2013 is shaping up to be a pretty good time to be a fan of all things Star Wars. In addition to new canonical installments coming in 2015 and a glut of rumors and information to pore over, a number of odd Star Wars related artifacts have been brought to light—or more accurately, reintroduced—to the general public.
First up is Black Angel, a medieval-set short film that, though not directly tied to the Star Wars mythos, screened before the original run of Empire Strikes Back in some locations. Ars Technica reports that the film is screening again at a film festival near Skywalker Ranch. It was directed by Star Wars set designer Roger Christian and financed by George Lucas for about $50,000 as a 'thank you' for Christian's help.
Lucasfilm partnered with 20th Century Fox on the original trilogy, so it was Sandy Lieberson, president of Fox at the time, who initially approached Christian. The filmmaker submitted his script and recalls getting a response from Lieberson within the week. “’They love it. Make it. Here’s the money. I just have to tell you George told us that no one’s to see this film, no one’s to interfere with it. The first person to see it is him.’”
Last week, Tested published a lengthy piece on a long-forgotten Japanese arena show centering on George Lucas properties entitled George Lucas' Super Live Adventure, which featured both an inflatable Jabba the Hutt and inflatable jukebox a la American Graffiti.
GLSLA's Star Wars finale combines the Death Star ofA New Hope with the climax of Return of the Jedi, blending the threat to the rebel base with the death of the Emperor--this time it's Vader who gets thrown down an energy shaft--and Jedi's climactic space battle. But most of the iconic images from the films actually show up on stage, including Jabba and a life-size Millenium Falcon. Super Live Adventure's script can't truly convey the scale of the production, or its quirks; the way the Japanese audio and the actors' exaggerated motions don't quite line up, lending the show a slight Power Rangers feel. Or the way combining classic film scenes and brand new ones, like Indiana Jones facing off against a sleepy, disinterested tiger, feels a bit like big-budget fan fiction.
Finally, September 4th saw the release of Dark Horse Comics's The Star Wars, a graphic adaptation of the original Star Wars screenplay, which featured a number of considerable differences from the finished product including an extraterrestrial Han Solo and "lazer swords." Not sure what the latter of those translated into.