A thousand years of Skeksis rule has ravaged Thra, leaving it as harsh and twisted as the Skeksis themselves. The Emperor lies on his deathbed, a dying leader of a dying race. SkekSil the Chamberlain and skekUng the Garthim-Master argue in the throne room. Their stakes are the highest there can be, for the winner shall become an immortal emperor once he absorbs the power of the stars. The other shall be cast out into the very land they ruined.

A world away, Jen the Gelfling mourns. He mourns the sickness of his oldest friend, the wise elder of the Mystic village. Though the Mystics are peaceful, they cannot stop the ravages of time and they prepare for the passing of their leader. Jen is told of a prophecy, told that he is the only one alive who can stop the Skeksis from using the power of the stars to gain untold power. He is told that he must leave the Mystic village and find a shard of the Dark Crystal. He is told to make the world whole once more.

Jen and Kira are the last of the Gelflings. Kira's family was destroyed by the Skeksis and their Garthim. She has lived among the Podlings and animals of the jungle her entire life, knowing nothing of the Gelfling prophecy, a prophecy that the Skeksis are desparate to prevent.
In the dark castle of the Skeksis, steel hits stone and sparks fly forth. SkekSil strikes with conviction, skekUng strikes with rage. Ringing is heard throughout the Crystal Castle and the fate of Thra is decided.

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