I’d never heard of “Black Angel” before today, but there’s a fascinating story that accompanies the 34-year-old short film. It was directed by Roger Christian, the Oscar-winning art director of Star Wars and Alien, and George Lucas commissioned the short to be made so it could debut in front of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in theaters in Europe. It’s a fantasy film that had a big influence on sword and sorcery movies that followed, including John Boorman’s Excalibur (Boorman showed it to his entire crew before filming that movie), and also impacted Empire itself, since Lucas used Christian’s “step-printing” technique to slow down one of the lightsaber fight sequences.
The short was lost for decades and was recently unearthed, and now io9 points us to the full film that you can watch below, including a cool introduction from Christian himself that fills you in on the whole backstory:
See BLACK Ange, The Lost Short That Debuted with the Empire Strikes Back