Watch clip from long-lost short that played in front of Empire Strikes Back

One of the great legends surrounding Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is the fate of the mythical short film Black Angel that ran in front of it — which was thought to be lost forever. Until now.

Directed by Star Wars art director Roger Christian, and partially bankrolled by George Lucas, the 25-minute story of a “knight returning from the Crusades who is transported to a mystical realm where he must rescue a princess from a black knight” ran in front of theatrical cuts of Empire Strikes Back, mostly because Lucas thought it'd be a cool contrast to his futuristic film.

But over the years, the prints were lost or destroyed — and for decades, most believed the film was gone for good. That is, until the original negative turned up last year, and now Christian is prepping a full-fledged release via services like Netflix and iTunes next year so those of us who didn’t make it out to the theater in 1980 can get a look.

Christian has also said he'd like to get the short back into theaters — possibly attached to a release of Empire Strikes Back, if that happens — but that's admittedly a long shot. But it sure would be awesome.

To whet our appetite, he’s released the first clip from the short. Check it out below and let us know what you think:

(Via The Playlist)

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