Lost and Found: 'Star Wars' Pre-Show Short Film 'Black Angel'


From Yahoo Movies

Well, here's a hot-ticket panel we'll probably be seeing at "Star Wars" Celebration next year.

A long time ago, in our own galaxy, there were short films screened before features. One such short film, a 25-minute fantasy epic called "Black Angel," was shown before certain overseas prints of "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" (1980).

And then, inexplicably, it was gone, with no trace of a negative or bootleg VHS copy to be found. Lost to legend, obscurity, and the occasional reference at fan conventions.

Until now.

'Black Angel'

"Black Angel" was commissioned in 1979 by "Star Wars" mastermind George Lucas as a short film to accompany "The Empire Strikes Back." According to Esquire, Lucas ordered 20th Century Fox to create something that would complement the tone of the darker, more mature "Star Wars" sequel.

The gig ended up going to Roger Christian, who had won the Oscar for Best Art Direction — Set Decoration for his work on "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope" (1977). Christian was one of Lucas's trusted friends and colleagues, having found creative and cost-efficient ways to make the first "Star Wars" film look a lot more expensive than its tightly strapped $4 million budget.

Christian had finished working on set decoration for Ridley Scott's "Alien" (which also earned Christian an Oscar nomination) and was looking to take on directing. He wrote a script called "Black Angel," a fantasy film about a knight from the Crusades who's transported to a magical realm where he must rescue a princess from the title villain.

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