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George Lucas issues statement remembering the late Irvin Kershner


Yesterday morning, it was reported that Irvin Kershner, director of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, died in Los Angeles at the age of 87. Now, STAR WARS creator and friend George Lucas has issued an official statement to StarWars.com remembering his former colleague and mentor. Here's the statement in its entirety:

"The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I've had the pleasure of knowing. Irvin Kershner was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When I think of Kersh, I think of his warmth, his thoughtfulness and his talent. I knew him from USC -- I attended his lectures and he was actually on the festival panel that gave the prize to my THX short. I considered him a mentor.

Following Star Wars, I knew one thing for sure: I didn't want to direct the second movie myself. I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over. I didn't want Empire to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something, and I knew Kersh was the guy to help me do it. He brought so much to the table. I am truly grateful to him.

He was a friend as well as a colleague. He will be missed."

Extra Tidbit: Thanks to film writer Glenn Kenny for finding this gem - a screenshot featuring Kershner as 'Zebedee' taken from Martin Scorsese's brilliant 1988 film THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.
Source: StarWars.com



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