the influential Star Wars companion piece is becoming a feature
Patience is a virtue. Filmmaker roger christian has waited 35 years for audiences’ tastes to change so he can turn his short film Black Angel into a fully- fledged epic fantasy feature. specially commissioned by George Lucas, the short film was a 25- minute theatrical companion piece to The Empire Strikes Back during its original 1980 release.
“Fox had put some short film about policemen going on holiday with Star Wars, which George thought alienated his audience,” reveals christian, a former set decorator and art director who was responsible for the Oscar- winning aesthetics on Star Wars and Alien. “so George had requested that a film be specially made to accompany Empire and they were trying to find a script.
“By pure chance i’d written Black Angel and couldn’t get it made. i was sitting watching Alien being sound mixed and the head of Fox came over to ask what i was doing. i told him about my script and after reading it he said, ‘ i need to send this to George!’ the immediate reply was for me to make the film the way i wanted with no intrusion.”
shot in seven days within remote locales of scotland, the film concerns the knight sir Maddox who seeks revenge against the perpetrator who brought devastation to his land and people. after meeting a maiden who saves him from drowning, sir Maddox vows to free her from the enigmatic Black Knight – culminating in a battle between the two. this sequence consequently had an impact on Luke’s nightmarish Dagobah duel in Empire.
For his $ 15 million feature film christian has already secured Blade Runner veteran rutger Hauer and Lord Of The Rings’ John rhys- Davis. the director promises to go back to the old days of gritty realism. “Game Of Thrones and LOTR have made the arena possible for me to get this made now. i really want the audience to smell the blood, sweat and tears of this film.”
Black Angel is due to open in 2016.
Black Angel was a major visual influence on John Boorman’s 1981 fantasy epic Excalibur.
Christian with George Lucas making The Phantom Menace.