With The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance moving ever closer to our screens, we’ve been locked away in our mountaintop aerie trying to work out just where the film fits into the sprawling canonical timeline of the Dark Crystal franchise. Though Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 masterpiece has never had an on-screen sequel, the magical universe that contains Gelflings, Skeksis, Garthim, and many more fantastical creatures has continued to grow via novels and comics. To get a full idea of where in the timeline the new Netflix series sits, we’re looking back at the history of the radical fantasy franchise.
The Age of Innocence
The earliest recorded time in The Dark Crystal is known as The Age of Innocence and the key event here was the birth of Aughra the Astronomer. Fans will likely recognize the one-eyed mystic from the original movie. She played a key part in Jen’s quest but this was decades before the events of the movie and also a very long time before the prequel series is set. Other notable moments in the canon are the birth of Aughra’s son and the connection that the astronomer made with the Gelfling who taught her about Dreamfasting, or telepathic communication.
The First Great Conjunction
In the world of Dark Crystal, a conjunction is an “astronomical event where the three suns of Thra—the Greater Sun, Rose Sun and Dying Sun—appear to converge at a single point in the sky.” They often align with massive changes in the culture, history, and eras of Thra. The ability to tracking the conjunctions is why astronomer Aughra is so vital to the world. Story-wise, this is a huge moment as The First Great Conjunction saw the arrival of the powerful alien beings known as The UrSkeks, sparking what is known as…
The Age of Harmony
The UrSkeks essentially function as gods in the world of Dark Crystal. Like so many deities before them, they are credited for bringing enlightenment to the world of the Gelfling. This was the era when the elfish creatures thrived after being gifted with the knowledge and skills to build and evolve. The strange omnipotent beings also have a deep connection with Aughra, who was the first Thra native to lay eyes on them. The sight almost blinded her but she was later healed by the UrSkeks, allowing her to take on her role as astronomer in the mountaintop observatory (built by the alien race) that fans will know from the cult film.
The Second Great Conjunction – The Age of Division
After the second strange space alignment, the world of Thra was thrown into disarray. The main reason that this era matter is because it was when the Skeksis began to betray the world and take control of the Castle of the Crystal and the magic artifact inside it. From what we know and what we’ve seen from the trailers, this seems like the most likely moment for Age of Resistance to take place.
Age of Resistance?
According to the official Dark Crystal timeline, it seems like the series will be set during the so-called Age of Division, but before the Garthim War. This is a relatively new addition to the history that the site holds, but it describes the adventures of a young Gelfling called Rian (Taron Egerton) set alongside Naia (Hannah John-Kamen) who will also star in Age of Resistance. This is particularly interesting as the latter character has been the focus of a series of Dark Crystal books by J.M. Lee; this cements the fact that the previous canon will definitely be a part of the new vision for Thra and the Dark Crystal.
The Garthim War
If you’ve watched the original Dark Crystal, you’ll know that the Garthim are dark and evil creatures who have been turned by the Skekis and their control of the crystal. We got a glimpse at some in the last trailer for Age of Resistance so know that we’ll be seeing them in the new show. The Garthim War was the spark of the war that killed all of the Gelfling except for Jen and Kira who survived and went on to restore the crystal and beat the Skeksis in Dark Crystal.
The Third Great Conjunction – The Age of Power
This is basically the happy ending that we know; the Gelfling are restored and take back control of the Crystal Shards. It’ll be interesting to see what the new series adds to what is essentially an already finished story, and we cannot wait to learn all the secrets of the Age of Resistance.
Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance hits Netflix on August 30.
Images: Netflix, Jim Henson Studio