Black Angel — Short Film


added: Thu, May 14th '15

If you lived in England or Australia in 1980 and saw the first theatrical release of "The Empire Strikes Back," then you might have also seen a 25-minute Excalibur-esque short film called "Black Angel," which was commissioned by George Lucas to screen in front of the "Star Wars" sequel.

The medieval-set fantasy short, which told of a 12th-century crusader's dream-like quest to kill an evil black knight, marked the directorial debut of Oscar-winning set decorator Roger Christian, whose production design credits, at the time, included the first "Star Wars" movie and Ridley Scott's "Alien." (Sadly, Christian's promising directing career went completely off the rails in 2000 when he directed John Travolta in the universally panned "Battlefield Earth.")

Not seen since its original theatrical run and was never released on either video or DVD, the obscure short film was considered be lost and practically forgotten. An odd piece of trivia among "Star Wars" fans who vaguely remembered seeing it as children.

Copies of "Black Angel" were all but gone. But back in December of 2011, an archivist from Universal Studios discovered what was likely the last remaining film negative of the movie. Since then, it has been meticulously restored and has recently been screened at a couple of film festivals.

Making good on his word that he would eventually released "Black Angel" on the internet, director Roger Christian has uploaded his film on youtube for everyone to see and enjoy. Watch it above. For more info on the movie, you can check out the official website at

The mythological drama follows a Knight returning from the wars to find his land destroyed and his family dead from a great sickness. Returning to the wars with nothing to live for, he falls into a river and is dragged down by the weight of his armour. At the last breath, he manages to pull off his armoured helmet. Swimming to the surface he ascends into a strange land where he meets a maiden bound to the Black Angel. He vows to save her and fulfill his Knights quest to rescue a maiden. In a fight to the death he confronts the Black Angel, a mysterious figure, an angel of death. Especially commissioned by George Lucas to accompany STAR WARS; THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK on its world release wherever a short film was programmed. The 25min medieval fantasy was written and directed by Roger Christian.


directed by   Roger J. Christian

starring   Tony Vogel, Patricia Christian, James Gibb, John Young

release date   May 21, 1980

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