Have you heard the Song of Thra?
It’s hard for me to imagine that the answer is no if you’re reading this. To be sure, not all of us heard it at the same time. For some of us, Thra remained silent. Until, that is, we were ready to listen, to learn, and to open ourselves up to the beauty of this enchanting and wondrous world.
For some of you, the Song came immediately. I often wonder what it must have been like to sit in theaters in December of 1982, to see Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal and be overwhelmed as the first notes of composer Trevor Jones’ majestic musical score filled the space of the cinema. But, alas, the eyes and ears of this viewer had yet to even come into existence.
No, for me, I didn’t hear the Song until many years after the film came out. To be sure, there were many times when I desired to hear it, but as with Aughra, I had to be patient. I had to wait, to listen. The Song couldn’t be forced. As much as I came to admire the original film, which I caught glimpses of as a child, and finally saw in its entirety for the first time in 2009, I just wasn’t ready.
It would take until ten years later, in late 2019, for me to come to a place, a moment, when I would be able to listen, just listen, and hear what Thra had to teach me.
That moment, and the full unleashing of the Song unto my ears (and my heart) came with The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – the monumental and soul-stirring prequel series to Jim Henson’s 1982 classic.
I don’t think I can entirely communicate what I felt as I started to to get drawn into the world of Thra in the weeks before the release of the series. Something magical started to happen. Something was capturing my imagination, my passion. And when my eyes finally fell upon the series, I was enraptured. Anyone who’s seen the series knows what I’m talking about. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with Deet, Rian, Hup, Brea and so many more. I became forever intrigued (and frightened) by Chamberlain, SkekTek the Scientist, the Emperor, the Hunter and the rest of the Skeksis.
The world was so beautifully realized, the artistry so meticulous and breathtaking. The cinematography, the music, the writing, and direction so utterly incredible. This was a series and a universe that I was ready to embrace forever. I rushed out to buy the soundtracks, the YA novels, the graphic novels – even the Funko Pops! I felt so emotionally invested and ready to give my heart and soul over to Thra.
….and then, the Crystal cracked.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was cancelled on September 21, 2020, after winning an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program and a period of over a year where the fans were left wondering whether or not the series would be renewed. Like so many of you, my heart shattered.
But in the darkness, I found a light. All of you. From fellow Age of Resistance fans on Twitter who furiously typed the hashtags #SaveTheDarkCrystal, #HealTheDarkCrystal & #ForThra to the beautiful Facebook Group The Crystal Shard to the YouTube Channel The Dark Crystal Conjunction, and of course the incredible podcast Trial By Stone.
I think #HealTheDarkCrystal wasn’t just about continuing the series. That may still happen one day. In some form or another. I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of these characters. We’ll hear their story.
No, I believe it was about bringing all of us together. It was about healing the hurt that would come from our story being cut short. Because what’s left is beyond words. What’s left is even more than a ten part saga that enraptured viewers like me. What’s left is a feeling of community and shared love for a story that has touched so many of us.
Which leads me to why I wrote this. In the past week, I haven’t been in the best spirits. The reasons for that are personal, but it’s enough to say that I’ve been emotional. In the midst of this, The Dark Crystal Podcast dropped this incredible piece of work that made my heart soar (even as it reduced me to tears). It’s a music video for Matthew Hussey’s “Come Together” from the Netflix documentary “The Crystal Calls”. It features scenes from Age of Resistance and is a stunning and beautiful tribute to a story that will forever be part of my life.
The feelings I had watching this were numerous. In some ways, it gives the sense of closure, but that’s not quite right. It also gives off the hope of endless possibilities. But mostly, it makes me cherish what we’ve been given and what has been found.
Please, if you do nothing else after reading this, at the very least WATCH THIS VIDEO. It’s guaranteed to make any Dark Crystal fan’s heart glad.
I can’t wait to reach out to more of you and share our love of Thra. To perhaps, one day, once things are close to “back to normal”, meet you all at a convention and talk about our favorite characters, episodes, scenes, pieces of music. To celebrate the expansive world that Jim Henson and all those who followed him have given us.
When I began writing this, I thought it would be more of a rallying cry. That I’d go on about how we need to fight for more – for more stories, for a Blu-ray release of Age of Resistance, for another season – and, yes, we certainly do need to do that.
But it has occurred to me that it was more important for me to simply express how much all of this means to me, and what it means to me that you are all there to help me move forward into a life of Dark Crystal fandom, wherever that leads.
Thank you, friends.
I feel the Song of Thra in my heart.