Will of the Crystal that the next Age of Thra is Age of Skeksis!SkekUng
SkekUng was the Skeksis' Garthim Master (later General and Emperor), and counterpart to urIm the Healer. He was physically the strongest of the Skeksis after Emperor skekSo, a fact likely due to his ability to assume positions of geometric harmony unusual in the Skeksis. His robes were decked in armour pieces, which rattled as he moved and his spurs struck sparks as he walked on the castle's stone floor.
SkekUng was a stern, ruthless, wrathful, short-tempered, charismatic and confident individual who valued anger and brute strength. SkekUng was far more straightforward than his scheming rival skekSil, openly expressing his opinions such as his distaste for the Chamberlain's whimper and favoring swift action over protracted plotting.
He was proud of his strength, wearing armor pieces in his clothes instead of a common robe, and viewing himself as skekSo's only worthy successor, though he refrained from showing his imperial ambitions before skekSo's death and, unlike SkekSil, didn't take the emperor's scepter as his until he had won the trial by stone and been recognised as the new emperor by his fellow Skeksis. He was also proud of his Garthim soldiers, having no doubt in their ability to capture the last Gelfling, unlike skekZok.
He was grumpy and quick to anger, frowning most of the time and losing his temper when annoyed or if his plans didn't go the way he expected. He also had a tendency to drool at times.
SkekUng could display some degree of morality, and seemed to have been truly loyal to skekSo, urging his fellow Skeksis to show respect to him even when he was vulnerable and dying. He also refrained from having his defeated rival skekSil executed, instead banishing him from the Castle, only to reinstate him in gratitude for his capture of Kira.
Also despite his short-tempered personnality and value of brute strength and being less manipulative and scheming that SkekSil SkekUng was an intelligent and cunning individual in his own right, being an effective commander for the Garthim, having been the first Skeksis to spot and try to grab the Crystal shard, letting Thurma escape knowing that her taking a shard of the Crystal benefitted him and the other Skeksis and later manipulated the Crystalline Eminence into looking at the darkened Crystal which put him under SkekUng's command.
When the Gelflings begin to form their resistance, and the Skeksis found skekMal on the brink of death, skekOk suggested calling the other Skeksis back to the Castle, with skekZok opining that skekUng was "a strong warrior". Summoned to the castle after the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood, skekUng took over skekVar's place as General and became leader of the Garthim army that skekTek created to deal with the Gelflings.
After the end of the Garthim War and the death of skekSo, he formed a political alliance with skekTek and skekNa the Slave Master. He sought to claim the Skeksis' throne by challenging his greatest rival, skekSil the Chamberlain, to Trial by Stone. His brute strength won him the day, and he had the Chamberlain banished. However, his coronation ceremony was interrupted when the Crystal summoned the Skeksis to the Crystal Chamber, revealing that at least one Gelfling had survived the Garthim War, and was heading for Aughra's observatory. SkekUng sent the Garthim after Jen, but they failed in their mission and brought back Aughra instead. His authority weakened, skekUng became suspicious over the loyalty of skekZok the Ritual Master, whose constitutional claim to the throne matched his. His anger was further deepened when he was unable to rejuvenate himself with Podling essence.
When skekSil returned to the Castle with Kira, skekUng was forced to reinstate his former rival, but reasserted his authority by ordering skekTek to drain her essence, in defiance to skekZok's demand for her immediate execution. Unaware of skekTek's death during Kira's subsequent escape, skekUng became increasingly paranoid, planning to execute skekTek and send the Garthim to destroy all life on Thra in order to avoid the Gelfling race suddenly regenerating itself. His plans were foiled, however, when Jen healed the Dark Crystal and reversed the Great Division. After fusing with his urRu other, urIm, the newly formed UngIm revived Kira and lead the urSkeks away from Thra.
Kill! Kill Gelfling! Let Fire-Brat escape!SkekUng
Some 100 trine later, skekUng was revived alongside his seven other comrades and urRu counterparts after the Fireling Thurma took a shard from the Crystal in a misguided quest to restore her homeland's dying Mother Sun. SkekUng allowed her to escape, knowing that without the Shard the Gelflings would never be able to stop him. He proceeded to have skekSil banished again, blaming him for his past defeat, and engaged the Crystal Guards in a battle which was subsequently interrupted by Jen, who took control of the Garthim and had the Skeksis incarcerated. During his detention, he challenged the Crystalline Eminence to gaze directly into the once again darkened Crystal, resulting in him obeying skekUng's order to release him and his comrades.
After escaping and securing the Crystal chamber, skekUng attempted to seize Aughra and Kira, but the two barricaded themselves in the Castle's upper towers. He demanded that the Crystalline Eminence tell him of any secret passages he could use to gain access to the towers, only to imprison him upon realizing that his exposure to the Crystal had driven him insane. Upon seeing Jen return to the Castle riding Bohrtog, skekUng summoned the Crystal Bats to attack him. Jen fell from his mount and skekUng nearly finished him, but was stopped by Kira, who carried Jen to safety. Frustrated by his lack of progress, skekUng drained the Crystalline Eminence's essence and proceeded to use his newfound strength to break down the barricades with his bare hands. He eventually breached the fortifications and entered Jen and Kira's chambers, but was separated from them when the urRu summoned a premature Great Conjunction, which shattered the Castle. When Thurma returned with the Shard upon realizing the error of her ways, skekUng was helpless to stop her from healing the Crystal and merging the Skeksis and urRu once again.
Behind the Scenes Edit
The character's pre-production notes described him as perpetually angry, lacking subtlety and as never speaking any quieter than a "deep resonant bellow".
Henson initially conceived of skekUng as a frightening character. Puppeteer Dave Goelz however, drawing on his own experiences in the military, decided to represent him as an "obtuse general" relying on subordinates to repair the damage he causes.
- SkekUng is co-credited in World of the Dark Crystal as a co-creator of the Garthim, which he took a fierce pride in.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #12, Archaia, USA, March 2018
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
- ↑ "The Crystal Calls" The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Netflix. August 30, 2019
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #3, Archaia, USA, May 2017
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #6, Archaia, USA, August 2017
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #7, Archaia, USA, September 2017
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #8, Archaia, USA, October 2017
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #9, Archaia, USA, December 2017
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #10, Archaia, USA, January 2018
- ↑ Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #11, Archaia, USA, February 2018
- ↑ Invader Zim (2010-06-08). "The Skeksis (one post from a messageboard thread)". Planet Irk. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
- ↑ C. Gaines, The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History, Titan Books, 2017, p. 87, ISBN 1-78565-592-2
- ↑ Matt Fagerholm, Old friends who've just met: Dave Goelz on The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and much more, rogerebert.com, 17 July 2019