Strik­ing Back

the in­flu­en­tial Star Wars com­pan­ion piece is be­com­ing a fea­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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.

sci- fact!

Black An­gel was a ma­jor vis­ual in­flu­ence on John Boor­man’s 1981 fan­tasy epic Ex­cal­ibur.

Chris­tian with Ge­orge Lu­cas mak­ing The Phan­tom Men­ace.

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