“Black Angel” was a short film made in 1980 by Roger Christian, art director of Star Wars. While on set with George Lucas, he was tasked with creating a short film that would premiere with The Empire Strikes Back. The film was positively received, though the original negatives were lost afterward. However, upon rediscovery two years ago in the Universal Studios collections, the film is now once again available for viewing, having been posted online.
The Metro reports that the lost “Star Wars fantasy mini-film” had been well thought of by others in directorial circles, and that John Boorman had “even screened it as inspiration for the entire crew of Excalibur.”
The story is that of a knight who, having returned from the Crusades, embarks on an Arthurian quest with symbolic, and at times peculiar undertones. Present within are the familiar ghostly damsel, symbolizing purity, and of course, “The Black Angel,” who has manifested more than once as the mythic dark knight and combatant present within many renditions of the archetypal hero’s quest.
The story is simple, and even minimalist, relying on very little dialogue, and instead allowing the scenery to carry the story. However, the locations (filmed entirely in Scotland) as well as the score and cinematography are quite good, and perhaps a little haunting at times.
The film is now slated for a redux, which will likely star Rutger Hauer and John Rhys–Davies. It will be interesting to see how they broaden the scope into a feature-length production.