Empire Strikes Back Director Irvin Kershner Dead At 87

Illustration for article titled Empire Strikes Back Director Irvin Kershner Dead At 87

Irvin Kershner, the director behind what many consider the finest of all the Star Wars films, has passed away at the age of 87.

Irvin Kershner didn't want to direct The Empire Strikes Back. When George Lucas asked him to take on directorial duties for the second Star Wars film, Kershner initially declined, only to accept the offer later at the urging of his manager. It's hard to imagine how the Empire Strikes Back might have turned out if not for his involvement. His exquisite balancing of action and character development made a film that otherwise might have otherwise been a throwaway bridge between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi something truly special.

Prior to Empire Kershner had been directing movies on and off since 1958's Stakeout on Dope Street, a movie about three teens getting caught up in a drug ring.


After Empire Kershner went on to direct the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, Robocop 2, and the cult classic science fiction television show SeaQuest DSV.

Kershner passed away in his Los Angeles home after a long battle with illness.

We'll remember him every time we participate in one of gaming's countless Hoth battles, and whenever a brother and sister unwittingly make-out for the sake of advancing the plot.

'Empire Strikes Back' director Kershner dies in LA [AFP]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Darth Tigris

I wish him and his family well. 87 is a full life for sure.

Now, that being said, it's time for me to stir it up.

Many put Kirshner on a pedestal for directing TESB and rip Lucas for them feeling that is high point. But looking at Kirshner's body of work, TESB was clearly the EXCEPTION.

So, that being said, who really WAS responsible for TESB being what it was? Was it just a perfect storm of moderately talented individuals peaking simultaneously?