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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance final trailer released

Prepare for a triumphant return to the world of Thra.

The final trailer has been released for Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, the prequel series to Jim Henson's 1982 dark fantasy feature, and its stunning visuals and tantalizing teases have us more excited than ever. The spot appeared this morning on the streamer's official YouTube channel.

We've gotten plenty of looks at the new series already, from trailers to still photos to jaw-droppingly rendered posters. But this new spot has us utterly convinced that the series, which will use the same innovative puppetry that gave the original its distinctive look, will be among the most visually and narratively impressive series of this year. 

The original film, which was co-directed by Henson and the legendary Frank Oz, focused on the quest to restore a missing shard to the titular Dark Crystal, which held the key to the division between Thra's dominant races: the gentle, knowledge-seeking Gelfling, and the evil, power-hungry Skeksis. Its complex mythology and unprecedented look were a bit above the heads of audiences of the time, but in the years since the film's release, it's become a cult classic of the highest order.

The new series will center on events years prior to the film's narrative, as three young Gelfling discover the secret of the Skeksis' power and set out to ignite the rebellion that they hope will save their world. The trailer employs lightning-quick edits, provocative shots, and some dizzying snippets of action to amazing effect, promising a high-stakes, emotional story with a thematic richness that should easily win over not only fans of the movie, but anybody who likes their entertainment as thoughtful and spellbinding as it is kinetic and thrilling. Seriously, there just aren't enough superlatives to do it justice; this is one of the best spots for any film or television project we've seen all year, and it's really best to just let it wash over you.

The series has been creating serious buzz since it was announced, in particular because of the fact that CGI won't be employed to render its characters — true to Henson's legacy, director Louis Letterier (The Incredible Hulk) was tasked with wrangling an enormous cast of puppets for the series. Last year at New York Comic-Con, Letterier explained that while green screen technology was used to remove puppeteers in post-production, everything we'll see onscreen is purely practical. 

""I love CGI, but we won't be using CGI in this one. It's puppets, man. It's all puppets," the director said. "We have no human cast to join us [onstage] because we have no humans in the show. It was a massive endeavor." (via Fandom)

Letterier may have been going for a bit of dramatic effect there, because of course, there are humans involved in the show — a whole lot of them. The series sports a massive and distinguished voice cast of the type that any director in Hollywood would give a pinky to work with, starting with the voices behind the three Gelfling who drive the show's narrative: Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Anya Taylor-Joy (Glass), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones). 

Appearing as various other  Gelfling characters will be Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Fast Color), Mark Strong (Shazam!), Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery), Theo James (Castlevania), Eddie Izzard (The Lego Batman Movie), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Harris Dickinson (The Darkest Minds), Toby Jones (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), and Helena Bonham-Carter (Ocean's Eight). On the flip side, the series' gaggle of Skeksis vill be voiced by Simon Pegg (Star Trek Beyond), Ralph Ineson (Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Harvey Fierstein (Bojack Horseman), Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator), and the great Mark Hamill, who has never seen a voice role he couldn't absolutely nail.

Netflix recently blew away fans when it screened the first episode of the series for rapturous crowds at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, where Egerton called the work of the show's puppeteers "inspiring" and Letterier claimed that "every shot was the most complicated shot of [his] career." (via IndieWire) In short, all signs point to The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance being one of the most ambitious television projects to come down the pipeline in some time, and we're pretty sure we know what we'll be doing for the better part of the weekend when Netflix releases its ten episodes on August 30.