Sunday, May 29, 2005

Another World, Another Time... In the Age of Wonder.


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.

This week's movie of the week is Jim Hensen's classic, The Dark Crystal.

Another planet, another time. 1000 years ago the Dark Crystal was damaged by one of the Urskeks and an age of chaos began. Now the time of the great conjunction of the three suns is near. If the crystal is not healed now the control of the evil Skekses will last forever. Jen the last of the Gelfings nearly exterminated by monsters controlled by the Skekses starts his dangerous journey to find the missing shard of the crystal. Will he be able to heal the crystal and restore order on the planet?

Watch the trailer here:

Fun Trivia:
The term "Augury" involves prophesising the future. "Augurs" were members of the religious colleges of Rome who would interpret the signs of the gods. The "Augurers" of Celtic civilization were the keepers of legends and lore though memory and the oral tradition. These words were the inspiration for Aughra's name.

The Special Edition DVD features several "workprint" takes showing early passes at  dialogue. This early voice-over work differs from the final dialogue in several ways: the Skeksis speak in a foreign language, Frank Oz provided the voice of Aughra (sounding very similar to his voice work for Yoda in the Star Wars movies), and the Mystics were referred to by (presumably) their original name, the ur-Ru. The novelization was apparently based on this earlier version, referring to the "Trial By Stone" contest by its original name - "Hakskeekah" - and calling the Mystics the ur-Ru. In the final film, one reference to ur-Ru was not redubbed: when the Mystics enter the Skeksis Great Hall, the Chamberlain sees them and shouts "Ur-Ru!"

In the Third Draft of the original Star Wars A New Hope script (the shooting script was the Revised Fourth Draft), the familiar concept of the Force is embodied in a large, dark crystal on the Sith planet of Alderaan. The Sith have all the fragments except one, which is in the hands of the ancient Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke Starkiller uses this fragment of the Kiber Crystal to guide his torpedos down the shaft of the Death Star in the final space battle sequence. Hmmm.

Fun Quotes:
Jen: Wings? I don't have wings!
Kira: Of course not. You're a boy.

Aughra: Now, ask what the Great Conjunction is, what's the Great Conjunction?
Jen: What's the Great Conjunction? You tell me!

Aughra: Where is he?
Jen: He's dead.
Aughra: Could be anywhere, then.

My Dark Crystal wallpaper:

Great and freaky. Four stars.


battlemaiden said...

I remember watching this as a youngster and thinking the puppets looked SO real.

Anonymous said...

They're making a 3D sequel! Check it out. I can't wait to see it:

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