A little-known part of Star Wars history is Black Angel, a 25-minute film that tells the story of a medieval knight returning home from the Crusades and discovering a strange land instead. It was the directorial debut of Roger Christian, who designed the sets on the first Star Wars film, and was given a small budget by George Lucas to create the short film, which was later shown to audiences before Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in Europe and Australia.
A warm up before "Empire" started
Tragically, the negatives of the film were considered lost for years. In a new interview with Esquire, Christian says he stored the original negatives and print of the film at a film studio in London, which ended up going bankrupt and getting rid of the copies after he failed to claim them. Another copy was discovered by an archivist at Universal Studios more than a decade later in 2011. That eventually led to a frame-by-frame restoration of the work by Athena Studios, a version that's since been shown at festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, and more recently Glasgow, Scotland. Now it's headed for a wider release. Christian says that could come on iTunes, Netflix later this year, or as part of a special re-release of Episode V.