The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance panel began with a showing of the teaser, with extra trembling bass, showcasing the improved visual look of the world of Thra. More technically amazing Skekses, Gelflings, Aughra, Landstriders, and new fairies and other creatures.
Lisa Henson, Louis Leterrier, Taron Egorton, and Mark Hamill then came onstage to rapturous applause. Egorton recalled seeing the original movie hen he was five with his father. What he loved was that it frightened him…just a little bit. And he loved that. Hamill compared the property to Return to Oz, and recalled telling Gary Kurtz about Age of Resistance before he died. Kurtz had read the script, and told Hamill it was really good. Hamill says even nw he can’t wait to see it.
A new making-of trailer was shown, with practical effects and matte paintings combined with some modern techniques like puppeteers in bluescreen suits, and greenscreen backgrounds. More eye-popping images ensue, with armored Gelflings in swordfights with Skekses, giant worms, a big flying stingray-like creature, Aughra rallying the troops, the Skekses drawing power from the crystal, and more.
RELATED: Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey and More Join Netflix’s Dark Crystal Series
Egorton plays Rian, a Gelfling in servitude to Skekses who sees a fellow Gelfling drained of his energy, which has a profound effect on him. Hamill joked about how his agent wished he would have been Alfred instead of the Joker on Batman, because Alfred’s in every episode. But now he gets typecast as villains. One of his favorite experiences ever was being Luke Skywalker on The Muppet Show, and he’s always loved puppets. Calls himself the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what he loved as a kid for a living. He used to wonder when you grow out of those things, and he never did. Describes coming back to older properties as “found couch money.” You put on an old pair of pants and find money in there you didn’t know you had.
Voice acting sessions ran four hours, and include what’s called a “presence pass,” which includes breathing, grunts, body sounds. Hamill says it makes you light-headed and you don’t need drugs.
Henson was a P.A. in pre-production of the original film while she was a folklore student in college. Because the original world was fully developed before the script, a lot of material remained that informs the new series. The vast majority of characters are new.
RELATED: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Teaser Trailer debuts
Leterrier, who directed every episode, pointed out that the eye of the scientist came from a Darth Vader TIE fighter model, and a tiny Vader model is actually inside. Netflix insisted the show be done with puppets; Leterrier called the original the most important puppet movie of all time. “Every shot is the most complicated shot of my career. Every shot is a nightmare.” He announced that there will be a making-of documentary after the series.
Egorton described the vocal performances as just one layer of a large cake. It was easy to find the character’s voices when they saw all the creative work. Henson called this the most important thing she and her siblings have done since running the company. “To be in Hall H saying it’s real is like the greatest moment of my career,” she said, remembering times when it was nearly a movie and she had announced stalled attempts before.
On Kingsman, Egorton had been heartbroken not to directly work with Hamill, and as voice actors nobody worked together on Dark Crystal, so meeting him now is a geekout moment.
RELATED: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Gets New Photos, Premiere Date
The panel turned to audience Q&A. Leterrier confirms we will see some of the original characters: “We have some Fizzgigs!”
A fan asked Hamill to do his voice, and Henson gave him permission. What ensued sounded like a higher-pitched Joker with sinus issues. He thinks kids will love it because the love being scared. “In The Wizard of Oz, you see the witch, you pee your pants!”
Asked to name their favorite Netflix originals, Hamill names Dead to Me. Egorton stammers for a bit before saying Stranger Things. Then after some badgering by Leterrier, admits he hasn’t seen it.
David Glanzer of Comic-Con then emerged to give Hamill the Comic-Con Icon Award. He accepted to a massive standing ovation, and sang the new Child’s Play “You are my buddy” song to the fans.
And then the big surprise: we get to see the entire first episode! Stay tuned for our review…
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
A peek at the forthcoming Netflix series.
A closer look at ancient text. (Netflix)
The Skeksis' lair. (Netflix)
One of the hero characters in the new series. (Netflix)
A look at a couple of the Skeksis. (Netflix)
A Skeksis in the heat of battle. (Netflix)
A first look at one of the hero characters. (Netflix)