Thirty-five years ago, on December 17, 1982, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal opened in theaters. It wasn’t a runaway hit when it came out, but has found cultlike status among Henson fans in its long life since its run in the theater. The plot follows Jen, a gelfling, as he embarks on a quest to save the world from becoming dominated by the cruel and evil skeksis.
It’s a bizarre and darker movie than Henson was known for at the time, but the creature designs are ethereal and strange and the plot has philosophical undertones. I decided to watch it again to see how it holds up, so let’s dive in!
1. I love this soundtrack so much. Trevor Jones killed it with this score.
2. “Another world. Another time. In the age of wonder. A thousand years ago, this land was green and good.” Take me there, I wanna go there.
3. The skeksis are vulture-buzzard hybrids that bumble about like the hell-version of Mrs. Havisham.
4. “This is the way of the skeksis, as they ravage the land,” finding a way to prolong their own soul-sucking lives. Hm, who does that remind me of? *cough*
5. These puppets are so good, the slight twitching of lips and eyes, and the gullets breathing. Downright eerie.
6. This narrator sounds like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Is Sir Alec Guinness somewhere in the back like, "I don’t know what the hell this movie is about either, but I have got to make that paper." (I looked it up and it is not, in fact, Alec Guinness but rather someone else doing a very good Alec Guinness impression.)
7. The mystics should definitely invest in some auto-tune.
8. Okay, NAKED GELFLING JEN JUST PLAYIN’ HIS PAN PIPE. NO BIG DEAL. NOT WEIRD AT ALL. NOPE. How am I supposed to pay attention to the narration when this weird puppet is sitting there naked playing a pan pipe? I have really weird memories of thinking Jen was very cute as a child??? Is this like fox(y) Robin Hood level weird orrrrr …
9. “You must find the shard before the three suns.” And now I’m having intense Zelda flashbacks. All those shards. So many shards.
10. I love that the skeksis are disgusting and evil, but really it’s because they’re obsessed with bureaucracy and social order.
11. “I HATE YOUR WHIMPER.” Same, bro needs to stop whining.
12. The dying emperor sounds like a demonic Elmo.
13. Aww, the mystics get such a pretty, sparkly death compared to the skeksis just turning to dust in the grossest way.
14. What? The mystics can send over belongings to the afterlife? OK, if I die, someone do this circle and send me my Spider-Man onesie, my WiiU, and my laptop. Thanks!
15. Awwwww poor lil' poddlings.
16. … So the skeksis choose their emperor by who can … hit a rock… the hardest. You know, considering 2017, I don't hate the idea of Trial by Stone to find leadership.
17. Ew, naked skeksis. Why are so many puppets in this movie naked?
18. The Garthim are disgusting and amazing but they’re so gross, like giant bed bugs.
19. I mean, every culture has their own ideas of beauty – I appreciate that the skeksis haven’t kowtowed to what is “conventional” beauty. Do it up, queens!
20. How can we bring Jim Henson back? All these creatures are so amazing and varied.
21. GEDDIT AUGHRA, THE BADDEST B*TCH.
22. Aughra’s boobs, though. Someone molded her nipples. That was someone’s job.
23. It cracks me up whenever they use a child with a Jen mask on to run around bc it makes Jen’s head look freakin’ massive.
24. Give me my Aughra prequel.
25. This first meeting between Jen and Aughra is Yoda meeting Luke levels of ridiculousness.
26. In the grand tradition of over-inflated male characters, Jen’s internal monologue is so boring. It is also so monotone. “Oh no. Right in the mud.” Do you care, Jen? It doesn’t sound like you do.
27. Yas, Kira and Fizzgig! Here to give this movie some much-needed oomph!
28. I LOVE TINY BABY GELFLING.
29. “Everywhere I go, I learn the shapes of kindness.” This whole dreamfasting sequence breaks my heart and I love it.
31. Worst family dinner ever. I may never eat again after watching that sequence. So gross.
32. SURPRISE B*TCH IT’S AUGHRA
33. Aughra is my hero.
34. Kira’s voice is so much better than the mystics’. Sorry, not sorry.
35. This movie is one long tumblr ~*aesthetic*~ moodboard.
36. But to be real, Kira is the real hero of this movie. Jen is the farmboy who relies on her.
37. Podlings are SO CUTE. I love them, my innocent potato face babies.
38. “It’s called the great … the great … something or the other.” JEN YOU HAVE ONE JOB. PAY ATTENTION.
39. NOOOO THE PODLINGS NOOOOOO. I’m like that stoned bro who saw the bear fall into the river, I swear to God.
40. Kira is here thinking of the greater good and trying to save Jen before her own family when the garthim show up at the party like the worst party crashers of all time.
41. Oh my god, “I WISH I’D NEVER HEARD OF THIS SHARD.” Kira literally just saved you, Jen (instead of her family), so you can save the world … and you have a tantrum and throw away the one thing you need?! But aw poor widdle baby hurt his awm, aw poor widdle baby.
42. This movie is amazing because Jen would be nowhere without Kira and Aughra. It’s like real life. Women get sh*t done.
43. Jen has some seriously Episode-IV-whiney-Luke vibes (don’t @ me. I love Luke).
44. I think I actually might be Fizzgig.
45. “Out there is the great shaft of the castle.” Uhhhh, is there not a better way to say that or …
46. This podling scene is so sad!!! Old man potato is so sad :(
47. Kira is such a badass!! Straight into battle! No hesitation! Yas queen! F*ck those Garthim up!!!
48. Okay, that said, you didn’t need to let those animals who just brought you to the castle out of the goodness of their hearts just die without even a word of thanks, gelflings.
49. “Wings. I don’t have wings.”
“Of course not. You’re a boy.” I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
50. Jen telling Kira to be careful like she hasn’t proven a hundred times over that she can handle her own damn self.
51. Nooo, don’t damsel now, Kira! Why are you calling for Jen when he’s been so useless the whole time!
52. Aughra giving Kira actual good advice, while Jen just screams “Fight them!” Thanks, Jen. Super helpful.
53. Someone replace all the skeksis voices with posh British accents, please. I think it’d be even scarier.
54. Jen should wear a shirt that says “Oh, no.”
55.Those garthim literally just gave Jen the hole to escape through. No wonder they can’t catch a gelfling.
56. JEN, DO YOUR JOB. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR KIRA. SHE IS FINE, SHE DOESN’T NEED YOU. MY GIRL SAVED HERSELF.
57. Jen! Why are you hesitating??? “The suns. The shard. The crystal.” WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO YOURSELF?! Seriously, he should’ve just given the shard to Kira, to begin with. … Oh my god what are you waiting for what are you waiting for Jen is killing me right now what are you waiting for?
58. He finally jumps and then he DROPS THE SHARD. Kira is the best. Kira deserves everything.
59. “Give us the shard and you can go free.”
“NO!” – Kira
“Yes! Just don’t harm her.” – Jen
Oh my god Jen is the worst. THINK WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT WITH YOUR D*CK.
(My friend, sitting on the couch next to me, ‘I don’t know if gelflings have d*cks.’)
60. Team Kira deserved better.
61. Fizzgig for president.
62. Look at lil baby Jen cry.
63. Oh yes, I forgot, the mystics combining with the skeksis is the inspiration for my favorite Spice Girls song, When 2 Become 1.
64. I love the skeksis and the mystics combine and just basically become a ton of Jack Frosts.
65. “Hey, can I have my girlfriend back? Even though she saved the day and I’m basically trash and don’t deserve her?”