Behold; The Fandom of Light

Mystic and Gelflinfs around a fire
A World Reawakens

Now let’s take a look at a different fandom that recently awoke from a 35+ year slumber – The Dark Crystal. Fans of this franchise have been tortured through out the decades with rumors of sequels that never materialized. A movie looked to be gaining steam, but then faded into nothingness. A Second attempt at the movie surfaced in the early 2000’s. Pre-production art surfaced and everything, yet it too fell into oblivion. Check this story out for more details. Imagine if Lucas announced new Star Wars films back in the mid 90’s only to have them never see the light of day.

At the end of August, Netflix answered the prayers of Crystal goers and returned Thra to vibrant life. After 37 years Gelflings, Skeksis, and Mystics returned to puppetry-animated life. Word of the series spread. While Dark Crystal remains one of the great cult classics of the 80’s, fans alone cannot carry this franchise to a second season or beyond. It would need outside help.

Word spread like herd of landstriders. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance not only exceeded fan expectations, but seemed to be capturing the attention of new fans everywhere. It remains too early to tell if Season 2 will receive the green light, but between Netflix and watcher enthusiasm, the future looks promising.

Dark Crystal Success: Enthusiams or Quality?

Mystic design
Depth Beyond Depth

Now some may argue The Dark Crystal revamp is truly a great product where the Star Wars movies held a great many problems. For the most part I agree, but at the same time, Age of Resistance contains flaws as well. Certain details can be nitpicked. Perhaps the puppetry development should have grown more. You also have a series of four books by J.M. Lee. What should have been a solid lead into the new series, muddled and confused the story entirely. Lee wrote the books and helped with the series, yet the two take place at the same time and have contradictory stories of individual characters and events.

Do you hear much of any of this? Nope. Fan enthusiasm swells and grows by the viewer. Fans talk on message boards and across social media about how magnificent this new series is, even ones acknowledging its faults. The sheer joy and love of the franchise flows through everything it touches. Fans celebrate a community it never knew existed, and still grow exponentially.

Aren’t Thra and the Force Different Things?

While quality may favor Thra-dom to a degree, it retains a level of enthusiasm Star Wars lost long ago. The two franchise are both very different yet amazingly similar. Let’s not forget Yoda and Jen share a common blood line in creator Jim Henson.

The vision and imagination of both Lucas and Henson cannot be questions as great of all time. One simply went for a real world, battered look where the other attempted a non-realistic, completely fantastical approach. In the early 80’s fans embraced the former with passion, while the latter would need to simmer in the backs of peoples minds for a few Trine.

Why Compare the Two?

So why do I bring any of this up? Comparisons can be made with Star Wars and any property (Marvel, Harry Potter, Avatar, Star Trek, Etc). Why do I bring up Star Wars and The Dark Crystal? As I stated in the beginning, it’s a tale of two fan bases; “It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,”

Star Wars sits on the cusp of a new TV show, the likes of which have never been done. The final season of Clone Wars sits a few months past that. The conclusion of this latest trilogy hits this Christmas. With all the trailers and images floating around, one would think enthusiasm would reign, yet sects of fans still haunt message boards and social media predicting gloom and doom. If one wants to see pure hate and disgust, simply drop the name Rian Johnson or The Last Jedi into any conversation and you might as well have just dropped raw meat amongst a pride of starving lions.

Meantime in the world of Thra, fans inject a giddy joy into their base, excited for what they have and ecstatically impatient for more. Problematic plot points, the incoherent addition of the book series are all discussed, but it does nothing to squelch the love and joy of the new series. It is such a refreshing experience to be amongst such fans.

A Final Wrap Up

I will always love Star Wars, but the fan base sapped all joy from the franchise. I will enjoy what comes and look forward to more even if I do not like what I just experienced, but the adrenaline rush that preceded The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens has been drained from existence.

Looking at The Dark Crystal and thinking about its future with its charged fandom, excites me beyond words with whatever lies ahead. Star Wars fans need to bring this feeling back to its fan base. It remains, emerging in rare occurrences. The explosive and heart felt cheering for Kelly Marie Tran when she walked on stage at Star Wars Celebration, despite many not liking her character, shows the roots of the Force are strong. It is to those roots we as a fan base need to return moving forward.

Fan Unity
Til All Are One…