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The BLACK ANGEL of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Resurfaces

A missing piece of Star Wars history has returned.

During the production of The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas commissioned Roger Christian to write and direct a short film called Black Angel to run in front of Empire in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Scandinavia. This was was reportedly Lucas’ way of thanking Christian for his Oscar-winning art direction on the original 1977 Star Wars.

The negative for Black Angel was lost for three decades before a print of the short film was rediscovered in 2011. Yesterday, Anderson posted the restored print of Black Angel on YouTube with a new introduction, in which he cites the short’s influence on Excalibur and even The Empire Strikes Back itself.

Black Angel stars Tony Vogel as Sir Maddox, a medieval knight returning from the Crusades who finds himself on a quest to rescue a maiden (Patricia Christian) from her captor, a knight known as the Black Angel. The short was filmed on a shoestring budget of £25,000, and Christian suggests “setting your clock back 34 years” when viewing it.

As a director, Christian’s biggest claim to fame is the infamous Battlefield Earth adaptation. However, he has also helmed several other features including Starship, Nostradamus, Stranded, and Prisoners of the Sun. Christian was also a second unit director on Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, in addition to his art directing turns on Alien and Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.

In his Youtube introduction for Black Angel, Christian hints that there will be “some very exciting news” coming on June 2 that will be announced on Black Angel’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

What do you think of the film? Let us know in the comments below!

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