'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' stars say being terrified of Skeksis is 'a rite of passage'

Tom Beasley

For an entire generation of children, Jim Henson’s 1982 puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal was a gateway into a world of nightmares thanks to the horrifying, vulture-like Skeksis.

Now Netflix’s prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance promises to do the same thing for a whole new generation of viewers, and the cast are primed and ready to trigger some sleepless nights.

“It'll get in their nightmares,” says Shazad Latif, who plays Gelfling song teller Kylan.

“The Skesis are in my nightmares.”

Read more: Watch the trailer for Dark Crystal series

Fast & Furious star Nathalie Emmanuel, who portrays spirited animal carer Deet, says: “We all have to go through it. At some point, we've all got to be scared by Skeksis.”

The Skeksis are back to terrify a new generation of kids in Netflix prequel series 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'. (Credit: Kevin Baker/Netflix)

Set before the events of the 1982 film, Age of Resistance follows a group of Gelflings who discover the terrifying secret behind the ongoing rule of their Skeksis lords.

The 10-episode series, which is due to arrive on Netflix on 30 August, is directed by action specialist Louis Leterrier and uses innovative puppet technology to bring the magical world of Thra to life.

Those involved are keen to show their respect to the original movie — an ambitious fantasy tale that has since become a cult classic — even though they weren’t able to meet their puppet counterparts until after shooting was finished.

“I've got older siblings, so that's why it was such a big thing in our household,” says Hannah John-Kamen, who portrays Drenchen clan member Naia.

“I relate my childhood to certain movies, like The Goonies, Dark Crystal and Labyrinth — these cult classics.”

Nathalie Emmanuel voices the Gelfling animal carer Deet in Netflix series 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'. (Credit: Kevin Baker/Netflix)

She adds: “I was quite nervous going in because you go 'wow, this is such a huge thing and I just want to do a really good job'.”

The show is already attracting positive reviews and Game of Thrones star Emmanuel says she is keen for the show to explore the wider universe surrounding Henson’s creations.

“It's really cool and it's such a rich world,” she says. “The possibilities are endless.

“Who's to say that Thra is the only place? There's other places in a vast universe to discover. Hopefully we get to do that.”

Read more: Emmanuel responds to Thrones backlash

The first season of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be available on Netflix from 30 August and the Into Thra exhibition of the show’s art is open from 23 August until 6 September at the BFI Southbank in London.