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Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner dies at 87

11.29.2010

Irvin Kershner, director of possibly the greatest science-fiction film of all-time in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, died in Los Angeles last night at the age of 87. Kershner, who would only direct two films after EMPIRE, had long been suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Though he only had a few minor film credits to his resume (including THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE and S*P*Y*S) Lucas chose Kershner to direct EMPIRE because he knew everything about directing without being "too Hollywood." Though Kershner originally turned the gig down, he was eventually convinced and movie history was made.

After EMPIRE, he went on to direct NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, Sean Connery's not-so-triumphant return to the James Bond franchise and ROBOCOP 2, a sci-fi sequel that is probably the exact opposite of EMPIRE in terms of quality.

But Kershner's heart was never in directing Hollywood movies and he eventually returned to working at USC where he served as a professor of photography and writing.

If you've got the time, read this fantastic interview with Kershner from October when he revisited EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for the release of "The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back."

Extra Tidbit: Kershner and Leslie Nielsen in the same day?...
Source: JoBlo.com

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