Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thoughts on The Dark Crystal


At the course they told us to pick a movie and analyse it.  Since I was already researching Brian Froud, who designed almost everything and continues to make beautiful art.

BUT after about a week of watching movies they forced us to choose from a list.  This, in a word, was rather infuriating.

So here I am, sitting on an actual essay that is now actually redundant which means that I shall free it to live in the ether with the hopes that it helps someone sometime somewhere.

  • The dark crystal audience was not kids except it was it both was an wasn't. it has aged so well because it doesn't talk down to the audience in that condescending way that kids movies do (to the very young Barney) 


  • GEN
    Characters have no real arc. Gen does - he is the classic hero but mystics don’t nor do Skeksis. They are both trapped in the past. Repeating ritual because that’s what they've always done.
  • KIRA
    My only complaint is that perhaps the character of Kira could have been expanded to make her a bit stronger. She can talk to the animals and Aaugra somehow knows this. I mean the scene works but having her follow orders like that is something that I’m not fond of.
    Aaugra knew about Kira this whole time well enough to know that she could dr dolittle all over the place but she never let Gen know that he wasn't the last of his kind. Her first lines him are “Gelfing all dead. You can’t be gelfing"

    Aaugra apparently was born from the rocks so theat they would have a voice and eyes to see (this is revealed in the art of the dark crystal) but in the movie we are never told anything other than she is a wisewoman which is just a little vague for my liking. We can all see that she’s a power, her only reaction upon being captured by the garthim is to give the Skeksies a piece of her mind. 


  • The world is suffering and dying under the rule of the Skeksis but they don’t care for anything except themselves and even then judging from their ragged finery, not much.

    The Skeksies present a beautiful of example of ragged elegance where they were once fine and powerful but over time have withered away to almost nothing. The big question I have about them is if they were to win and live forever would they continue in this way or would they get clothing of a higher quality?

    With the wearing away of time the old rituals and the mystics themselves are dying out. This is why Gen is necessary.

  • Didn't pick up the shard after Gen had thrown it away. 
  • Didn't take the Gelfings hostage while they slept but waited for them to find the ruins. It might sound dumb but this actually plays into his character quite well. 
  • Chamberin progression character wise? Not really he’s a conniving character with a simpering whimper. 
  • He’d rather achieve victory by persuasion rather than directly attacking him 
  • The movie doesn't present the viewer with a sugar coated candyland of happy smiles and forever sunshine (carebears the movie is the best example of one of these).
  • The movies central theme is one of life, death and the hope of redemption. They mystics are unable to act directly against the Skeksis because it would kill them, both groups see to have kept their dual natures secret from the the gelfings or podlings which I think is a rather interesting point for a race who are supposed to to be the Dr Jeckyles to the Skeksis Mr Hydes.
  • Interesting (at the end) that the urskeks are still as arrogant as ever (they are greateful to Gen for healing the crystal and bringing them back)  bit its pretty obvious that they view the last thousand years as little more than a minor setback.
  • At the end of the movie they leave the physical plane behind them. Gen and Kira and Aaugra are going to have to deal with the fallout of everything that’s happened people will look to them as heroes , leaders and messiahs.

    The cycle will begin again (Aaugra knows this – “end begin all same”)
  • If the world was going to pass in to the rule of evil then why aren't the mystics taking their own lives? - because good isn't the same as nice. This is merely conjecture on my part but if they had and the conjuncture had taken place without the interference of the Skeksis and the Mystics then what would have happened? We can never know. It lies outside the borders of the story. 


  1. I'm glad you were able to use the essay in some way. It's not great that they didn't tell you straight up that it was going to be list based though!

    1. On the plus side it did mean that I got to watch Dark Crystal again.

  2. Just stopping by from the a-z challenge. I remember watching this movie when I was a kid! I don't think it was one of my favourites because the characters were kind of creepy, yet that was part of the intrigue.

  3. Love the Dark Crystal - just re-watched it the other day actually. After first re-watching Labyrinth :)