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Creation

Jen was created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz for the 1982 film The Dark Crystal. Jen was controlled by Jim Henson, Kiran Shah was the body of Jen and he was voiced by Stephen Garlick.

History

Origin

Jen and his Master UrSu
Jen and his Master UrSu

One of the last remaining Gelflings due to the Garthim attack organized by the cruel Skeksis to wipe out his race as they feared the Gelflings would destroy them due to a crucial prophecy that threatened the Skeksis reign. However, in all of the killing and chaos, Jen somehow survived the attack while everyone else was brutally murdered. Jen was unharmed, yet left all alone to fend for himself, until Jen stumbled upon help and was taken in by the clan of the gentle Mystics who raised him as their own. Jen was taught simple chants and small magic by his master, the Wisest of the Mystics, and he grew into a passionate individual filled with content and a deep love for music.

The Dark Crystal

"In the valley of the Mystics, there lives a Gelfling, Jen. The Skeksis killed his family, destroyed his clan. Only Jen survived, to be raised by the wisest of the Mystics. But there is a prophecy. A thousand years have passed, and now, once more, the world must undergo a time of testing. Now it must he healed, or pass forever into the rule of evil. At this time, Jen is the chosen one. Today, Jen's pipe gives no comfort. For today, his master lies dying. And a journey must begin - the journey of Jen."

One day, Jen's mentor, UrSu, the Wisest of the Mystics passes away. Before his death however, he sent Jen away on a quest to restore the small broken shard to The Crystal, a powerful giant Crystal that is inside of the Crystal Palace, which has been long overthrown by the Skeksis.

There the Crystal floats, levitating effortlessly above a shaft of air and fire and is used by the Skeksis to rejuvenate themselves to live as immortals. The shard must be properly inserted back into it's missing place all before the three suns in the sky meet and line together, which will permanently set the lands fate. If not the prophecy is ruined and Skeksis rule and live forever. As he laid dying, UrSu instructed Jen to visit Aughra and retrieve the True Shard from her. Jen sets out on a dangerous adventure to bring their fragile world to its proper order once again as Gelflings are the destined rulers of the land.

The swamp of the Darkened World
The swamp of the Darkened World

After retrieving the True Shard from Aughra and witnessing her Observatory raided and destroyed by the Garthim, he meets another Gelfling named Kira, who is also accompanied by her pet sidekick named Fizzgig. Kira is a young kind girl who can speak with animals and all the living things. Unlike male Gelflings, she bares a beautiful set of wings on her back which allows her to fly. Through an ability called dreamfasting, Jens sees that shed survived the Garthim attack as an infant, but was taken in by the friendly little Podling clan who taught her how to speak with animals and plants. At first, the two of them are both astonished by one another as both believed they were the last and only surviving Gelfling in existence.

Meanwhile, skekSil the Chamberlain was exiled from the Castle after he lost to skekUng in a contest (the Trial by Stone) to succeed the Emperor. Scheming to earn back the favor of the Skeksis court, skekSil followed the Garthim as they pursued Jen and Kira on their journey. Kira sheltered Jen in the Podling village, but the village was also raided and destroyed by Garthim soldiers. Paradoxically, Jen and Kira were saved only by the intervention of the Chamberlain.

The Wall of Destiny

Jen on a Landstrider
Jen on a Landstrider

They then discover the "Houses of the Old Ones" and there they found the Wall of Destiny. It is only then that they truly understood the Wall of Destiny; they must take the True Shard to the Castle before the Third Great Conjunction and heal the Dark Crystal. SkekSil confronted Jen and Kira at the Wall of Destiny, attempting to (in his words) "make peace," but Kira kept her wits and the pair of Gelfling fled to the Hill of the Landstriders. Kira summoned a pair of landstriders to help them on their quest and with the landstriders’ assistance and speed, they swiftly rode to the Castle. They were then able to fight off the Garthim raiders and sneak into the Castle through the Teeth of Skreesh. Jen, who was injured by skekSil, was revived by Fizzgig. He traveled into the bowels of the Castle, fell into a dark Garthim Pit, and eventually made his way up to the chamber holding the Dark Crystal.

Healing the Dark Crystal

The Skeksis, Mystics and Gelfling all converged in the Crystal Chamber as the three suns aligned overhead in the Third Great Conjunction. The Skeksis spotted Kira and Jen, and called on the Garthim to attack. As Jen tried to escape a Garthim attack, he jumped onto the Dark Crystal and dropped the shard. Kira picked up the shard to protect it from the Skeksis and in doing so, sacrificed herself to return the shard to Jen so he could heal the Crystal. Kira was then mortally wounded by skekZok.

As the light refracted through the Crystal during the Third Great Conjunction, the Skeksis and urRu once again combined to their original form as urSkeks. The grateful urSkeks restored Kira’s life and departed for their home through the pure Crystal. And with the healing of the Crystal, so too was Thra healed. The wasteland receded and turned green and vital once again.

Personality

Jen is a kind, courageous and intelligent young boy of an unknown age who is a Gelfling by birth and was orphaned at a very young age.

Skills and Abilities

Note: Information taken from The Dark Crystal novelization by A.C.H. Smith and the book The World of the Dark Crystal by J. J. LLwellynn.

Taught by the Mystics, Jen has knowledge in reading, writing, riddles, tying knots, sharpening a knife, had initiated him into the mysteries of music, the principles of geometry, enchantments, and dreams, covered with the protection of spirals of power so that he might be fit to restore the shard. Jen also carries with him a small double-pronged flute called a Firca which he plays.

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