Your Weekend Creature Comforts: Skeksis
Welcome back my slimy reptilian followers. I spent awhile scratching my head with my claw this week, thinking what would be a good topic for the month of December here at your favorite monster adoring weekend column. Star Wars has loads of species we could talk about, The Southern Vampire Series has many more monsters than fangers, and Middle Earth is crawling with creatures we could discuss, but for some reason the holiday spirit made me think of Jim Henson. So folks, this month I am dedicating my posts on this column to creatures designed and imagined by the infamous Jim Henson, a mastermind in the world of fantasy. Today we start with your favorite antagonist from The Dark Crystal: Skeksis.
The neat thing about this month’s topic is that Jim Henson is really a brilliant man, and all of the creatures I will talk about this month are probably not found anywhere else since they are the soul property of Henson’s mind. One of his darker films, The Dark Crystal, takes place on a planet and in a time long ago, and that is where we first meet the skeksis.
This species is rather tall and walks on two legs, though has a vulture-like face with many reptilian and scaly features elsewhere. And unlike the smooth inside of a buzzard’s beak, these monsters’ mouths are full of needle sharp fangs. Another aspect making them an excellent chimera is their backs, which are covered with porcupine quills. They also have two sets of arms, though one of them is atrophied and small like that of a T-Rex.
The skeksis are the rulers of the planet Thra, and they are quite a file creature, just like we all like them. They are petty, powerful, cruel, paranoid, and selfish. They also are decaying at a rapid rate since they have abused their time of control, trying to extend their power as long as possible. Their favorite way to extend their longevity is to drink the life force of other beings on the planet.
Like many allstar creators who have tried to design their own language, Henson actually initially wrote a whole new language for the skeksis to speak in, though initial viewers did not enjoy watching the show with subtitles, so English was later dubbed over the skeksis language to make it easier to follow. One thing I do love about the skeksis is that they make a lot of intriguing noises, including various hums and chirps. And for those of you lucky enough to have worked with wildlife before like me, I have found a creature in real life that sounds exactly like them: porcupines! Interesting considering Henson put quills over the back of his monsters, makes you wonder if he was involved in their sounds.
Well my friends, that is all I have to say about skeksis this week. I won’t go in to the plot of the movie so that those of you who have not seen it are hopefully intrigued enough to go watch it. Henson was a genius, so you can be sure there will be more great posts to come this month with our creature column!
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