The new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance had a huge presence at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 (SDCC). In addition to press events and a booth on the Exhibition Hall floor, the show also had a primetime panel in Comic-Con’s legendary Hall H. Studios know that when they hold a panel in Hall H, they have to bring something big. Fans literally camp out for an opportunity to see the offerings in Comic-Con’s biggest room. Knowing this, Netflix gave the fans exactly what they want: new behind-the-scenes insights, a screening of the first episode, and Mark Hamill!
Moderated by TV Guide‘s Damian Holbrook, the panel included Executive Producer Lisa Henson, Director Louis Leterrier, star Taron Egerton, and “Luke f$%king Skywalker” himself, Hamill. Holbrook warmed up the crowd by promising that he has seen the show, and this it has everything that fans remember and love about the original The Dark Crystal movie. Henson would know, as she was a pre-production assistant on the first movie. Both Leterrier and Egerton also talked about how they were huge fans of the movie before committing to the project.
The crowd, however, only had eyes for Hamill. A geek icon for his Star Wars role, Hamill has made a name for himself in voice acting over the past several decades. His role as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series made him one of the most sought-after voice actors. In Age of Resistance, Hamill is playing the Scientist. A member of the ruling Skeksis, the Scientist is one of the creepiest villains in the Dark Crystal movie. Working the crowd, Hamill joked that is was a new experience to be working in a reboot/resurrection of a much-loved genre property, referring to reboots as “found couch money.” Then he complained that he is being type-cast as a villain when he does voice acting. To be fair, his villain voices are really good. Hamill even agreed to treat the audience to a quick demonstration of his Scientist voice. It was really scary, and doesn’t sound like Hamill at all.
Egerton was geeking out about sitting next to Hamill just as much as the rest of the crowd. He talked about being heartbroken when he didn’t get to meet Hamill on the set of Kingsmen, and how thrilling it was to actually work with Hamill. In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Egerton voices Gelfling main character Rian. After witnessing the Skeksis suck the essence out of a Gelfling, Rian goes on a mission to warn the other Gelflings about the evil of the Skeksis. Far from being an easy voice role, Egerton talked about the physicality of the recording sessions. According the Leterrier, the show is almost all action sequences. As such, the voice actors have to do recording sessions called “presence passes” where they record all of the non-speaking sounds that their characters make. Egerton described these recording sessions being so intense that he often felt lightheaded. Leterrier agreed, but didn’t seem to feel guilty about it.
Just when everyone thought the panel was wrapping up, the Comic-Con president stepped out to present Hamill with the 2019 Comic-Con Icon Award: “Comic-Con International’s Icon Award is presented to individuals or organizations who have been instrumental in bringing comics and/or the popular arts to a wider audience.” Thrilled, the international superstar treated the audience to a few bars of “The Buddi Song” from Child’s Play.
Not to be outdone, Netflix closed the panel by screening the premier episode of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance for the 6,500 person audience. Bleeding Cool will publish its review of the episode closer to the show’s premier date.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance premiers August 30, exclusively on Netflix.