Watch This: A Darker, More Surreal Fan-Edited ‘Dark Crystal’

Posted 7 years ago by Movies

Dark Crystal

Did you know that The Dark Crystal was originally meant to be darker and more serious, without narration or English-speaking Skesis and Mystics? I had never heard this, but the other day on Reddit I saw someone post their own fan-edit using original dialog and bits of the work-print that had never been seen. Christopher Orgeron worked on the edit for 2 years and you can now watch it on YouTube (or download it in 720p with a browser extension). From Christopher’s description:

Early versions of The Dark Crystal were a bit different than the version we see today. Jim Henson and Frank Oz originally sought to create a much darker story that relied more on the audience and less on voice-overs and inner monologues explaining the plot. In this version there’s no narrator, Jen’s inner monologues are gone, and the Skeksis hardly ever say anything in English (Aughra speaks some Skesis too!). This version is much more modern and a little darker with this original audio and the slightly different score. Some of the scenes are moved around too, which adds to the surreal feel of the original film. Some test audiences were more casual moviegoers and responded negatively to this version so the Henson team redubbed the ENTIRE film to help explain the plot to the audience up front and make things more obvious.

The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite movies and I’m excited to watch this alternate version over the weekend. Besides my love of anything by Jim Henson, I’m a huge fan of world-building in movies and I think Crystal is one of the best examples of this, right up there with Star Wars.

Watch it on YouTube

Edit: Mental Floss just posted a Q&A with Christopher about his edit, check it out!

PS – Dark Crystal Trading Cards are available from Boxsome!