There’s a big jump between Pitch Black and its sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, in terms of narrative and scope, raising questions about what happened in between to escaped convict Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel). Released in 2000, Pitch Black was a lean sci-fi sleeper hit that found Riddick stranded on a hostile planet with the bounty hunter bringing him to justice and a ragtag group of colonists, everyone struggling to stay alive during the inhospitable world’s lunar eclipse. After the sudden appearance of its light-sensitive bioraptors, people started getting picked off one by one, and Riddick’s survival skills were put to the ultimate test.
After the success of the first film, 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick placed Riddick in the path of the Necromongers, a fanatical race led by the Lord Marshal, who would stop at nothing to convert every human to the Underverse, even wiping out Riddick’s homeworld of Furya to do so. It featured a much larger budget and a sprawling cast, generating confusion about what happened in between both films to warrant such a salient change. As it turns out, an animated movie released around the time of the second film bridges the dramatic gap between the indie cult hit and the huge blockbuster.
Dark Fury Explains What Happens After Pitch Black
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury explains what happens between Pitch Black and its sequel, beginning with Riddick, Jack (Rhiana Griffith), and the Imam (Keith David) getting off the bioraptor world. Directed by Korean-American animator Peter Chung, responsible for such ground-breaking series as Aeon Flux, the animated short film chronicles the trio’s run-in with Captain Antonia Chillingsworth (Tress MacNeille) and her crew of mercenaries, who force Riddick into gladiatorial combat before preparing him for suspended animation. At a brisk 35 minutes, the film isn’t included in the chronological order of Riddick movies because it really only has time to focus on Riddick’s capture and subsequent escape.
The end sets up a subplot about a bounty hunter named Toombs, who doggedly follows Riddick after he safely delivers Jack and Imam to New Mecca, dovetailing nicely with the plot of The Chronicles of Riddick. Dark Fury does offer a little more world-building with creatures like the jellyfish-like Shrills and Chillingsworth’s carnivorous hunter that Riddick fights, showcasing his unique fighting abilities and making his franchise feel more alien. It’s also noteworthy as the last time Griffith got to portray Jack before her role was recast with Alexa Davalos against Diesel’s wishes in The Chronicles of Riddick.
How Does Riddick Get To Crematoria In Chronicles?
Toombs eventually catches up with Riddick in the years after his escape and delivers him to the triple-max prison below the surface of Crematoria, a harsh planet being seen for the first time n the second The Chronicles of Riddick movie. Their banter is confusing for anyone who hasn’t seen the backstory established in Dark Fury, and Toombs jokes that Riddick will never escape Crematoria, though he should be well aware of Riddick’s skills from the events of Dark Fury. Riddick encounters Jack in the same prison, who now goes by Kyra, and their interactions come across as though they haven’t interacted since Pitch Black.
Together, Riddick and Kyra become involved in a feud between the prison warden, the bounty hunters, and the Necromongers for Riddick, the last Furyan and the one prophesied to slay the Lord Marshal. Dark Fury further highlighted Riddick’s strength and agility, so when he fights the Lord Marshal aboard the Necromonger flagship and the latter is mortally wounded despite having his own superhuman abilities, it makes sense. The Chronicles of Riddick ends with Riddick assuming the throne as the new leader of the Necromonger Empire, though much like what happened between it and Pitch Black, Riddick makes another huge narrative leap with no Dark Fury to bridge the gap.
MORE: Riddick’s Full Powers & Abilities Explained