Jim Henson

Speculative Fiction BOX Sets Limited Time Deals

OMG I love Christmas, and Amazon made it even easier to give this year.  They have put out some excellent must own SF box sets at prices that are practically a give away.  The only catch is that the deals are limited time only so if you are thinking on doing this don’t procrastinate!

  • get your copy of sg-1 Stargate SG-1 - The Complete Series Collection $99.99:  This show rules!  I have the first three seasons but had to get this one when I saw the deal imagine paying less than $2 per DVD full of Stargate goodness!.  Stargate SG-1 Season 1, Season 2,  Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7, Season 8, Season 9, Season 10,  Disc 51 includes: Ark of Truth Promo, Continuum Promo, "Stargate SG-1: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 7)", From Stargate to Atlantis: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 8 & Atlantis Season 1), Behind the Stargate: Secrets Revealed (SG-1 Season 8 & Atlantis Season 1), Disc 52 includes: "Sci Fi Inside: Stargate SG-1's 200th Episode (SG-1 Season 10)", "Behind the Mythology of Stargate SG-1 (SG-1 Seasons 1-10)", Stargate SG-1: True Science, Disc 53 includes: **Season Three, Timeline to the Future, Part 1: Legacy of the Gate, Part II: Secrets of the Gate, Part III: Beyond the Gate, **Season Four, SG-1 Video Diary: Teryl Rothery, "Stargate SG-1 Season 5: Gateway to Adventure ", Stargate SG-1: The 100th Episode, **Season Five: SG-1 Video Diary: Don S. Davis, **Season Six: SG-1 Directors Series: Smoke and Mirrors", SG-1 Directors Series: The Changeling, SG-1 Directors Series: Memento, SG-1 Directors Series: Prophecy, SG-1 Video Diary: Richard Dean Anderson Paradise Lost", Disc 54: **Season Seven: SG-1 Directors Series: Revisions, SG-1 Directors Series: Heroes, SG-1 Directors Series: Resurrection, "Behind the Scenes: Journey Inside Lost City", The Storyboard Process, "Bra'tac vs. Ronan: Designing the Fight", Stargate Magic: Inside the Lab, Richard Dean Anderson: "My Life as a Mime", **Season Eight: Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Amanda Tapping" "Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Michael Shanks" SG-1 Directors Series: Threads, Profile On: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, The Last Day of Teal'C, SG-1 Directors Series: Moebius, “Stargate SG-1 Alliance: The Making of The Video Game"
  • Battlestar Galactica Franchise Collection: $99.99 (Season One | Season 2.0 | Season 2.5 | Season 3.0 | BSG Razor)
  • The Ultimate Matrix Collection$24.49 (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix)
  • The Mel Brooks Collection: $38.99 (Blazing Saddles / Young Frankenstein / Silent Movie / Robin Hood: Men in Tights / To Be or Not to Be / History of the World, Part 1 / The Twelve Chairs / High Anxiety)
  • Planet of the Apes - The Legacy Collection$26.99 (Planet of the Apes [1968] / Beneath the / Escape from the / Conquest of the / Battle for the)
  • The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection$22.99 8 Disc Collection
  • Alien Quadrilogy$32.99 (Alien/ Aliens /Alien 3 /Alien Resurrection)
  • Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection$20.49 (Labyrinth / MirrorMask / The Dark Crystal)
  • Godzilla DVD Collection 7-Pack$64.99 (Godzilla (1998) / Godzilla 2000 / vs. King Ghidora / and Mothra The Battle for Earth / vs. Destoroyah / vs. Space Godzilla / vs. Mechagodzilla / Giant Monsters All Out Attack / vs. Megaguirus)

The Power of the Dark Crystal

Crystal Sequel KiraWhat happens when Disney buys your company? They make unnesseccary sequels of the films you became famous for. On February 1, 2006, The Jim Henson company announced the start of production on a sequel to Jim Henson's classic "The Dark Crystal." Award-winning animation director Genndy Tartakovsky, you might know him from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, was tapped to direct Power of the Dark Crystal.

Brian Henson said the new "Crystal" will mix a lot of styles, including puppetry and a new 3-D animation technique that is being developed by the studio. The earliest release date, he said, is late 2008 (SFGate).

I am not sure that I my feeling about this feel could be more mixed up and confused. I love "The Dark Crystal" and the idea of a sequel excites me a little, but I doubt it could live up to the extraordinary vision and genius of Jim Henson. The characters and setting were formative to my imaginal life, and in many ways form the back bone of my concepts of story and epic fantasy that work themselves out in my own books.

The image of Kira they released from the new flick looks good, and I must admit: In a film like this image is half the problem. The other half is the story and with an honorable mention going to the acting.

"[David Odell], who wrote this film with his wife, is the original writer of 'The Dark Crystal,' and he had discussed this sequel concept with Jim," Lisa Henson said. "They didn't get too far into it, but [Odell] had a pretty good memory of the basic bones of the sequel idea (MTV Movie Blog)."

Whether it should or not, the very idea that Jim Henson wanted to make a sequel and only scrapped it after the lackluster reception to the "The Dark Crystal" and the difficulty in bringing such an original world to the screen gives me hope. I have read other reports that they relied on notebooks from those meeting with Jim in the development of the new story.

So what is The Power of the Dark Crystal about?

Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, Power of the Dark Crystal follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet (The Jim Henson Company).

Or as they explained it in October, 2006:

The "Power" script continues the tale of elfin heroes Jen and Kira, last seen returning the shard to the evil crystal and seemingly abolishing the vulture-like Skeksis from their land. Set many years after the first flick, "Power" casts Jen and Kira as king and queen, now overseeing a kingdom whose peace is disturbed by a visit from the underground-dwelling U-mun people. After the Gelflings refuse their request for a shard of crystal that could preserve the U-mun race, a desperate visitor takes it anyway, threatening their world with another thousand years of chaos (MTV Movie Blog).

Sounds interesting, and it at least seems to reference the last film. I am concerned about the use of the Shards from the Crystal again. This feels more like a sad excuse to bring back the Skeksis and the Sages than a solid foundation for a second story. While the success of a sequel is often judged more by how well it fits into the template established by the previous tale, part of me wishes they would have treated the first film more like "The Lord of the Rings treats "The Silmarillion", backstory and history.

I would feel more comfortable about the new project if they would have explored the setting more and not simply shattered the crystal again. It renders the Jen's victory in the previous film pyrrhic at best.

If a direct to DVD sequel wasn't enough for you:

The sequel is only one of several projects exploring the world of The Dark Crystal, a fan favorite that has remained consistently strong with worldwide home video and DVD sales. Other projects include an animated television series, a manga series from Tokyo Pop, and myriad licensed products such as books, apparel and collectible sculptures (The Jim Henson Company).

No details are available about the television series or the manga, but I am keeping my eyes open.

The Power of the Dark Crystal is slated for release in 2009. I think I agree with Frank Oz, Jim Henson's partner in crime and voice in the original "Dark Crystal":

When asked his feelings about a "Crystal" sequel, [Frank] Oz had a one-word answer: "Why (SFGate)?"