Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: Clip From Newly Discovered 'Black Angel' Short That Played In Front Of 'Empire Strikes Back'

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist October 17, 2013 at 9:16AM

It would appear from the volumes of making-of materials and documentaries on “Star Wars” that Lucasfilm has nearly every piece of film surrounding it stored in the archives. However, less preserved are the outside works of those who worked on the saga, namely “Star Wars” art director Roger Christian: with financial assistance from George Lucas in 1979, he wrote, produced and directed a 25-minute short entitled “Black Angel” that showed in front of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Since its release, it was presumed that copies of the film were lost forever, but with the news back in December that its original negative had been found, we've got our first glimpse of the short, as well as clarification on its latest release.
0
Black Angel

It would appear from the volumes of making-of materials and documentaries on “Star Wars” that Lucasfilm has nearly every piece of film surrounding it stored in the archives. However, less preserved are the outside works of those who worked on the saga, namely “Star Wars” art director Roger Christian: with financial assistance from George Lucas in 1979, he wrote, produced and directed a 25-minute short entitled “Black Angel” that showed in front of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Since its release, it was presumed that copies of the film were lost forever, but with the news back in December that its original negative had been found, we've got our first glimpse of the short, as well as clarification on its latest release.

Following "a knight returning from the Crusades who is transported to a mystical realm where he must rescue a princess from a black knight," the Akira Kurosawa-influenced film has never been publicly shown since European and Australian screenings of 'Empire' in 1980. But after a lucky discovery in the Universal archives led to a new digital restoration of the film from Athena Studios, it was finally given its North American premiere this week at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County. Understandably, Christian has spoken out on his excitement and eagerness to get it screened. "I've waited three decades to be able to show this film to audiences once again," he said. "I'm so grateful."

Christian is eying a Netflix and iTunes release next year for “Black Angel,” and last year, he also expressed the idea of showing it back in its premiere spot—in front of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Even with possible theatrical tie-ins of the original trilogy with J.J. Abrams' new effort it seems unlikely that Christian will get his wish, but we're willing to bet a repertory theatre is up for showcasing “Black Angel” in style nonetheless. You can read a full account of Christian's journey to making the film over at the LA Times, as well as catch a brief clip of the director's finished, restored work.

This article is related to: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars, Black Angel


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates