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Watch the Lost Short Film George Lucas Wanted to Play Before “Empire Strikes Back”

Black Angel

In case you hadn’t already guessed, this is not our story’s hero.

When George Lucas went to make The Empire Strikes Back, he decided he wanted a short film to screen before the main feature to set the tone. He dispatched Roger Christian, who’d served as a set decorator on Star Wars, to direct a script that Christian had written. The resulting short film was “Black Angel,” about a knight who gets back from the Crusades to find that things are not at all as he left them. There is a quest, there is a mysterious lady, there is a Black Knight. This 25-minute movie is said to have influenced Excalibur, Lionheart, Ladyhawke, and even Empire Strikes Back itself.

Some audiences in the UK saw “Black Angel,” but the film has been considered lost for over 30 years. Then, recently, a print turned up, and it’s now available on YouTube—you can see it in its entirety below, following some introductory comments from Roger Christian. It also has a website: blackangelmovie.com.

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