From Condors to Skeksis?
I was at the Beardsley Zoo the other day, looking at the Condors, when my youngest said, "They look like Skeksis." *It was a proud moment. I've raised them right! LOL* The resemblance to Skeksis is quite striking and I began to wonder if Jim Henson was indeed influenced by these amazing birds. So I researched it. A little. I have this habit of getting sucked into the internet vortex for hours if I don't make an effort to limit myself.
It turns out that Skeksis were inspired by an illustrated Lewis Carrol poem that featured crocodiles dressed in fancy clothes, seeming to embody the elegance of bygone days, standing around in a bathroom. The Skeksis themselves reflect reptilian, raptor, and dragon-like qualities, so my son wasn't too far off when comparing Condors to these interesting beings.
The 1982 classic, The Dark Crystal, is filled with fanciful characters that exhibit elements of own our society and character traits that we either abhor or strive to emulate. Skeksis are the boorish, controlling species who have corrupted their planet in their lust for power and eternal life. The Mystics, on the other hand, are peace-loving, always striving for balance within the world of Thra. The world itself is filled with a host of species born from the incredible imagination of Jim Henson. I have a particular love for Fizzgig. Actually, he reminds me of my dog, Gus.
All of this talk of The Dark Crystal got me thinking about the ways that movies and shows mirror our interests and whether this transcends to writing. I have always had an affinity for fantasy and science fiction. As a kid, I loved classic sci-fi TV shows like Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek and fantasy movies like Legend and Labyrinth. I enjoy escaping into these worlds and meeting fascinating characters along the way.
As a writer, I work to bring elements of fantasy and science fiction into the stories I craft, but my work is rather grounded in the real world, my next project included. For me, that realism brings with it a level of believability that I find is a necessary component of the stories I tell. Will I venture into the realm of pure fantasy? Perhaps. There is certainly no argument that I love the genre and am awed by the men and women who can illustrate these worlds through such a captivating lens.
In regard to interests, the geek in me loves sci-fi and fantasy! I quote movies often, 80s in particular, and am always up for a movie-marathon that includes titles from these categories. I also read within in these genres as this is just another way to escape to new worlds without having to purchase a plane ticket or space shuttle ticket...if that was even a thing...not that I could ever afford it. LOL.
In the meantime, I continue to feed my love of fantasy and sci-fi through movies, shows (Cue my plug for Stranger Things!), and books, while eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!