Star Wars Lost and Found History: Black Angel

It’s summertime, 1980 and you’re in a mercifully cool, air-conditioned theater. The lights go down and your heart rate increases in anticipation of the feature attraction — The Empire Strikes Back. If you were at a theater in America, that’s exactly what you got, but if you saw The Empire Strikes Back at a European or Australian theater, you saw something more.

For theatrical release, George Lucas wanted a featurette to precede Star Wars Episode V, and he found a story in Black Angel, a script by eventual Empire Strikes Back Art Director Roger Christian.

Lucas gave Christian the job directing what would become a 25-minute featurette about a medieval knight who must rescue a princess. There were thematic similarities between Black Angel and the Star Wars saga, and Christian made use of step-printing to slow down action sequences, a technique that would come to be used in the Star Wars Saga and mimicked by countless others.

Black Angel was shown to European and Australian audiences immediately preceding Empire and for those who saw it, it was something special and became part of Star Wars lore.

Black Angel, however, was lost for thirty years. Like a TV remote lost in the bowels of an old sofa, nobody knew for sure if it was lost forever. No known complete print of the film existed, so it was a thrill for Star Wars Fans when one was recently discovered at Universal. At long last, it’s a chance for everyone to see what many believe is a more complete vision of the Star Wars mythos.

Black Angel. Watch it in its entirety below.

Take a look. What do you think? Do you see the parallel themes and mythology in Star Wars? Were you one of the rare viewers who got to see Black Angel in theaters? Let us know in the comments.

Published by Troy Larson

Publisher, photographer, producer, husband and father. Cat person. Dog lover.

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