The directorial debut of Roger Christian that played before Empire Strikes Back, Black Angel has been found

Let’s go back to 1980 when STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was first relased in theaters. Now let’s get location specific. For those who lived in Europe and Australia and went to see the film, you were most likely treated with a short film that opened before the main course called BLACK ANGEL. This short was the directorial debut of STAR WARS art director Roger Christian with financial backing from Lucas.

Christian said this of when the director first read the material, “When George read the script, he felt it was very suitable to go with the Star Wars legacy.”

It’s possible that many of STAR WARS fans have never heard of this short. The story centered on, a knight returning from the Crusades who is transported to a mystical realm where he must rescue a princess from a black knight.” The art design and cinematography went on to influence other fantasy films like it from EXCALIBUR to LEGEND. Christian noted that, “Fans had rarely seen images like this on the big screen.”

So why am I going on about this short? Well, it never made its way to VHS or any other formats, and Christian never could find the negative…until he got a call from an archivist at Universal last December. Christian recalls the conversation with the archivist, “He said, ‘We found this tin of film labeled Black Angel, and it seems to point to you. I wrote back, ‘You just made my Christmas for the last 20 years.’”

As you can already guess, we will get to see this lost short film, but Christian is still figuring out the best way to present its debut, “Probably the best way is a downloadable version. I think it would be great to see it in a cinema again on a program with Empire Strikes Back. That’s how it was intended to be seen.”

Source: Wired, Bleeding Cool

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