Back in 1980, when 20th Century Fox released Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Europe and Australia, it was paired with a dark crusader knight tale directed by Roger Christian, the Oscar-winning set director for Star Wars: A New Hope. Most American audiences have never seen this 25-minute fantasy film chronicling an errant knight trudging home from the bloody battlefields, as it was lost to the ages until three years ago, when it went through a rigorous restoration process to be presented anew. Christian made this little genre gem after delivering a pitch to George Lucas, who commissioned him to shoot his short in Scotland with a minimal cast and crew on a $40K budget.
It was screened at several film festivals last year for the first time in more than 30 years to great acclaim. The finished film accompanied screenings of The Empire Strikes Back in international markets and was influential to John Boorman as he was filming the legendary Excalibur. There's a stark beauty and simplicity to Christian's creation that definitely made its mark on many medieval movies to follow.
Have a look at this evocative film and tell us if it deserved to be matched with the epic Empire.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)