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|PERFORMER||Jim Henson puppeteer|
|Jerry Nelson voice|
SkekSo had ruled the Skeskis since the split of the Crystal, and the division of UrSkeks. He was part of a political alliance with skekSil, skekAyuk, and skekEkt. In the early part of his reign, skekSo had shone with glory, leading feast processions and dances, beating all his rivals in tournaments. As the Skeksis aged and diminished, skekSo kept authority through favoritism, suspicion, and sheer courage. But soon his sight weakened, his body rotted with ulcers, and the other Skeksis awaited his death.
Production notes for the film emphasize the Emperor's dying face "going dark like a piece of bad fruit", as opposed to Master urSu turning into light. For the final deterioration of skekSo, a puppet was made of a wax with high melting points so that it would crumble and melt away at different rates. Skeksis decompose so quickly because they have no soul to slow the process.
Although no performer is given a puppeteering credit for the Emperor in the film's ending credits, it can be inferred, based on information given in The Making of the Dark Crystal, that Jim Henson performed skekSo: "A few leading roles had been assigned well in advance of shooting. Jim Henson would enact Jen, the dying Emperor, and the Ritual-Master."