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'Dark Crystal' Sneaks First Episode as Mark Hamill Receives Comic-Con Icon Award

Netflix unveiled the first episode of its ambitious puppet show while the geek icon entertained the crowd in Hall H.
Mark Hamill   |   Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images
Netflix unveiled the first episode of its ambitious puppet show while the geek icon entertained the crowd in Hall H.

Netlfix on Friday surprised the packed Hall H audience at San Diego Comic-Con with a screening of the full first episode of its ambitious upcoming series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

The project, a prequel of the puppet-themed Jim Henson movie released in 1982, maintains the puppetry but also uses CG effects to build out the complex world that sees an elf-like race called the Gelfling under the rule of the dark and nasty Skeksis.

The episode mesmerized the 6,500-plus crowd almost as much as the preceding panel, which saw geek icon and Star Wars star Mark Hamill entertain the enraptured attendees.

Hamill was joined onstage by Taron Egerton (the two leading voice roles in the series) as well as Louis Leterrier, who directed every installment, and Lisa Henson, the daughter of Jim Henson and executive producer.

Henson revealed she was a young PA on the set of the original movie, which her father co-directed with Frank Oz,  and recalled all the planning and world building that was done in preparation for the pic. The new production went back to those plans and sets, much of which was in storage. 

Leterrier, meanwhile, commented on how elaborate the production was: "Every shot is the most complicated of my career. Every shot is a nightmare."

Still, it was Hamill to which the spotlight gravitated (and why not?). The man who played Luke Skywalker was self-referentially funny when talking about companies or people returning to something they thought was behind them, or about the notion of making sequels to movies released decades ago.

Hamill also did an array of voices for the assembled, including the Joker, one of the actor’s best-known roles that originated in Batman: The Animated Series.

(Hamill recalled his agent’s disappointment when he nabbed the Joker role, saying the dealmaker hoped he would get the part of Alfred instead since the butler appeared in every episode.)

Hamill also received Comic-Con’s Icon Award, given to groups or individuals who have furthered the comic and popular arts. Facing a standing ovation, the actor deflected the appreciation back to the audience.

"This seems wildly excessive, but it’s wildly appreciated," he said. "If it weren’t for you, I certainly wouldn’t be standing here."

He finished by singing the "Buddi Song," a refrain from the recent Child’s Play remake in which he voiced the killer doll known as Chucky: "You are my Buddi, until the end/ More than a buddy, you're my best friend/ I love you more then you will ever know/ I will never let you go."

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