If you’re a fan of “Star Wars” you might know the legend of the lost 25-minute short film that accompanied the theatrical release of “Empire Strikes Back” in 1980.
Directed by “Empire” art director Roger Christian, “Black Angel” is a stunning short film set in medieval times that follows a knight who battles a ghost-like warrior for the soul of a young girl.
Shot on a budget of £25,000 in Scotland with a nine person crew, four actors, and two trained horses, “Black Angel” only played during the theatrical run of “Empire” overseas, including 400 theatres in the UK. But word quickly got to the States of the amazing work by Christian.
Lucas, who fully supported the short, told people that the slow-motion lightsaber battle dream sequence between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in “Empire” was inspired by a slo-mo fight sequence in “Black Angel.”
And a year later, when the Hollywood epic “Excalibur” opened, word spread that director John Boorman (“Deliverance”) encouraged everyone on set to watch “Black Angel.”
Unfortunately, it has taken roughly 35 years for the film to finally be shown again.
“Black Angel” was considered lost forever when Christian believed the only negative in existence was destroyed when the UK’s Rank Laboratories, where the film was stored, went out of business in 1995.
As the Internet came along fans, of “Black Angel,” and those just curious to see it, would not let the spirit of the film die as it gradually built a cult following, with stories written about it and forum discussions dedicated to it spreading over the years.
Then around 2011, Christian got word that original elements of the film were discovered at Universal Studios.
Christian began to get the word out.
The film was shown at a few film festivals last year. Then last month it was uploaded onto YouTube.
Now that the short is available, it’s the perfect time for Christian to go forward with what he originally wanted to do — make the story into a feature length film.
He currently has Rutger Hauer (“Blade Runner”) and John Rhys-Davies (“The Lord of the Rings”) to star in the feature version and has started a Indiegogo campaign to raise $US100,000.
Watch “Black Angel” below.
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