SDCC 2019: Mark Hamill and Taron Egerton Praise the “Inspiring” Work of Puppeteers in Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Netflix

Fans who showed up to the panel for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance hoping to see the stars were in for a special treat at San Diego Comic-Con. The Hall H panel not only included stars Taron Egerton and Mark Hamill but it also screened the full first episode of the new Netflix series.

Based on Jim Henson’s 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, the new fantasy series serves as a prequel and follows three Gelfling who discover a horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power. With this knowledge, they set out on an epic journey to start a rebellion and save their world. Just like with Henson’s original film, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was made using classic puppetry alongside cutting edge visual effects.

In addition to the first episode, the panel also showed a sneak peek of the making of documentary special:

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, written by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews, in addition to writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach,  has been in the making for five years. Joining Egerton and Hamill at the panel were executive producer Lisa Henson (daughter of Jim Henson) and executive producer and director Louis Leterrier. The latter said Netflix wanted the entire production to be made with puppet, which makes every shot more challenging for the director.

“We can never forget about the incredibly hard work of the puppeteers. It’s extreme physicality,” Henson said. “It’s hard to explain. You just have to see it and see the nuance and delicacy.”

Leterrier said the “true heroes are the puppeteers” and he’s glad to shine a light on their incredible talent. “CGI is the norm now,” Leterrier said, commenting that puppets provide an amazing and expressive alternative. “There’s more puppeteering, more captured on camera than on anything I’ve ever done.”

Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Netflix

“The amount of craft that goes into the making of the puppets, the artistry that goes into those creatures, and then the guys who operate them,” Egerton said. “We arrive and it’s there. It’s inspiring in itself, the work that everyone else has done kind of feeds your performance.”

Hamill was clearly delighted to be involved in the project saying, “I never thought it would come back when I saw the original. Funny that would never dream of going  back to something that you were known for, so long before.”

“To be able to do the things you loved as a kid,” Hamill added, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’m so grateful.”

The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance premieres August 30 on Netflix.

Stephanie Coats