DIRECTED BY JIM HENSON & FRANK OZ
WRITTEN BY JIM HENSON & DAVID ODELL
STARRING: STEPHEN GARLICK, LISA MAXWELL, BILLIE WHITELAW, PERCY EDWARDS
RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 17, 1982
AGE RECOMMENDED: 7 AND UP
Another Jim Henson masterpiece. Jim Henson was one of those one in a million directors but he most special talent was as a puppeteer; and for more than 30 years everybody has grow up with his creations: Sesame street, The muppets, Yoda, etc. In 1982 when the movie was made was ground breaking and create the basis for animatronics uses in modern movies.
This movie is one of that movies perfect for kids because transport them in a world of fantasy and magic. In some parts can be a little bit scary but like Star Wars the children gonna ask for it over and over again.
Jen believes he is the last of the Gelflings. After his parents were killed by the Garthim (soldiers conjured by the Skeksis), he was raised in a lush valley in which the Mystics reside.
When Jen’s master is on his deathbed, he calls Jen to his side and reveals that Jen’s destiny is to “heal” the Dark Crystal by finding the shard, which may be found at Aughra’s observatory. As Jen’s master dies, the Skeksis emperor dies as well, resulting in a confrontation between the Chamberlain and the General, who both desire to succeed him. The matter is settled with a trial in which the General is victorious. He immediately becomes emperor and the Chamberlain is stripped of his clothes and exiled from the palace in rags. Moments later, the Crystal summons the Skeksis and informs them of Jen’s existence – one of their many Crystal Bat spies has spotted him, relaying his image to a facet of the Crystal.
Jen reaches Aughra, a scholar of an unknown race, who takes him to her observatory. There he discovers the crystal shard, which is hidden among others like it, he found it when he play his flute and the crystal resonate. In the process, Jen learns of the upcoming Great Conjunction by means of Aughra’s assisted predictions, but learns little of its connection to the shard before the Garthim arrive and destroy Aughra’s observatory. Aughra is captured, but Jen escapes into the jungle.
Jen spends the night in a swamp, while Aughra is taken to the castle of the crystal, where she indignantly rebukes and mocks the Skeksis, scoffing at their blustery claims of power and promising Jen’s arrival to destroy them. Meanwhile, the Mystics hear the calls of the Crystal and leave their valley to travel to the Castle.
The next day, Jen awakens in marshes, where he is frightened by a dog-like pet known as Fizzgig and meets another Gelfling, Kira. They stay for a night amongst the Podlings who raised Kira after the death of her parents. Their rest is short-lived, as a Garthim raiding party attacks the village. Kira, Jen, and Fizzgig escape the attack when the Chamberlain appears and mysteriously calls off the Garthim, but many Podlings are captured and taken as slaves. Blaming himself for the Garthim raid, Jen throws away the crystal shard, whereupon Kira reassures him that he is not to blame.
In the morning, they discover a ruined Gelfling City. The discarded shard lies outside, almost as if it were pointing the way in. Kira takes the shard, and as they explore the city, they find a draw where Jen reads the prophecy of the Crystal. They learn that it is part of the Dark Crystal and must be reinserted to restore integrity. The Chamberlain suddenly appears, and attempts to convince them that he wishes to help, but they refuse and escape. Riding on furry, long-legged Landstriders, the Gelflings arrive at the Castle of the Crystal, where they see the Garthim that attacked Kira’s village.Kira and Jen ride in to free the captured Podlings while the Landstriders fight the Garthim to distract them from the rescue effort.
The Gelflings fail to rescue the Podlings and find the Garthim, who have slain the Landstriders, closing in on them at the edge of the deep moat that encircles the castle. Sweeping Jen and Fizzgig into her arms, Kira jumps off the cliff and floats gently to the bottom, revealing that female Gelflings have wings. At the bottom of the gully, Jen and Kira enter the castle via an undefended sewer entrance to the lower parts of the castle. The Chamberlain meets them again and attempts to convince them to offer peace to the Skeksis. As Jen and Kira attempt to escape, the Chamberlain seizes Kira. Fearing for Kira’s safety, Jen strikes the Chamberlain, using the crystal shard as a dagger and wounding the Chamberlain’s hand. Concurrently, a Mystic suffers a spontaneous wound on his hand in the corresponding location. Enraged, the Chamberlain pulls a support beam from the ceiling, causing a cave-in on Jen. The Chamberlain then takes Kira prisoner, believing Jen to be dead.
For capturing Kira, the General restores the Chamberlain to his office. On the suggestion of a Skeksis scientist, the General decides to regain his youth by draining Kira’s life essence, recalling that its potency allows a Skeksis emperor to maintain his youth for longer periods than did that of the Podlings on whom emperors have been forced to rely since the Gelfling genocide. Kira maintains a telepathic connection with Jen, who is still conscious. Only a few drops of the “everlasting essence” are drawn from Kira before she, urged by the telepathic voice of Jen and by the captured Aughra, calls out to the animals imprisoned in the laboratory. They break free and attack the Skeksis scientist, who falls into the pit of lava beneath the Crystal. At the same moment, far across the land, a Mystic bursts into flames and vanishes. Kira escapes as her bond with Jen gives him the strength to escape the cave-in, but he is separated from Fizzgig during a confrontation with the Garthim. Aughra escapes her prison while the Mystics enter the castle.
The three suns begin to align as the two Gelflings meet back up at the Crystal chamber. The Skeksis arrive to prepare for the immortality that they will gain from the Conjunction if the Crystal is not restored. Jen leaps onto the Crystal, but the shard falls from his hands; Kira grabs it, but is surrounded by the Skeksis. She throws the shard to Jen, whereupon the Ritual Master kills her. When the Conjunction begins, Jen places the shard in its appropriate place, unifying the crystal as the Mystics arrive. When the Garthim shatter and the Skeksis’ influence on the castle crumbles, the Mystics and Skeksis reunite into their original incarnation as the urSkeks, a mystical amalgam of both races. The leader speaks to Jen of their history, and restores Kira to life. Then he and his brethren depart the current plane of exisrence, leaving the Crystal and an injunction to “make your world in its light” to the Gelflings. Outside, the devastated world has been restored to its former beauty and harmony.
When single shines the triple sun,
What was sundered and undone
Shall be whole, the two made one,
By Gelfling hand, or else by none.