|“||We live, we live, we live forever!||„|
|~ The Skeksis during the Great Conjunction.|
|“||Hail the new emperor!!||„|
|~ The Skeksis as they praise SkekUng the Garthim Master as the new emperor.|
The Skeksis, also known as the "Skeksès", are an evil race of chimeric beings and the main antagonist race in the 1982 dark-fantasy film The Dark Crystal and the 2019 TV series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. They are the opposite of the gentle UrRu (known as the Mystics in the movie).
The Skeksis are part reptile, part predatory bird and part dragon and wore elaborate but threadbare robes to make themselves appear more larger and intimidating.
Unlike their counterparts, who possess the positive composition of the UrSkeks, the Skeksis instead carry the negative; as such being arrogant, egotistical, and have little to no regard for life or even each other. Furthermore, despite having alliances in the castle, they will often plot or have a rivalry (such in the case of SkekSil and SkekUng) against each other inside or outside of the alliance, heavily suggesting the Skeksis to be deceitful and double-crossing.
When the Crystal (originally known as the Crystal of Truth) cracked long, one of the two races born from the essence of the semi-devine race of creatures known as the UrSkeks resulting from the split, were the evil Skeksis, embodiments of the evil inside the UrSkeks. They live out a superficial existence of intrigue while struggling to retain their grip on the biodiverse planet Thra. They keep essence-drained Podlings as slaves, have their own personal army in the Garthim, and absolutely despise Gelflings, a race they thought they have completely exterminated following the Garthim Wars.
There were originally eighteen Skeksis, but by the time of the Great Conjunction when they rejoined with their benevolent opposites, the Mystics, only eight remained.
In the film, the Skeksis are desperate to make themselves immortal despite using the crystal to prolong their lives. SkekSo, the emperor of the race, died from a trine of declining health and rotting. The other Skeksis discuss in the throne room who will take SkekSo's place, though the Chamberlain, SkekSil, declared that he should be emperor. However, SkekSil was challenged by SkekUng the Garthim Master to a duel of "Trial by Stone". SkekUng wins and the Chamberlain was soon stripped of his rank, and his clothes, and banished out of the castle. The Skeksis soon discovered a Gelfling named Jen (the protagonist of the film) and sent out the Garthim to track him down, as Jen seemed to be the last of his kind.
However, while the Garthim did find Jen in the laboratory of Aughra, they failed to capture him, instead getting Aughra whilst destroying her laboratory. Aughra was later brought before the Skeksis in the middle of their feast, only to rant at them. This angered, and also offended, the Skeksis so they decided to sent out Crystal Bats. Later on, two of the Skeksis discovered SkekSil holding Kira, another Gelfling who was actually with Jen, captive and alarmingly reported to SkekUng of this. Due to his desire for Gelfling essence, the Garthim Master reinstated SkekSil as chamberlain and had Kira given to SkekTek to be extracted of her vitality. This eventually backfires as Kira called upon the animals imprisoned in the Scientist's lab for help, which was successful but resulted in SkekTek and his counterpart's deaths.
Jen, surviving a cave-in committed by SkekSil, managed to get inside the Crystal chamber just as soon as the Skeksis begin their ritual of receiving immortality from the Great Conjunction, and alights upon the Crystal, but the shard fell from his hands. An escaped Kira throws the shard back to him, returning it to Jen. In so doing she leaves herself open to attack, and she is killed by the Skeksis Ritual Master; this left a horrified but enraged Jen to restore the Crystal. The castle startled to crumble and the Skeksis were unwillingly reunited with the incoming Mystics to form the UrSkeks.
- SkekSo, the Emperor (voiced by the late Jerry Nelson)
- SkekZok, the Ritual-Master (voiced by the late Jerry Nelson)
- SkekUng, the Garthim-Master (voiced by Michael Kilgarriff)
- SkekSil, the Chamberlain (voiced by the late Barry Dennen)
- SkekTek, the Scientist (voiced by Steve Whitmire)
- SkekAyuk, the Gourmand (voiced by Thick Wilson)
- SkekNa, the Slave-Master (voiced by the late David Buck)
- SkekShod, the Treasurer (voiced by Charles Collingwood)
- SkekOk, the Scroll-Keeper (voiced by John Baddeley)
- SkekEkt, the Ornamentalist (voiced by Brian Muehl)
- SkekVar, the General
- SkekLach, the Collector
- SkekGra, the Conquerer
- SkekLi, the Satirist
- SkekSa, the Mariner
- SkekMal, the Hunter (voiced by Ralph Ineson)
- Although there are eighteen and then eight of them, the Skeksis were originally based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
- Initially, the Skeksis had a constructed language that is a mix of ancient Greek and Egyptian. This was eventually scrapped due to test screening audiences find it confusing alongside with the captions present.
- SkekSa the Mariner is the only member of the Skeksis confirmed to be female, as the rest are primarily male.
- Skeksis is both singular and plural, but the plural form is "Skeksès" (pronounced 'Skek-sees').