If you saw Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in the theater in Europe or Australia, you may also have seen a short film called Black Angel. This ground-breaking 20 minute sword-and-sorcery film was directed by Star Wars art director Roger Christian, and it influenced the look and feel of 1980s fantasy films like Legend and Excalibur. And then the film was lost, apparently forever.
Now, a copy of Black Angel has been discovered by an archivist at Universal Studios. And Christian says the film, about a knight returning from the Crusades who must enter a mystical realm and rescue a princess from a black knight, could soon be available. Christian tells Wired:
Probably the best way is a downloadable version. I think it would be great to see it in a cinema again on a program with Empire Strikes Back. That's how it was intended to be seen.
As Wired explains, Black Angel is a groundbreaking film because of its technique of slowing down and elongating the action scenes via a process called step-printing, which George Lucas then used for the lightsaber fight in Empire Strikes Back. In any case, it sounds like a visual treat, which takes all of the fantasy elements in Star Wars and brings them to the fore. Can't wait to see it! [Wired]