WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, streaming now on Netflix.
Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance acts as a prequel to Jim Henson's 1982 fantasy epic that explores the land of Thra. In the 10 episode series, we learn more about the vulture-like race called the Skeksis and how they came to rule the world, eventually using the crystal to siphon the life essence of the planet and its inhabitants.
But as much as we believe this group of villains are solely responsible for the plight of Thra, this prequel story reveals that greed is the ultimate threat, as the stories of Rian, Deet, Brea and the Gelfling rebellion show first-hand.
The Skeksis are easy to blame, since they capture the Gelflings and suck their essence dry using the crystal in order to prolong their own lives. What makes this worse is by corrupting the crystal like this, they allow the Darkening to spread throughout the land, which poisons the minds of all the creatures roaming and turning them into vicious monsters. However, for them to get into this position, they're aided by some key figures outside of their own inner circle.
Firstly, Aughra, the all-seeing mother of Thra, has to accept blame because her greed allowed the villains to possess the crystal in the first place. Because they came from across the stars and were viewed as celestial beings, the urSkek aliens were revered and allowed use the crystal to return home by Aughra after they were banished to Thra.
However, this led to the crystal being fractured during the Great Conjunction and the urSkeks' split into the evil Skeksis and the altruistic Mystics. Aughra, though, was manipulated by the Skeksis, which allowed them to further use the crystal to purify themselves in exchange for an observatory where she could navigate the stars and find out the secrets of space to benefit the planet.
For someone as experienced and wise as Aughra, this was both selfish and foolhardy, because no one should have trusted these creatures. She gave them access to the beating heart of Thra for an observatory, even though she was created to be its protector, Aughra ditched the crystal just so her mind could roam the cosmos and sate her sense of curiosity. It's a careless act that allowed the cabal to wreak havoc and enslave the planet as merciless overlords as she slumbered.
When Aughra woke and saw the blight sweeping across the land, she knew she was to blame, with her first meeting with the crystal actually manifesting all this guilt into a mirror reflection that told her how her greed doomed Thra.
The all-Maudra, Mayrin, Queen of the Vapra Clan also sold out the planet. She was responsible for governing her people, but also acted as head of all the other clans. Mayrin was chief of all the other Maudras. While they remained as pure as can be, she took the tithes the Gelflings offered the Skeksis secretly, which meant they were basically bribing her.
Mayrin turned a blind eye to all their misdeeds, shady behavior and overall exploitation, as she got jewels and a bunch of gifts to make her life so much better in a cosmetic sense. This superficial and material attitude drew the ire of her daughter, Brea, sinceit was obvious Mayrin didn't care about her people and only obsessed about getting whatever trinkets she could.
By the time she admitted to her wrongdoings, she's too late to save her people from being kidnapped and drained for their essence, and her inaction led to the Darkening spreading. While she delayed investigating all of this, these things weighed on her conscious when Rian forms the alliance to fight back.
Sadly, this is an uphill battle by that point, and its one where the heroes have a severe disadvantage. Ultimately, that's all because a few main stakeholders meant to safeguard the Gelflings and Thra on the whole were only interested in serving their own interests.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is directed by Louis Leterrier, and features the voice talents of Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel , Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander, Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg and Donna Kimball.