Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes 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.


E-Mail Updates