Recently, a documentary was released to YouTube in three parts about what was a proposed movie called Blackstar Warrior, an all-black take on the Star Wars universe that features what would have been the first appearance of the Lando Calrissian character.
The documentary uncovers the sad tale of Frederic Jackson, Sr., an African-American businessman who attempted to self-finance Blackstar Warrior. The documentary also has interviews with Jackson’s son and reveals the obstacles and trials that prevented Blackstar Warrior from ever being completed.
You can watch all three parts of the documentary here below, the third part of which has what is being touted as actual footage from Blackstar Warrior. There’s been some talk that this documentary is a parody or a hoax, but Geeks of Doom had a chance to speak with Matt Haley, a comic book artist involved with this documentary, who helped clear up the situation for us. Check out our interview with Haley here below.
Geeks of Doom: Some people think that this Blackstar Warrior documentary is a hoax or a parody, because at the end of the YouTube videos it says “…this work of parody.” Is this a real documentary or a parody?
Matt Haley: It’s a documentary about a proposed ‘blaxploitation sci-fi’ film that may have been partially shot in 1977 after an aspiring filmmaker saw Star Wars for the first time.
GoD: Why does it say “Help us find lost footage” at the end of the video?
MH: There may be actual footage somewhere out there, but all signs point to the film that was shot being confiscated in the alleged police raid of the warehouse shooting location.
GoD: How did you become involved with the documentary series?
MH: I created the LANDO-as-SHAFT poster for fun a while back [see poster here at top and click for large full view], and I was contacted by someone saying he was the son of a man who may have tried to make a ‘black Star Wars’.
GoD: Are any of the original actors from the proposed film still around?
MH: Not that I know of, we have been unable to find cast names.
GoD: George Lucas is notorious for getting cease and desist notices issued when his he feels his copyright is threatened. Do the makers of the documentary fear retaliation?
MH: Very, this is completely non-profit, and we just don’t want anybody getting their noses out of joint about this. This being the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back, it seemed the perfect time to tell this story.
GoD: What is the main purpose of doing the documentary?
MH: To spread the idea about how fun a ‘black Star Wars’ would be, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ESB [Empire Strikes Back].
GoD: Is the original script still in existence?
MH: We have parts of it.
GoD: Could the Blackstar Warrior film ever be made for a modest budget while still being true to the vision of the original screenwriter?
MH: Absolutely, it could be done for very little.
GoD: Thank you, Matt Haley, for taking the time out to speak with us!
The story of Blackstar Warrior is a very interesting tale and I would like to believe that it’s true. If so, shame on you, George Lucas, for not revealing the true origins of Lando Calrissian sooner. Also, I would love to see this film eventually get made. Maybe Michael Jai White could play Lando Calrissian. They could tour the country with this movie. I think of Blackstar Warrior as “Star Wars with soul” and I really hope this documentary is viewed by as many people as possible.