Gelfling and Skeksis in our lives. You know I’m right.
If you need a reminder, here’s pretty much everything we know about the show right now…
But what if you want to fill the time before its release with more Dark Crystal? What’s a Podling to do? I’m so glad you asked. Turns out, there are a number of ways.
The Dark Crystal: 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray
I mean, you could always go back to the source: the classic 1982 epic fantasy. The film has had a solid Blu-ray release for a long time now, but coming in March is a phenomenal new 4K release. The 4K restoration also serves as the basis for the 1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray. So, even if you already own the film, you may want to consider picking it up again. The disc comes with a fair sampling of bonus features, including the brand-new behind-the-scenes documentary The Myth, Magic, and Henson Legacy.
The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History
This is just a stunning book, hands down. Insight Editions is known for top-quality production and sumptuous design, and The Ultimate Visual History, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of the film, lives up to that reputation. The book is a comprehensive look at the day-to-day production of the film – from the script to the sets to the character designs to the puppetry to the film’s release and reception. Every page is a treasure, overflowing with concept sketches, original illustrations, and photographs. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at what was involved in the making of the film, and it’ll give you a whole new appreciation for what Henson and his team accomplished. Plus, the book also includes lots of fun reproductions (sketches, memos, and notes) randomly inserted throughout. The Ultimate Visual History is a must-own for every fan of The Dark Crystal.
J.M. Lee’s Prequel Novels
In 2013, Grosset & Dunlap (an imprint of Penguin Random House) and The Jim Henson Company launched The Dark Crystal Author Quest, which was a competition to find an author for a new YA series of books set in the world of The Dark Crystal. J.M. Lee’s story was chosen out of nearly 500 submissions, and it ultimately became the first book of the series: Shadows of the Dark Crystal. The follow-up book, Song of the Dark Crystal, continues the story of Naia, a young Gelfling woman who leaves her secluded home to uncover the truth surrounding the disappearance of her brother, accused of treason by the Skeksis. The series takes place years before the film and is heavily steeped in the lore of the world. If you want to take a deep dive into The Dark Crystal and the world of Thra, this is where you can do exactly that.
The Power of the Dark Crystal
Boom! Studios and imprint Archaia have been incredible custodians of The Dark Crystal in graphic novel form. On top of publishing the novelization and the phenomenal Creation Myths series, the past year has seen the release of the 12-issue The Power of the Dark Crystal series. Where J.M. Lee’s novels explore events prior to the film, The Power of the Dark Crystal looks in the other direction. Taking place years after the film, it concerns Jen and Kira as a king and queen distracted by power. The crystal has become broken again, Thra is once again sick, and a young Fireling sets out to heal her world. Issue #10 just came out this month, so there’s still time to catch up before it concludes (but there are only two more issues to go, so don’t delay). The second collection will be released in April.
The Dark Crystal: A Discovery Adventure
Hot on the heels of The Power of the Dark Crystal, Archaia is putting out a gorgeously illustrated adaptation of the original film called A Discovery Adventure. The book, which follows Jen and Kira on their quest to restore the crystal, comes out in May and looks like it’ll be a fantastic entry point to the franchise for younger readers. The book also promises “bonus challenges that take viewers deeper into the enchanting landscapes, Crystal Castle, and Aughra’s Observatory.”