Written by Old Bluffer 31st Oct 2006
In the magical world of the Dark Crystal, good and evil have splintered into two factions, the peaceful Mystics and corrupted Skeksis.
(The Mystics have kindly faces and the Skeksis resemble hideous reptilian vultures, so as not to confuse anybody who the goodies and baddies are)
The plot of the film follows Jen, an innocent Gelfling, on a quest to heal the Crystal and restore balance to the war-torn lands.
The Skeksis want no part of this plan, as a prophecy foretells that their Empire will be destroyed if the Crystal is ever restored.
Their efforts are therefore focused on stopping Jen, abusing the various underling races they hold power over and trying to destroy the Mystics.
Their plans are put on temporary hold though, with the death of the oldest of their race, the Skeksis Emperor, who really doesn't look very well at all. Later on in the film it is revealed that he has extended his natural lifespan at the expense of the Podlings - a ridiculously cute and harmless looking race. Innocent podlings are routinely caught and their life essences drained and then drunk by the Emperor as a longevity potion.
Giant Evil Vultures - not the crowd you really want as company when you're laying on your death bed.
The Skeksis gather around his death bed, very much like vultures, and the Chamberlain even dares to prematurely try and take the Sceptre of Power.
With his dying breaths, the SkekSo hisses "I am still Emperor! I..." and then croaks for good.
Once dead, his body crumbles into decay, but the remaining Skeksis don't spend time mourning him, they are too busy worrying about who will be the next Emperor (they are all thirsty for fresh Podling Juice).
This Old Lizard has supped from his last Podling!
The scene then cuts to Jen, with his ancient Mystic master, who is also dying. The Mystic's body doesn't decay though, but vanishes softly into the cosmos amidst a bouquet of glowing stars.
Another addition to 'Puppet Heaven' - Yoda will be pleased he isn't the only one to die of Old Age.
This scene hints at the ironic truth - that the Skeksis and Mystics are two halves of a single race, sundered in twain with the cracking of the Crystal.
Their lives are quite literally entwined, so if the Skeksis did ever succeed in killing the remaining Mystics, they themselves would also be wiped out.
The Dark Crystal is a beautifully made fantasy film, and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. The cinematic style and haunting soundtrack combine to make it a film quite unlike any other.