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Irvin Kershner
1923 - 2010

Beaks here...

"I like to fill up the frame with the characters' faces. There's nothing more interesting than the human face."

Had the internet existed in the late 1970s, the hiring of Irvin Kershner as the director of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK would've at the very least occasioned a good deal of confusion. At most, it would've inspired a talkback riot. Kershner was in his mid-fifties at the time, and had generally made a name for himself as a proficient director of standard Hollywood entertainments - some of which weren't half-bad. He was solid. But he had never dabbled in the science-fiction or fantasy genres before, and seemed to represent the kind of old-school filmmaking that guys like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were driving out of style. That Kershner, who passed away today at the age of eighty-seven, would turn out to be the perfect choice to breathe life into Lawrence Kasdan's crackling screenplay could've been predicted had people looked to his least STAR WARS-like film, the 1970 midlife crisis dramedy LOVING. It's here that Kershner revealed himself to be, if given the chance, a patient observer of human behavior and a seemingly effortless director of actors. LOVING could've very easily been just another Richard Yates-inspired examination of suburban discontent, but Kershner and screenwriter Don Devlin (Dean's father) weren't interested in scoring taking satirical potshots at well-off white people; though they certainly see the humor in their characters' predicaments, empathy is the order of the day in this deeply underrated film. It's a visually accomplished movie (with moodily shaded cinematography from the great Gordon Willis), but Kershner's triumph is his ability to coax an unmannered performance out of George Segal - who could be grating if allowed to run amok, as he did in Sidney Lumet's BYE BYE BRAVERMAN a few years earlier. Segal's Brooks Wilson remains one of his most sympathetic portraits of a middle-aged man in turmoil (right there with his superlative work opposite Elliott Gould in Robert Altman's classic CALIFORNIA SPLIT), and he's quietly matched by the always-wonderful Eva Marie Saint. There is much to praise in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and part of the reason it's become the best-loved STAR WARS film for many is because of Kershner's work with the actors - Mark Hamill, in particular, whose scenes with Yoda gave the franchise its soul. Again, there's lots of credit to go around (Stuart Freeborn and Frank Oz deserve much of it), but if Hamill failed to convincingly interact with a puppet, the Dagobah segment of the film would've been risible. And Hamill is more than convincing. His youthful frustration with the slow-going Jedi training and, most importantly, discouragement at his inability to extract his X-Wing fighter from the swamp (punctuated by Yoda's "That is why you fail") represent some of the most emotionally stirring moments in the series. For the first time, we connect to Luke as more than an archetype. He's now a fully-drawn character. This is Kershner's doing. Kershner's post-EMPIRE career found him making the kinds of big-budget action movies that seemed contrary to his strengths as a director. He remade THUNDERBALL with his A FINE MADNESS star Sean Connery in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN - which I enjoyed as a kid, so job well done, I suppose. He did what he could with ROBOCOP 2, but the screenplay was a mess of satire and action; at least the final battle is well-staged (with some terrific Phil Tippett f/x). Aside from LOVING and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, I also enjoyed George C. Scott going broad in THE FLIM-FLAM MAN, as well as the creepily effective serial-killer yarn EYES OF LAURA MARS (co-written by John Carpenter). I've never seen Kershner's 1958 heroin flick, STAKEOUT ON DOPE STREET, and I've heard good things about his TV movie RAID ON ENTEBBE. Perhaps TCM could corral these for a Kershner tribute in the near future. Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to hear Kershner speak after a screening of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. I wish it was available on YouTube, as it was one of the most insightful and inspiring Q&As I've ever attended. He was a great storyteller and teacher. Here's Kershner talking to students at the Colorado Film School.

I am – Hercules Irvin Kershner, who directed what I believe may be my favorite movie ever, passed away Saturday in Los Angeles. There were so many perfect moments in "The Empire Strikes Back" (some of which, including Han Solo’s last line in that film, were not in Lawrence Kasdan’s wonderful script). “Empire” kept us guessing for three years over the possibility the saintly warrior Obi-wan lied to Luke while the murderous Vader told him the hard truth. It also gave us Yoda, and Yoda’s maniacal laugh. And the cloud city. And the giant snow walkers. And “I thought these smelled bad from the outside!” And “Who’s scruffy looking?” And “I am altering the deal.” And “My hands are dirty too. What are you afraid of?” And “No. There is another.” And our first, fleeting glimpse of Vader's deformed noggin. And Vader’s hilariously brutal management techniques. Love love love love LOVE “The Empire Strikes Back.” And God bless Kershner for standing up to George Lucas, who is said not to have liked Han’s final pre-carbonite dialogue. From Alexandra DuPont’s 2003 appraisal of “Empire”:
As I get older, the other “Star Wars” movies – even “A New Hope,” particularly in the wake of “The Phantom Menace” – just seem sillier and sillier. But “Empire” is pure music. Buoyed by John Williams’ sinister, romantic score [I ask you: Was any film composer trafficking in glorious bombast ever better than John Williams was between 1975 and 1984? “ESB” is my favorite Williams score by an order of magnitude.], the movie itself ebbs and flows like a symphony. Unlike the later “SW” films, which more or less marinate in noise, “Empire” embraces the quiet moments before the storm: a soldier stands above a trench scanning a snowy plain before a brutal ground war; Princess Leia sits in a cockpit pondering a love affair before her ship is attacked by wire-chewing space bats [I know, I know: “Mynocks.”]; Luke silently stalks a catwalk before Darth Vader, exploding out of nowhere, chops off his hand and blows his mind. Even the acting is better: Remember how many times you forgot Mark Hamill (Mark Hamill!) was talking to a puppet?
I want to throw some love also at two of Kershner’s other movies, one terribly underappreciated and another that just isn’t on anybody’s radar. 1) “Never Say Never Again,” Sean Connery’s final movie as James Bond, came out the same year as “Octopussy” and was so much better than the Roger Moore entry it makes my teeth hurt. (It also came out the same year as “Return of the Jedi.") I recently stumbled on the fight scene that Bond wins by throwing something that seems to burn the assassin like acid. It turns out to be Bond’s own precious bodily fluids. Love this movie. 2) Connery also worked with Kershner on a forgotten but shockingly accomplished 1966 romantic comedy titled “A Fine Madness.” It could be Connery’s best movie and why more haven’t embraced it is a bit of head-scratcher. Its logline, admittedly, demonstrates little promise: It’s about a New York poet and lady magnet who finds himself trying to cure his writer’s block with the help of a psychiatrist. Joanne Woodward plays his ex-wife; Jean Seberg plays his hot waitress of a roommate. If something falls out of BNAT 12 and Harry stuck this into the line-up, it would be one of the most buzzed about entries of the fest. LOVE this movie. A great filmmaker was Irvin Kershner, yes.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    by Mr Claypole


  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    Director of the Best SciFi/Fantasy Movie EVER - Robocop 2. Well done, my friend.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Really? I hadn't heard...

    by Sw0rdfish

    Thanks for being right on top of this, AICN (he said sarcastically).

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    He made the greatest movie of all time...

    by Banshee7

    The Empire Strikes Back. He'll never be forgotten.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    REPOST: Kershner: A Real Man

    by AzulTool

    The last motherfucker to tell Lucas to eat a big fat dack! You made the greatest movie of all time, and you are responsible for one of the greatest lines of all time. PL: "I love you" HS: "I know" You will be missed.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    A sad day but he left us something special.

    by SminkyPinky

    George created Star Wars. Kersh perfected it. Rest in peace, sir. And thank you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    What about Leslie Nielsen??

    by empyreal0

    Two greats within a day or two. Grimly awaiting the third.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I can only say Thank You and mean it with all my soul

    by IndustryKiller!

    I cannot think of any words poetic enough that they will be more effective than simply that to get across how passionately I feel about The Empire Strikes Back, and what that film has given all of us.. Well done Mr. Kirshner, well done.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    ESB and Robocop 2?

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    Yikes. I think he could have directed anything after Empire and he still would have been known for directing one of the greatest movies of all time. RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    This is a real loss

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    Yes Kershner was old but he still had a great contribution to make. I really would have loved to hear his commentary for a Blu-Ray of Empire. Now, sadly, there's no one to hold Lucas back from really damaging that film. And to you guys who have bitching about the missing obit today - fuck you, you cunts. It takes a while to write one of the these things. Impatient bastards.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Thanks Beaks! <p> Goodbye Kersh.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Eyes of Laura Mars is the 1st drive-in flick I ever saw.

    by AzulTool

    Maybe that's why I'm so fucked-up today.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Rock on Kersh!

    by TheJake

    You're the man, forever and always!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    I like to think he isn't dead

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    Just became one with the Force.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    First Leslie Nielsen and now Kersh...

    by LordPorkington

    One of my favourite comedians followed by the director of my favourite movie of all time. His contribution to The Empire Strikes Back should not be underestimated. I recently reread 'A Journal Of The Making Of The Empire Strikes Back' by Alan Arnold and it reminded me just how much input Kershner had in the finished product. I hope he's in a better place now. Irvin Kershner, I salute you sir.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    ESB alone cemented his legacy

    by templesweeper

    Irvin Kershner may not have directed a lot of other good movies, but he did something right with The Empire Strikes Back which is still, in my opinion, the best Sci-Fi movie ever made. The scene where Luke finally confronts Vader on Bespin, and Luke walks up the stairs to a waiting Vader...all in shadows, the And the lighting and directing on that scene when Luke is leaving Yoda on Dagobah and Obi-Wan says, "That boy is our last hope" and Yoda says, "No, there is another." And you hear the ship lifting and taking off. Amazing that he could get such a performance out of a puppet.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    My Childhood took some damage today.

    by Yurka

    Leslie Nielsen and Kirsh. Damn.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Not to divert attention from Mr. Kershner

    by empyreal0

    ESB, needless to say, was the only Star Wars film that was boldly dark enough for that universe. And I actually enjoyed Robocop 2, as bad as it was. oh and I did find Nielsen's obit. Long ass headline made that one less visible amongst the crap.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Luminous being was he, not this crude matter

    by Screentext

    You were a good fighter Kersh, I hate to lose you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    RIP Kersh&THANKS for the Best SW movie TESB!

    by Thanos0145

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    A Person just died today, where is there obit?

    by shutupfanboy

    Seriously that is what all of you have been sounding like for the last 24 hours. Deal with the fact this site, but up more then a few words like the AP and moved on. RIP Irv for at least making one good movie maybe two.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST


    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Thanks for blowing my mind as a ten year old with the shocking Vader reveal. The single most stunning cinema going experience i ever had. The buzz in the cinema was tangible, i vividly remember the car journey home, the conversation with my parents. Good times. Thanks Mr Kershner.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Damn, this one really hurts...

    by WeylandYutani

    Empire is my favourite film. <P> I spent many hours playing "Empire" as a wee lad. Later, the behind the scenes books became my most special non-fiction books and hold a special place on my shelf. For many years I worked on film sets and in visual effects until eventually working in TV news. <P> Although I never had the chance to meet Mr Kershner, I have to take a moment to thank him for being such a huge influence on my life. Many of my great lifelong friendships can be traced back to Mr Kershner's film. <P> May the Force be with you... always Mr Kershner.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Our Childhoods Mourn Together

    by Crow3711

    Honestly, Is there any other person that the congregants of this site revere more, is more universally appreciated, than Kershner? He gave every person on this site something special, a truly irreplaceable part of our youth...and he did it without ever becoming a punchline or divisive figure, a la Mrs Lucas and Spielberg. TESB is probably the one continuous throughline this site has, common ground for every nerd here. I may just go home tonight and watch some Star Wars. You've reached the clearing at the end of the path, Mr Kershner. You have become one with the force. Rest well.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    He also directed...

    by JMH1973

    "The Return of a Man Called Horse" - another sequel that was even better than the original.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

    Wacky, crazy, Miller/Kershner mayhem.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    RIP Sir.Thank you for bringing us the best

    by KilliK

    SW movie ever.thank you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Read the news on my phone

    by pushthebuttonmax

    in the middle of my college precal class. After a few seconds I realized that I was on the verge of tears and had to pull myself together. I've always envied the students that post online their experiences in his film class in California, and I'm sad that I'll never get to meet the man. R.I.P. Irvin, you are now one with the Force.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    He did as much for star wars as Lucas did

    by Redhead_Redemption

    If Kersh hadn't steered the franchise in the direction that he did then I don't think star Wars would have become the saga that it did. It was Irvin's and Lawrence Kasdan's mythical take on the series and characters that shaped star wars from a Flash gordon type serial to a full fledged religious saga. <P>Thats not to say that Lucas didn't help to shape it (Vader as Luke's father was his idea), but I still say Lucas' vision was vastly changed when Kasdan and Kershner came onboard, It really is a shame that Lucas' ego got in the way and Ol' Kersh was never asked back to direct Return of the Jedi or even a Prequel<P>RIP Kersh, my childhood thanks you

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Such a Huge Loss...

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...such a tremendous artist. Stupid Lucas is probably doing a jig, but man, what a sad day.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    It's not true! It's not POSSIBLE!

    by vic twenty

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Empire was a monumental part of our childhoods

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The imagery and tone of that film were devastating to my six year old self, it completely reshaped the world around me. Kershner created movie magic with Empire, something few people have ever achieved, people will be watching it for decades to come. As Lucas himself said: "Kersh's personality is there in Empire in a nice way, in a way that would have been missing had I directed it." <p> Farewell Irvin Kershner, and thank you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Thank you Irvin

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    There will never be a day while I'm above ground where I am not grateful for having The Empire Strikes Back as part of my life experience.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Thank you

    by darksith

    For "The Empire Strikes Back" would not have been what it was without you. RIP my good sir. Your contributions will never be forgotten.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    RoboCop 2 4EVR

    by pencil-man

    You know it, baby.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    RIP Leslie Neilsen

    by masteryoda007

    What a fucking shite day. "Shirley" you will be missed.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Farewell Kirsh.

    by sweeneydave

    The force will be with you, always.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Aint it sad news.

    by Stalkeye

    first Leslie anow the Director of the best SW Movie ever, passes? Awww, fuck!Anyway, godspeed Irv and thank you so much for ESB.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the memories, Mr. Kershner.

    by vic twenty

    I saw Empire 34 times in the theater in my 10th year of life back when movies ran all summer into the winter. I still remember it. Baseball in the morning, riding the bus to the theater in the afternoon (only one transfer) to see this (sometimes 2x), home for come kill the man/football and then dinner time. Repeat as necessary. I won't ever see another film as often as I saw this one, it is hard-wired. Thanks and RIP Irvin Kershner!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Kershner was a Master at "The Princess Leia Zoom-In Shot Zoom

    by Atkinson

    Look at "The Empire Strikes Back" again: 1) Leia's reaction to the Rebel hull doors being sealed behind Han and a lost Luke Skywalker. 2) Leia's reaction to Han being frozen. 3) Leia seeing Bobba Fett fly off with Han's body. 4) Leia feeling Luke call out to her from the bottom of Cloud City. Each of those were haunting cinematic moments, very subtle but powerful!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    The franchise peaked with TESB

    by thot

    ....and we saw how Lucas answered that,..with the good, but coulda been great, ROTJ. Too bad Kershner didn't get to direct that one. And I agree with Hercules that Never Say Never Again was better than Octopussy. It was just a good feeling to see the real James Bond, though a bit long in the tooth, back in the saddle again.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Thank you

    by disfigurehead

    for the greatest Star Wars film ever. Rest in peace.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    "No. Do or do not. There is no try."....

    by BanditDarville

    Without question, one of my favorite lines in any film. Robocop 2 is also an underrated nugget of batshit nuttiness.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    That ESB trailer is terrible

    by SgtSharki

    Yikes, that is bad. It's like something from the 1950's, complete with bad voice over.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    He is the whole reason star wars is what it is today.

    by eric haislar

    Everything people remember about it is because of this film. Sure the first one is great. But empire pushed it into another level.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST

    If someone says "May the force be with you" I'll womit..

    by HopkinsBalls

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    It's a dolly in tracking shot, not a zoom. But yeah, point taken, cool shot as the camera moves in on Leia's reaction to the Hoth hangar doors being shut.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Mmmm, What else?...

    by KabutoKoji

    Redhead Redemption wrote:"It was Irvin's and Lawrence Kasdan's mythical take on the series and characters that shaped star wars from a Flash gordon type serial to a full fledged religious saga.Thats not to say that Lucas didn't help to shape it (Vader as Luke's father was his idea)". And what else was Lucas' idea?...let's see...what else...what else...I know there's something....Oh yeah, Star Wars as a whole was also Lucas' idea. I guess sometimes people forget.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:58 p.m. CST

    May the force be with you, Irvin!

    by HopkinsBalls

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Mr. Kershner: We'll always have Hoth!

    by Zardoz

    Thanks for the best Star Wars movie. You will be missed!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Wow, what's the R.I.P Lucas TB going to be like.

    by AzulTool

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3 p.m. CST


    by Sprinky

    I'm completely speechless. Thank you for the great memories. Thank you for the best, no the most excellent episode in the Star wars series. Just thank you for have been here and worked in a profession that we all became acquainted with you RIP mr Kershner.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    I also remember him directing the pilot to "SeaQuest"

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    The pilot to "SeaQuest DSV" showed a lot of promise as a modern adaption of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," and Kershner got a great, enthusiastic performance out of the late, great Roy Scheider. Unfortunately, the resulting series failed to live up to that promise. It's a sign of my age that my significant heroes of the silver screen and the dream factory are passing on. If any of us could direct JUST ONE THING in our lives, none of us could pick anything more impacting, life changing and culture altering than "The Empire Strikes Back."

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by skimn

    That track in to Leia as the rebel doors are closed, combined with the lighting and sound effects, is one of my favorite little sequences of all time. That it ends with Chewie's anguished howl/cry makes it perfect.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Man, that sucks! Kersh was an amazing Hollywood presence

    by JT Kirk

    And right after Leslie Nielsen, that bites.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Another huge loss

    by Daremo

    A major part of my childhood just died. What a sad, sad day this has been.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Think about it

    by eric haislar

    Think about the A New Hope what comes to mind when you think about it? Darth Vader, The Battle of Yavin, The Adventure. Now think about Empire. What comes to mind is not explosions or battles it's the characters, Yoda and his sayings, Han and Leia, Luke confronting his father and finding out the horrible truth. These are what people think of first when they think about star wars now and we owe it all to this man. Who knew it was the characters and not the spectacle that people would respond to.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Genuinely sad to hear this

    by Zorak5

    Kershner not only directed a great movie, he seems like he was a really cool guy with a good sense of humor. I loved his audio commentary on Empire Strikes Back. He said, quite memorably, "In this movie, a kiss is like intercourse."

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by KabutoKoji

    Irvin Kershner too old and inexperienced in Sci-Fi lore to direct The Empire Strikes Back? Judge him by his age and experience do you? And where you should not, for Kersh's ally is the Force. And a powerfull ally it is. You know it to be true. RIP, sir.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Impressive, Kersh...

    by KabutoKoji

    Most impressive. RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    Had Lucas directed empire it would be just as lack luster and the prequels. Look the man has a great imagination. But when it comes to directing a emotional scene or any sort of character development he can't do it. It's a fact he has admitted to numerous times. He is more interested in the tech side of things then the acting side of things.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Rest in peace, good sir.

    by Bruce Leroy

    My sincere condolences to his family, loved ones and friends.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    No. No... That's not true; that's IMPOSSIBLE!

    by HyphenatedWords

    Ugh. I hear on the radio last night that Leslie Nielson died, and it felt like I'd been punched in the gut. Now I log into AICN and before I can catch my breath there comes another sucker punch to the solar plexus.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

    I didn't hear about this on every topic on this board! <p> But seriously, this is a loss.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Masterpiece Maker

    by C A Iversen

    Truly Mr Kershner made an all time classic. Along with a small bunch of other people such as Frank Oz, Gary Kurtz and Mark Hamill, he really turned Empire from being what could've been a competent effort and a worthy successor to something that was an even greater than the original film. When I think of how good Star Wars is/was itself, that seems almost impossible. He'll never be forgotten for delivering more than Lucas ever deserved. Rest In Peace Mr Kershner. Your name will always be remembered. I'll always be a fan.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Where's D. Vader when you need him?

    by MattmanReturns

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:17 p.m. CST

    No that's not true. That's impossible!!

    by ATARI


  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Can we not use this space to denigrate George Lucas?

    by IndustryKiller!

    I'm as big a prequel hater as there is, but with Kershner passing Im realizing how difficult it will be losing George Lucas, which I genuinely hope won't be for a long long time. Like Kershner, what George Lucas has given us is immeasurable, and I think it's a day to respect and celebrate everyone's contribution to the beautiful thing that is the original Star Wars Trilogy.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST


    by phifty2

    "Thats not to say that Lucas didn't help to shape it." Some talkbacker on Lucas. <p> This bashing is getting out of hand. So Lucas "helped" "shape" the star wars movies and universe? <p> I wonder why it's called Lucasfilm if he such a small role in all of it? Read the making of Empire book. It's Lucas' fucking movie. <p> SERIOUSLY. Everything good about Star Wars is "Well that was so and so's idea, not Lucas." and everything bad is "Lucas sucks, I hate him, I'm a big whiney fuck!"

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by Dollar Bird

    Nice point about the adventure of SW vs the characterization and atmosphere of ESB. <P>My favorite movie even to this day. Thanks, Kershner.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Who's next?

    by SmokingRobot

    Don't celebrities die in threes? George Lucas maybe? He looks like a heart-attack waiting to happen...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST

    "Along with a small bunch of other people such as

    by phifty2

    as Frank Oz, Gary Kurtz and Mark Hamill,..." <p> Ugh. I really do think you people believe Lucas actually stuck his dick in your asshole and raped you. How else do you justify blatant stupidity and false memories?

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST


    by CptHowdy75

    ...only about eight hours late.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    All the Lucas bashing is disgusting.

    by thewirebitches

    Any chance to take a pot shot at him huh guys? What a disgrace to Irvin who would be first to admit Lucas had a huge part in the greatness of Empire. Who was the one to recognize what type of director this film would need, and who made the perfect choice. Fuckwads. R.I.P. Kersh.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST

    One of the greatest films ever made

    by performingmonkey

    The only really credible Star Wars movie, the one that will stand the test of time when Clones and Sith are long forgotten (face it, Phantom Menace is better than both those pieces of shit, so what does that say??). Kersh, we salute you!! Lucas has a hell of a lot to thank him for, and so have we. Peace man.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Two Greats who made SF a true art form...

    by zinc_chameleon

    I've forgotten how convincing Leslie Nielsen was as a serious actor until I viewed the 'Invisible Monster Attack' from 'the Forbibben Planet' on YouTube. He really puts the viewer in the scene, both in sense of control, and then helplessness. As for Kersh, he not only made the greatest movie of all time, but created one of the greatest treatises on spirituality/mysticism ever. Channeling Carlos Castaneda through a Muppet and making it work is true genius.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by The_Cliffster

    ... my all time favourite movie..... so long Kersh.....

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Actually quite upset today.

    by Gabba-UK

    Leslie Nielson was bad enough but this really knocked the wind out of me. Right now millions of people are powering up the DVD player and spinning a platter in honour of him. Thank you Kersh.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Every Star Wars fan owes this man.

    by UltimaRex

    Guess that's all of us and more besides. RIP to a true legend.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Coming Soon to a grave near you: George Lucas' fat ass.

    by AzulTool

    I stood right next to him a few months back. It's no joke, that dude is MORBIDLY OBESE.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    R.I.P Irvin Kershner. What a shame. He should've directed all of the prequels, maybe then someone with balls would have stood up to Lucas.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    by Orionsangels

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST

    The Greatest Thing That Happened To Star Wars

    by Media Messiah

    Goodnight sweet Prince. Have a peaceful journey.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    He has TYPE-2 diabetes, fucknut!

    by AzulTool

    And how does one get Type-2, huh? C'mon, Hawkeye. Enlighten us.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST


    by DanielPlainviewOnVacationInBoston

    One of my all-time ten favorite films, "Empire Strikes Back" is -- and I'm retardedly picky. <br><br> We'll miss ya, Irvin.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    That is why you fail, George.

    by MyGodItsFullOfStars

    Before he made those three shitty prequels, Lucas should've popped Empire into his home theatre system and watched it repeatedly. Maybe then he would've learned how to direct a Star Wars movie. Kershner's work on that film is the closest thing to perfection I've ever seen.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    That is NOT the voiceover I remember from the trailer!

    by Snake Foreskin

    That guy sounds like Harrison Ford on a bender.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    "...who directed what I believe may be my favorite movie ever"

    by kellyman1970


  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    It IS Harrison Ford

    by vadakinX

    Whether he was on a bender or not I don't know. But he did indeed provide the voice over for the trailer.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST

    No Obit for Leslie Nielsen?

    by blckmgk13

    Shitty deal for Leslie.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST

    He made idea of sequels being equal or better possible

    by quantize

    ...which is no small feat given what a perfect golden nugget of entertainment A New Hope is. <p> Empire proved a followup can be every bit as thrilling and even more emotionally engrossing.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:54 p.m. CST

    And can we have MORE non-sci-fi directors doing sci-fi?

    by quantize

    Because geeks tend not to understand the importance of drama in making sci-fi and fantasy classics...OK there are some exceptions but generally Empire proves that you dont have to know The Man With Two Brains to make a genuinely brilliant sci-fi or horror film. In fact, the less you know, the better

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    There is a obit for Nielson look farther down the page.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Mario Monicelli passes away

    by squonk66

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST

    He was kind of Yoda

    by chien_sale

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Kershner does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Irvin Kershner directed some great performances in ESB and kept the whole movie tight...<p> ...but having said that much respect for the greatness of ESB also has to go to Peter Suschitzky. Who?<p> Peter Suschitzky was the cinematographer who gave the movie it's 'visual tone'. The grain and the look of that movie was far classier (imho) than any of the other STAR WARS films - and bestowed ESB with a painterly look that made us believe Yoda existed far more readily than the cold CGI of Jar Jar.<p> ps. Peter Suschitzky was also the geektastic cinematographer for ROCKY HORROR and KRULL! Respect Kersh on this day of mourning but also give heartbeat props to the living...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Forbidden Planet connection

    by Hercules

    Leslie starred in the orginal and Irvin was long attached to direct its remake.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Harrison Ford's trailer voice hurts my ears

    by kafka07

    and yeah I don't remember that voice from the original trailer either. But then, I was only like 8 years old at the time.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4 p.m. CST

    Goldblum does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    V. sad to hear about Jeff Goldblum too.<p> He was a legend in THE FLY and it's tragic that he has left us on this sad day. RIP 'the Blum'.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    No Lawrence Kasdan who wrote empire wrote the bodyguard that is the connection you are thinking about.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I saw Kershner speak at...

    by Dan Halen

    The University of Maryland in 2000. They screened Empire but it was on video and he flipped out. Funny. Someone in the crowd asked him how it felt to have directed the greatest film of all time to which he replied, "Don't you people like other movies? How about Jaws? That's a good movie!" Also funny.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    This is truely sad.

    by Rebel Scumb

    ESB is my all time favorite movie, and the one that had the most profound effect on me, and lead me into filmmaking.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Kershner stood up to Lucas?

    by darthvedder81

    Utter bullshit. Kershner has even said GL was the greatest producer he ever worked for. If anything Lucas stood up FOR Kershner by letting him take the time to finish ESB properly despite 20th Century Fox breathing down everyone's neck. Yes "I know" was a great bit of improvisation but it's also one frigging line in a movie filled with a bunch of them. I'm honestly sick of hearing that story told over and over again as some sort of evidence of incompetence on GL's part.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by Moonman777

    He made my favorite movie. Needless to say he was the man for the job for the prequels.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    "I felt a great disturbance in the Force..."

    by The_Cliffster

    " if millions of starwars fans cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    That is not true at all. Lucas stayed with ILM while Kershner and Kurtz dealt with filming the actual movie in Norway and Elstree Studios (UK). Once filming wrapped and Lucas saw the actual footage, he blew a fuse, and locked himself in an editing room to quicken the pace (if you've ever heard "You're ruining my movie!", this is when he said it). Once Kershner and Kurtz saw Lucas' edit ("chopped up into tiny pieces"), they were horrified. Lucas protested with, "I'm on the hook for the money". The film's editor, Kershner, Kurtz,and Paul Hirsch, was the man who talked Lucas down and thats how we got the movie everyone knows today.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Rest in peace, Kirsh.

    by spud_mcspud_returns

    What a lgeacy - he directed arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. Then he made a movie that I regularly throw in as a beer-and-pizza classic - ROBOCOP 2. And by all accounts, he was a gentleman, a supremely talented film-maker, and an inspiration to anyone with any serious interest in making great movies. It's one hell of a legacy to leave behind. My condolences go out to his family and friends, but I hope that what he left behind - both professionally AND personally - will keep his memories alive in hteir hearts forever.<P> Rest in peace, Mr Kirshner. There is another sky...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    I met Irvin a few times...

    by pantera777

    One of my friends was his assistant. She invited me over for a party at her boss' house (at that time I didn't know who she worked for). I was walking around his house for a good half hour before I realized who her boss was. I was just looking at his giant sized poster of ESB when it hit me, and before I could geek out he walked into the room and she introduced me. Geek Heaven.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    The Lightsaber duel in Empire

    by Monolith_Jones

    That's probably the single coolest thing in any Star Wars film.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST

    ESB is great

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    But I think Kershner's contribution is highly overrated. It's not to say his contribution wasn't key, but it wasn't "his" movie. Some people like to act like it was, usually so they can point the finger at Lucas: Marcia Lucas is the TRUE genius behind Star Wars, Kershner the TRUE genius behind ESB ... That sort of nonsense.<p>Anyway RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST

    he turned a light sci fi fantasy into epic shakespearan drama

    by brabon300

    and then lucas fucked it up with the ewoks and his prequels<p>there may not have been an internets, but i remember the pre filming buzz, when we all found out that lucas would not write or direct...we geeks were all thinking.."oh no, its gonna be the third year of star trek"....and thank god that we were wrong

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Oh Fuck No!

    by Pawprint

    ... RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Moriarty obit

    by eric haislar

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    He is one with the Force now.

    by themanwhojaped

    Godspeed to the great beyond, Kershner.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Pity he didn't direct Revenge of the Sith

    by Ciderman

    How cool would it have been if the most potentially brilliant prequel of the SW series could have had a director with some talent attached? Picture the depth of ESB, the love of the set piece coupled with a human factor, pathos and empathy, combined with the death and betrayal of ROTS, could've have been masterful, instead of an uneven sack of potential...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Mr. Kershner was a class act

    by puto tenax

    Best film in the series and genre for that matter. Thank you, sir. And thanks, Beaks, for putting something up here.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST

    farewell Kersh: to the city in the clouds

    by justmyluck

    He will be remembered for TESB and YODA, which is enviable for any filmmaker. I remember traveling during the summer of '80, this was after having seen TESB, and finding its press materials every place I went..television, radio, newspapers, periodicals, magazines - you name it. I kept thinking of the people these materials were intended for: people who hadn't seen TESB yet; and I kept thinking, "these people are going to be blown away". So, Kersh, thank you for those memories and, more so, for all the people in the world who have yet to see TESB and get lifted out of their chair and into the stars. -- P.S. Nice to see GL hasa tribute on the Star Wars site so soon:

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Cobra--Kai, not funny, man...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    What has Goldblum ever done to you?! <p> Poor Goldblum...poor little Goldblum!!!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:43 p.m. CST

    "You´re ruining my movie!"

    by Ditko

    George Lucas to Kershner, while filming Empire. 'Nuff said. RIP, good guy.

  • Lucas and Spielberg in the same group as Scorsese and Coppola? That's like saying "guys like Beiber, Timberlake, Lennon and Dylan".

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    RIP Mr Kershner

    by Righteous Brother

    Oh and I wish they'd get rid of the 'Set for Stunning' Pen ads on Star it seems disrespectful somehow.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Irvin Kershner is an example of an excelent director

    by ricarleite2

    And a class act. He could badmouth Lucas, after all that wenth through making ESB, but he gives credit to Lucas for believing on his dream. And he was responsible for making ESB work and be not a good Star Wars chapter, but a good MOVIE. I also enjoyed Robocop 2 back when it was released, he managed to improve the original material in a way few people would. RIP one of the most beloved directors for all geeks out there.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Sad to see him go

    by Rodie

    Kirshner was not a perfect director by any means, but what he was perfect at was covering all of Lucas' faults. Essentially, Lucas' strengths covered Kirsh's weaknesses and vice versa. In that way, they were like John Lennon and Paul McCartney...Together they were far greater than the sum of the parts, even though there may have been tension there. It's a shame he did not also direct ROTJ.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Why Empire was great...

    by alienindisguise

    because Kersh cared about and interacted with the actors at every turn, every step giving them precise direction unlike Lucas who has every one else doing his job for him. A director doesn't need to direct hundreds of movies to be a legend. They only need to direct one that changes the world and that's what he did. RIP my good sir.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    There's your thid: Mario Monicelli is dead

    by ricarleite2

    Branca Branca Branca! Leone Leone Leone!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    He didn't direct the best Star Wars movie

    by DDMAN26

    He directed the best movie period.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST

    when will lucas acknowledge

    by brabon300

    that star wars borrows heavily from kirby's 4th world opus?

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    RIP Irvin

    by Vicconius

    You made the perfect Star Wars movie. Perhaps my favourite film ever.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    It Does Come In Threes...

    by zinc_chameleon

    B.B. King died today. That man made the guitar cry.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    ESB not as good as TPM...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    "Meesa step in icky icky goo"! Come on, what did ESB have? The "I am your father" revelation? BFD...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Re: Kirshner/EMPIRE

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Actually -- and feel free to look this up on your Interwebs -- Lucas pissed and moaned all during the production of EMPIRE, since Kirshner was taking the time to, you know, actually make a movie. EMPIRE ran waaaay over budget and schedule, Gary Kurz sided with Kirshner, resulting in him getting the boot afterwards, and Lucas felt like the movie was always beyond his control. That's why he wound up hiring Richard Marquand, an easily-manipulated shooter who did whatever Lucas wanted, for JEDI (there were also always two cameras on set at all times: the "A" camera and "Lucas's camera"). Hence, the striking difference in styles, looks and pacing between EMPIRE and JEDI. And we certainly don't need EMPIRE STRIKES BACK to validate George Lucas being an incompetent director, not when there's THE PHANTOM MENACE, ATTACK OF THE CLOWNS and REVENGE OF THE SITH to point to.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    But seriously, RIP Irv...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    And "death comes in threes" is an old wive's tale. But if it'll shut everybody up I'll go run over the Idiot Bay with my car.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    the director of the best movie made

    by DioxholsterImperium

    how come he never made another star wars?

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Cosmik Spielberg most definitely belongs

    by Monolith_Jones

    on that list.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Kersh was good....

    by ZodNotGod

    and that's it. A Director is only as good as the material and cast he's handed so let's stop sucking the guys dick. Honestly, he never made a good movie after that and I'm still annoyed that he didn't Direct Jedi because he was offered. Not that there is anything wrong per say with Jedi, it just might have stifled the bullshit debates. And for the last time, would someone tell the dumb bitch, Dupont to shut her fucking retarded hole spouting off shit like this that makes no sense and is said only so she can be special and tow the fucking "I hate the Prequels" bullshit line: "As I get older, the other “Star Wars” movies – even “A New Hope,” particularly in the wake of “The Phantom Menace” – just seem sillier and sillier." What does that even mean? And only children use the word 'silly' as it's a nonsense word."Never Say Never Again" Good? Nothing about that flick is good except the wasted opportunity. Terribly redundant and a horrible score. Better than Octopussy? Meh. Sucks to be you- dumb cunt.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Cobra kai

    by k_pilkington

    Jesus h Christ. How the fuck does this asshole seem to get a free pass for his fuck wittery? It's bad enough that the whole dojo schtick is cringe inducingly embarassing and the arrogant little mouth breather clearly knows fuck all about film. But then he hijacks Kerschners obit to make some spurious irrelavant know it all post? What a cunt. Anyway. RIP IK. Thanks for making the film that defined my childhood.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    "Pity he didn't direct ROTS"

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    There were hardly any good actors to direct. I'm not sure what he could have done with the script. Performance-wise Puppet Yoda > Hayden & Natalie. No doubt about that.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Lucas HATED Irv's cut of Empire and tried to "salvage" it by editing the movie into oblivion to make it "faster and more intense". But his cut was apparently totally incoherent, so he had to fall back on Irv's "slow and boring" version.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Where's the love for Robocop 2?

    by PeopleCallMeTheBriMan

    Aside from being damn good and relentless movie, I believe at the time it had the highest on-camera body count of any film ever.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    bb king is dead????

    by brabon300

    fuck gonna crawl up in a ball now

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    by ZodNotGod

    Shut your lying mouth hole.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Nielsen and Kesh shooting a film together.

    by louisse

    in heaven. Wish I wasn't an atheist. Then again who the fuck would want to see that movie! RIP

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    BB King is Not Dead

    by Orionsangels

    Despite rumors to the contrary, blues legend BB King is not dead. He did not suffer a stroke. A hoax purporting his death is making its way around the internet, spreading like wildfire on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. However, B.B. King is alive and well. In fact, the 85-year-old just announced additional dates for his Bluesfest tour. Adding Melbourne and Sydney to his tour, King will be visiting Australia for the first time in more than a decade. Wikipedia users initially fell for the prank, updating King's death information on his page. It was later amended to remove the date of death. King recorded his first record in 1949, and since then has made over 75 albums and has earned 15 Grammy Awards.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    ZodNotGod, ah, AICN...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    the epitome of intellectual discourse. <p>Thanks for sharing.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Sad day

    by funkylovemonkey

    Just want to add my respects to the man who directed one of the most important movies of my lifetime. He was a grand soul.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Assholes, listen up!

    by ZodNotGod

    Kersh loved Lucas, he never had nothing but kind words to say and vice versa so stop making shit up to validate your anti-prequel feelings. A decade in and you all are still bitter and full of rage, disgusting.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Mr. Kershner

    by fatjesuschrysler

    Sadly, I'm not familiar with rest of your work, but Empire was all I needed. Thanks!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Actually that's a proven fact from a book on the Making of ESB...but keep blathering away like the classless, clueless moron that you clearly are. <p> BTW, thanks for subjecting a memorial threat to your fantasy -fuled ravings. I swear to Christ, this site is like the online equivalent of Texas trailer park.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Kersh saved Lucas' ass

    by ratpack223

    no doubt

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Now Star Wars is truly dead.

    by Gorgomel

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by ZodNotGod

    Kersh WAS asked to Direct Jedi but said he was too tired and declined. He did say he later regretted his decision.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    BB King is definitely not dead

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    He's in the studio producing Harrison Ford's VO demo reel.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    in his death

    by D o o d

    he will only become stronger than you can ever imagine! R.I.P

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:37 p.m. CST

    As least he lived long enought to see the SW story

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    finished...such as it was.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    No.... no that's not TRue. . .

    by Moonman777


  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    by ZodNotGod

    When the intellectuals show up I'll get down with the program and discourse all over this fucking place.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Mark Ruffalo flew a plane into BB King's ass.

    by AzulTool

    This is fucking funny

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    RIP Mr. Kershner

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Sad day...

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    I saw ESB 2 nights in a row, the first time with a buddy of mine who absolutely couldn't stand any sci-fi. When Luke says to Yoda, "I'm not afraid!", and Yoda counters with "You will will be..", my friend said he had shivers down his spine. From a puppet. What an amazing job. RIP Mr. Kersh.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Credit where credit is due.

    by Sithtastic

    Irwin Kershner was a director not associated with sci-fi who went on to direct one of the best sci-fi films of all time and yes, he owed that chance largely to George Lucas. But what he did with that chance belongs to him and to his credit, he did yeoman's work on ESB under less than ideal conditions, both on the set and off. Beyond this, to nearly every testimonial, the man was a mensch and that's a rare thing in Hollywood. So, give credit where credit is due and let's stop with this needless fight over whose picture ESB was.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    Why so much hate for Robocop 2?

    by EastBayFrankenstein

    To paraphrase Alexandra Dupont's reflection on TESB...."The older I get, the more I appreciate" Robocop 2! In some ways, I think RC2 outperforms the original in terms of just stretching the violent satire and goofiness to the margins. I NEVER bore of the scene with the Little League team knocking over that store. The little kid hitting that old dude with a bat is TIMELESS!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    No George, I am your best film!!!

    by emeraldman

    Met Mr Keshner at a signing in Milton Keynes a few years ago.He was kind enought to sign my poster and ESB dvd.A great man who made the best film out of the whole saga.RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Star Wars is NOT science-fiction- FANTASY!

    by ZodNotGod

    Star Wars is NOT science-fiction- FANTASY!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm..Marquand DEAD, Kershner DEAD....

    by EastBayFrankenstein

    ...leaving Lucas as the only living Star Wars film director. I think Dick and Irv knew a little TOO much about "the Maker"!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Kershner loved Jar Jar!!

    by darthwaz1


  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    The only true DIRECTOR of SW

    by Roderich

    GL may be a producer and author and SW is his child, but TESB was the only SW-Movie wich was really directed by someone who cares for the characters.<p>Robocop 2 is a sad and dull abomination and a complete mess. Kirshner was hired in the last minute iirc, so it was not his fault. But its still a terrible movie. How someone should think it on paar with Robocop is beyond my grasp.<p>RIP Mr. Kirshner, you will be remembered by maybe half of humanity for a very, very long time.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:11 p.m. CST

    It's a fact that GL wanted DV's outfit to be "Assless" in ESB.

    by AzulTool

    Kersh put the kabosh on that wonderful GL plan.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:18 p.m. CST

    You made the world better

    by Chanoc

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Kershner for giving a 10 year old countless moments of happiness. Paraphrasing what Obi-Wan told Yoda in ESP... "That boy was our only hope" - Obi "No, there is another one"- Yoda I sure hope you are not our last hope and that there is still someone out there that can take Star Wars to the same level you took it with ESP. Vaya con Dios and May the Force be with You.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    On second thought I don't want to know.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    I wish fucking Lucas had never been involved in SW.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I believe he means

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    that Lucas wanted Vader's charred, volcanic tuchus not to be covered, but just kind of sticking out of his suit and flapping in the breeze.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Chanoc, just thinking

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    along those lines. The world keeps getting a little someone said, (I think here) when Walter Cronkite died, the adults keep going and we're stuck with the infants.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Lucas never involved in SW?!?!?

    by BlueHawaiiSurfer

    Are you just a fucking idiot or do you post shit like that to get attention?? RIP to this amazing man!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    There is no such thing as "A New Hope"

    by AzulTool

    "Episode IV: A New Hope" was not at the top of the crawl in the original print of a movie called STAR WARS. That is the only title of that movie, and that's it! I'm not playing your little game, fatty!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    RIP Kersh

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    RIP Kersh

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Classy obits, Beaks and Herc

    by bravogolfhotel

    I appreciated the space given to the fact that Kershner had a long career outside of EMPIRE. Good work, gents.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Now that's an obit!

    by mastermold

    After reading comments from the morons earlier for the Flash Gordon post, complaining and bitching as to why AICN hadn't posted a obit as yet for Mr. Kershner, I hope now they understand why it wasn't up earlier. You gus always write the best, most nuanced pieces for people when they pass, so thank you. And no, I'm not an AICN plant for the one or two of you why may wonder. I can't stand these idiots who bitch and spew without thinking.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Up the Sandbox

    by paulloch

    is my fave of his. bizzare, challenging, insightful, and experimental. gets better with each viewing. Great commentary on the dvd with him and babs.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

    It's going to be MoCap!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Mr. Kershner

    by blue meanie

    I spent my summer vacation of 1980, watching and rewatching ESB in the theater so many times, I’ve totally lost count. I know that I made a lot of theater owners happy that year, but it was simply one of the greatest times of my life. Who could have guessed that a puppet could bring such depth, emotion and empathy and that such a fan fervor would arise over a bounty hunter who spoke only a few lines of dialogue? Only Kershner did that, bringing Star Wars to a whole new level. ESB remains the benchmark and the pinnacle of Star Wars, and proved how great and moving a simple space epic could be, even one that landed dead center of a three part story. God bless you, Irvin Kershner and rest in peace. Your legacy continues.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Damn... R.I.P.

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    this is gutting...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST



    Good news - John ("Caravan of Courage") Korty still lives!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by bubcus

    First Leslie Neilsen and then Kershner? Gahhhh!!! Rest in peace guys.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    RIP Kersh

    by wadi77

    Wars not make one great.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:11 p.m. CST

    GL Obit: "R.I.P George Lucas. Man, that dude could eat!"

    by AzulTool

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    They do come in 3's: Leslie, Kersh, & Turn off the Dark

    by AzulTool

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    As a kid, I wasn't allowed to watch Star Wars

    by sweeneydave

    on account of my mom believing the force was the devil. But I loved orchestral music and of the 3 Star Wars films, ESB was my favorite - musically. That was without seeing the movies. ESB still has the best score of all Star Wars movies, hands down.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Kershner was the Peter Jackson of the SW movies

    by FeralAngel

    Damn, could he tell a good story, and make fictional characters live and breathe and triumph and suffer until you wept for them. If only he could have directed Return of the Jedi...maybe it wouldn't have seemed like a corny two-hour Muppet Show. Still, we have that one movie, and it's the one movie of the original trilogy that's really kept SW alive in so many hearts. The force IS with you, Mr. Kershner. Many thanks.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Whatever. Robocop 2 is fucking awesome.

    by UltraTron

    Frank(Miller). The blue velvet's making my teeth wiggle. Cut it with poscalamine.. 5 mils per! R.I.P.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Robocop 2

    by MattmanReturns

    As with Predator 2, talkbackers are going to start pretending it's brilliant and they loved it all along. It's not a good film and never was. However, the scene where the robot pulls its helmet off and screams IS one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:23 p.m. CST

    And Robocop 2 wasn't Kersh's fault

    by MattmanReturns

    It was Frank Miller's. That guy is batshit insane sometimes.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:26 p.m. CST

    She's screening psychotics sir!

    by UltraTron

    Well we arn't making a toy here Johnson. We will sue your ass! Give it your best shot. Fuck you! The people want Nuke. And they will have it. Touch me. It's cold. They made this. To honor him. Your husband is dead. I don't know you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by punto

    I still wonder what the David Lynch version would have been like.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    IRV ROCKS!!!!!

    by drdoom_v

    That man was our last hope to direct Episode 7 8 and 9! RIP Mr Kirshner you were a class act. And Thank you for giving me one of my all time favorite movies!

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:41 p.m. CST

    God Bless Mr. Kershner

    by Spankalicious

    Empire Strikes Back is simply one of the greatest movies ever. From start to finish, Empire is a movie that feels real and rings true. A movie where we care about the characters and believe in the wisdom provided by a small puppet. The Luke/Vader light saber battle in Cloud City has more tension than in all the prequels combined. The cinematography and special effects are fantastic, but serve the story and the characters that we care about as opposed to the other way around. In addition, Empire has so many quality "little moments" such as on Hoth, when the doors close and Chewbacca howls and the camera slowly zooms on Leia or when Chewbacca picks up C3PO's head and looks into the eyes, can you not think "alas poor Yorick?" Those are just a couple, but there are plenty more. I've seen Empire dozens of times and never tire of it and I'm sure I will watch countless more times with my children. Thank you Mr. Kershner for directing such a masterpiece. You will never be forgotten.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Turd has Risen is the guy who was extolling the virtues

    by IndustryKiller!

    Of Anakin and Padme looking out over the horizon hammily at each other as if it was as emotionally resonant as Luke looking at the twin suns of Tatooine. He doesn' have the vaguest concept of what makes Star Wars work. He's a cinematic sociopath who makes vast assumptions and inane connections, don't take him seriously.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:51 p.m. CST


    by Right Bastard

    Never Say Never Again was a remake of Thunderball. Sorry, it's just bugging me that no one is saying that.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Kirshner hand sculpted the asteroids kobra Kai.

    by UltraTron

    He built the entire falcon set piece by himself and contrary to popular lore- he stop-motion animated all the walkers. He would later re-design rob bottin's robocop suit with a better segmented mid-section. The man was an out of control bad-ass. He hand rotoscoped every fucking shot in every star wars film. I bet you didn't know that either. He poured silicon molds for Yoda. Anything he could do around set while other shots were being set-up, he would do. He built several different scale versions of vader's super star-destroyer and even ran to the model store to get models to kit-bash. He hand-blew neon glass to be used in lighting the super star-destroyer for all versions of that model including mini-neon tubes for the smaller scale models.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Out of nowhere...

    by MegaBaz

    ...Vader appears! That bit near the end of ESB when he lunges at Luke is one of my all-time fave movie bits. The film just makes the other five instalments look like kid's stuff. Did he ever pass comment on the prequels? Can't imagine he was too impressed with them. Farewell Mr Kershner, thanks for the memories.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Irvin Kershner...

    by Chishu_Ryu

    ...for helping make kidhood a little more enjoyable. Rest in peace.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    RIP Mr. Kirshner

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Michael Douglas will be next.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Mr. Kershner. Thank you.

    by bat725

    The best movie ever made. I was 7 years old and my mind was warped at the end of Empire. My mom was teasing me over the shocking revelaation. I was so mad! I yelled, "No, he was lying!" A batista at Starbuck's asked me a few weeks ago what my favorite movie of all time was, I replied "Empire Strikes Back!" I stand by it. I'll put it up against the greats any day. R.I.P. Mr. Kershner, and God bless you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Bravo, that was genius

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:15 p.m. CST

    On ROTJ

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Though people go wayyyyy overboard elevating Kershner to some kind og cinematic godhood, I think he might have bumped Jedi up a half star by improving the godawful performances. However he couldn't have done anything about Ewoks and some of the other entrenched shitty elements to that disappointing film.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Irv you're at one with the force now

    by EpilepticLurcher

    Made my favourite movie of all time. Thanks.<P>All you Lucas bashers should realise that this is no place for your vitriol.<P>Lucas didn't rape your childhood, he helped shape it. Then he did the same for your kids with the prequels. Suck it up assholes. Star Wars was always a kids movie franchise.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:25 p.m. CST

    ESB is worth all the shit we have to put up with,

    by David Cloverfield

    Seriously, I kinda hate Star Wars, and even I have to admit Empire is pure movie magic. SW and Jedi both have moments of greatness, and than fail (which makes it more irritating) but Empire is just perfect. Not a single weak scene. It's obvious who we have to thank for the cool shit in Star Wars. (Jedi is like two completely different movies cut together. One awesome, and one a made-for-TV Disney abomination.)

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:27 p.m. CST

    The bile being spread

    by Arteska

    in Kershner's name here is revolting. I love how there is a nuanced discussion of Kershner's filmography to head this piece up when if George Lucas hadn't asked him to direct the story HE CREATED in the first place none of you would be able to pick Kershner out of a line up of people named Irvin Kershner. I get that people of a certain age are completely comfortable with their ignorance because, well, they weren't even fucking alive to know what's was what, but the real-life-ret-conning army of fatness out there that will spoil for any chance to stick a shiv in Lucas, even the death of one of his creative partners, is beyond the pale. Not unexpected but just once it would be nice to have the internet surprise you. Even worse that the editors of this site, almost to a man, use every possible opportunity to forward the meme themselves.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Seriously, Jedi could've been the best of the bunch

    by David Cloverfield

    Luke in full on warrior priest mode, the Emperor, Jabba rescue... really good stuff with years of build up. But then, we have the Death Star Again, the Leila sister reveal, Ewoks, Bobba Fett failing at life...

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by David Cloverfield

    I'm not a Star Wars fan. That's the secret.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:30 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    another genius lost. good to see the ROBOCOP 2 love here, it's one of my favorites. the childish, elitish bashing it gets is beyond understanding

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Irvin Kershner

    by Dlgothv

    Thank you thank you thank you sir, for making the very best, the very pinnacle of the Star Wars saga. I can't explain how much this movie changed me, how it influenced me, and how it inspired. Oh how it inspired. I would not be the artist I am today, without this masterpiece. RIP

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Turd_has_risen, I didn't come here to bash Lucas

    by IndustryKiller!

    When talking about the OT I agree limiting Lucas' contribution is insane, I mean he created the thing for fucks sake! But I'm not seeing why you have to come in here during what amounts to eulogizing a man and without any evidence to what you are saying marginalize his contribution over and over and over again. It doesn't make any sense other than just being a jerk. It's not about sacred cows, it's about the man DIRECTED the film. Saying he should get credit for working with actors and that's it is idiotic.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    from ESB's wiki

    by Arteska

    To preserve the dramatic opening sequences of his films, Lucas wanted the screen credits to come at the end of the films. Though more common now, this was a highly unusual choice at the time. The Writers Guild and the Directors Guild had allowed it for Star Wars, back in 1977, but when Lucas did the same thing for the sequel, they fined him over $250,000 and attempted to pull Empire out of theaters. The DGA also attacked Kershner; to protect his director, Lucas paid all the fines to the guilds. Due to the controversy, he left the Directors Guild, Writers Guild, and the Motion Picture Association

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST

    I remember watching the VHS at my granddad's place

    by David Cloverfield

    I was more pumped after Empire than anything ever. Maybe that's why we're so harsh on the rest of the SW films. Empire set the bar really fucking high. I don't remember it, but my mom says I cried by the end of Jedi. (I was 8, and it wasn't from from the beautyful resolution of the love triangle). Jedi is a perfectly presentable film, but it has he bad luck to follow Empire. It broke my heart and I didn't even have pubic hair yet. And I didn't even hate the Ewoks, but the experience wasn't nearly as catarthic as the previous film promised. That's how cool Empire was. It ruined the rest of the movies. At least for an 8 year old.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Kershner had a great way w/Lucas' characters & story

    by darthwaz1

    He knew how to direct Lucas' ideas more than Lucas himself does. Also the little visual touches he added like Han punching the Falcon to get it to start up. Small things like that were what the prequels were missing...overall I truly enjoy the prequels but I kinda wish Lucas had handed them off to a more capable director like Kershner..

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    What makes ROTJ work? Luke's AMAZING character arc.

    by IndustryKiller!

    Seriously not enough can be said about how fantastic Hamill is in those three films. He makes the shift from naive farm boy to hardened warrior unbelieveably organic. When he's introduced in jedi, right from the get go his entire presence has changed. To this day every time he says "Jabba this is your last chance. Free us, or die." it still blows me away because it's a million miles from the kid in A New Hope. When he talks to Leia about his mother in the Ewok village the weight of what he's taken on, and the longing for what could have been is so palpable. It still astonishes me how underrated Hamill is in those films, he gives by far the most layered performance.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Rest in Peace

    by dukeroberts

    I thank you greatly for one of my all-time favorite movies. No sci fi film matches it.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:07 p.m. CST

    The one I dig..dont hate me

    by theheavy

    Is Hoodlum Priest,....I like it and I hate nobody has said that,..unless they did and I didnt see it because I didnt read every post.....

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Oh and third is Pit, know who

    by theheavy

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Oh and third is Pit, know who

    by theheavy

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    or Ingrid Pitt,..yea her #3

    by theheavy

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Mario Monicelli RIP

    by Gorgomel

    One of the last greatest italian director along with Fellini and Dino Riso died today.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:24 p.m. CST

    God bless you Mr. Kershner

    by Darth Thoth

    May you rest in peace. Thank you for your work, especially ESB- truly one of the great movies of all time. The film left an incredible mark on my life that continues to guide me to this very day. May God's peace be on your family and friends in this difficult period. And may your soul rest in peace. Thank you.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:45 p.m. CST

    R.I.P Mr. Irvin Keshner. You gave us a rare CINEMA MAGIC.

    by Se7en

    That one movie practically changed the history of cinema and countless lives. Mine definitely and absolutely included.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Lucas should thank his lucky stars for Keshner.

    by Se7en

    He would definitely get the total respect if not for Keshner's direction in Empire Strikes Back.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:52 p.m. CST

    He directed the greatest sci-fi/fantasy film ever made

    by YackBacker

    All other directors in these particular genres (Spielberg, Jackson and yes, even Lucas) have second-billing to Kershner. He's the all-time champ. RIP.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:52 p.m. CST

    RIP Irvin Kershner - I loved Empire - but it ticked me off

    by toadkillerdog

    A 3 year wait with a cliffhanger.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:54 p.m. CST

    "Kershner only directed the actors"

    by MustGoFaster

    That is one of the most idiotic things I have read on this site in a long time. And that's saying a lot. What kind of fucking asshole would demean the great achievement of a man who has barely been dead for two minutes? Whoever you are, I hope you get hit by a train. This place is crawling with worthless fucktards.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST


    by UltraTron

    The wampa was actually played by kirshner. The asteroid monster was actually his cock filmed in macro. The man had many talents. You like yoda? Good cuz you get to fuck him every night

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Yeah that was kobra Kai. I'm still chastising.

    by UltraTron

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    nice job on Empire

    by mrsheldrake

    Star Wars IV was essentially a stylistic exercise-- very entertaining one. He took Empire and turned it into a real movie, which was some feat, given the rather weak material (in the first movie, besides style, the acting saved it). Hard to remember, but in fact it was pretty clear hamill was talking to a puppet throughout--what the youngun's are missing is that the sensibility back then was different, Henson style puppets were acceptable and occupied a strange liminal space between live and animation. Hell, I even bought Scred, The Mighty Favog and Gorch, back in the day. This movie and Kahn are two of a kind--they ignored the last movie as much as possible to save the franchise, and no other movie after even came close to being as good.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST


    by sokitome

    thank you sir for directing the best cinematic experience I have ever experienced. RIP Mr. Kershner

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    re: MustGoFaster

    by Chief Joseph

    The Revisionists never stop working, and they have no class. RIP Kersh

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST

    I'm breaking my 3 month boycott of AICN for Kershner

    by conspiracy

    as I knew this would be the one place that people would understand this.</p><p>Irvin Kershner, and Gary Kurtz, are the reason the prequels suck; as they elevated Lucas' Creation to a level that George himself never wanted, thought possible, or could himself attain given his meager directorial talents. In short, they made a movie so fucking good it ruined all that came after, and exposed that the emperor did indeed have no clothes.</p><p>And with that I'm gone again until Dec. 28th. or until D.Vader is resurrected.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 10:36 p.m. CST

    give me a freakin' break

    by frank cotton

    please stay gone

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 11:04 p.m. CST

    And his last gig was the pilot of seaQuest DSV...

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Say what you like about the show's many creative flaws, but Kershner helped create the visual style for the show, and it was one of its strongest elements. RIP sir.

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 11:22 p.m. CST

    RIP - Met him at The Arclight Screening of Empire

    by kilerb

    He was very nice, signed my DVD, and I asked him if they wanted him for ROTJ and he said "OH YEAH..."

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. George Lucus.........ok he's in the ground, now lets redo

    by The_All_Dead

  • Nov. 29, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST


    by Meadowe

    instead of that, you know, other artiqle....anyway I thought he did the best with Robocop 2 that he could, also....Rest in Peace big Irv

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Where the FUCK is your Leslie Nielsen obit

    by tlyel37

    that's all that matters.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Kershner was the only one to execute Lucas' original vision

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    ...for SW sequels. Which was to hand them off to other filmmakers and see where things go. Richard Marquand was pretty tightly under Lucas' thumb for RETURN OF THE JEDI. <p>I fear that Mr. Kirshner's death will open THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK to extensive, endless Lucas revisions instead of the relative restraint shown in TESB: Special Edition. Cloud City DESPERATELY NEEDS a musical number, don't you think? <p>RIP, Mr. Kirshner.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST


    by TheJudger

    2 weeks ago I started working again on a old 1:1 Chavant Yoda Head sculpt. I gave up on it a year or so back and bagged it up. I've been working on it daily with whatever freetime I could manage. Today I decided not to work on it. I just found out about this news, so sad. <P> Rest in peace Irvin.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 1:04 a.m. CST

    This is very sad.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    With ESB, Kershner took STAR WARS movies to a higher level, a level that Lucas will never even remotely reach...

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Sick about it

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    Has me all choked up :(

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:23 a.m. CST

    TESB was simply stunning.

    by 'Cholera's Ghost

    Character, action, plotting, cinematography, all came together in a pitch perfect blend whose shockwave is felt decades later. It showed what was possible for sci-fi/fantasy and Kershner's stamp remains like a stinging bitchslap on everything mediocre ever since.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:23 a.m. CST

    He was the only one who could do Star Wars

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    Lucas was lucky with the "A New Hope" and "THX 1138" of course is brilliant. But without IK Star Wars would not have been as big IMO in having the impact it did because of IK's vision of it. It is the only reason I kept an interest in it with the emotional impact Empire had and how he was able to bring the best out of those actors. Just an amazing piece of cinema. <BR> <BR> For me that movie defined a childhood and really brought me full into the Sci Fi world (and Star Trek re-runs). So thank you IK for making a part of my childhood special and creating what I feel was the only true vision of the Star Wars universe out of the entire series. You made Lucas look good. RIP.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:30 a.m. CST

    TESB is awesome, of course...

    by JaguarWong

    ...but NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN is simply a bag of ass -- just plain terrible. The action's flat, the score is awful and Connery, while fit enough, looks like a wax mannequin of himself. The pic is every bit as bad as A VIEW TO A KILL.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Never Say Never

    by Flexfill

    Actually, it was Connery who picked the composer and that's a fact. The score was the only thing I always felt didn't work. But Kirsh and the DP from Raiders (D. Slocombe) did fine work there.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:17 a.m. CST

    the score...

    by Flexfill

    The producers were planning a special edition of Never Say Never Again with a new cut of the film and a new score. from IMDB: Producer Jack Schwartzman wanted then up-and-coming composer James Horner to score the film. Sean Connery objected and 'Michel Legrand' was brought in after accidentally meeting Sean Connery in a studio corridor. Apparently a lot of scenes and entire characters ended up on the cutting room floor, so a new cut may have been interesting, but never happened. Side note: Producer Jack Schwartzman was married to Talia Shire at the time and she's the sister of Francis Ford Coppola and played Connie in The Godfather films. Coppola apparently made script contributions to Never Say Never Again as well. So there were a lot of talented people attached to the film. They should have hired James Horner to do the score though.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:20 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    <p>Conspiracy, good to see you and I understand what you said (BrainDrain total fail).<p> UltraTron, who is this Kobra Kai and what did he do to upset you. You have me confused sir.<p> K_Pilkington, classy guy trying to start a flame war in an obit. Holy ground Highlander. Another time.<p> RIP Kershner - you created something that will truly live on and entertain for decades (perhaps even centuries) to come.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Gary Kurtz

    by darthvedder81

    Yes he truly was a filmmaking genius as evidenced by the many brilliant, critically acclaimed and commercially successful films he went on to make after his Star Wars work. Oh wait...

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Old men smackdown!!!

    by AsimovLives

    Who won?

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Ona serious note, this is sad news indeed

    by AsimovLives

    My condolescences and sympathies for his family, friend and fans.<br><br>I can't say i was ever a fan of his work. But by all accounts he was a professional anda good teacher. Will be missed.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Don't forget his cameo in Last Temptation Of Christ

    by L. Ron Bumquist

    I think there's a little of Kersh in Oz's portrayal of Yoda too.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Irvin Kershner dies but Michael Bay and Jar Jar Abrams still liv

    by AsimovLives

    There is no god.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:38 a.m. CST

    A Sad day indeed...

    by DVaderRIP

    Lucas made A New Hope, and no-one can ever take that away from him. But it was Kershner and Kasdan that made 'Star Wars' - that firmly forced it into the zeitgeist of a generation. Empire remains a credible film, and a masterclass on the part of all concerned - billed or unbilled. Sadly I never got to meet him. RIP Kersh.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:53 a.m. CST

    So long, Kersh...

    by Jay Jay

    And thank you for making that rarest of things - a sequel that surpasses the original. The Force will be with you...always.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:54 a.m. CST

    All my heartfelt appreciations and best wishes to honour Irvin K

    by CeejayNightwing

    The man who presented Star Wars with its finest potential and produced its greatest and most lasting triumph, The Empire Strikes Back! The one movie more than any other that completely changed my life around. Some idiot earlier tried to defuse the greatness he delivered with TESB by attributing its success to Lucas due to Irvin Kershners lack of commercial success with his other movies. To that idiot I say this, Lucas never directed another movie after SW until the prequels and every last one of them are worse than anything Irvin Kershner has ever directed by tenfold! Kershner directed an inspired masterpiece with TESB, he may never have managed to scale to such heights again but if every director has one great moment well TESB was his. His trust he put in his lead actors, the invitation to change lines, try alternate approaches, his use of soft-screens to emphasize the romantic element in the narrative, his solid capture of Yoda's performance that transcended the very reality of the average hand puppet, the fighting for extra shots, his experienced cool head when all around him was in disarray as well as the many tragedies that befell the production. Make no mistake this man saw an opportunity, took it and was inspired by his experience that drove him to deliver one of the greatest cinematic experiences and influential films of all times despite a panicking George Lucas, not becasue of him!

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST


    by johnny_alpha

    Thanks for my favourite movie Mr Kirshner.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    If is any consolation, today is Ridley Scott's birthday

    by AsimovLives

    Harry birthday, Sir Ridley. May your birthday today bring some shine to this sad day when a beloved filmmaker among the geekry, Irvin Kershner, has passed away.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:26 a.m. CST

    If you read The Secret History of Star Wars

    by Redhead_Redemption

    you'll see that ESB was totally Kersh's film. Lucas may have created the oultine and thecharacters, but everything else came from both Kersh and Lawrence Kasdan. In fact Lucas even got his panties in a knot and took the editing away from Kersh, and The Lucas edit was a disaster, Kersh hadn't shot the film in the way that Lucas wanted to edit it, so it fell apart. Luckily Lucas realised that he had no choice but to just let Kersh finish the film his own way. However when it came time for Return of the jedi, Lucas ignored Kersh and went with a director that would just do as he said, Most claim that Lucas actually directed Jedi, where as he was all but absent from most of ESB shooting stage. <P>Now I have nothing agaisnt Lucas, but to those that say that Kersh just directed the are very very wrong and I suggest you read The Secret History of Star Wars

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Secret History of Star Wars

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I read it and it isn't my impression that Lucas just "created the outline and the characters".<p>And Lucas got his "panties in a knot" because the movie was way over budget and over schedule.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST


    by RaggedyMan

    I dont post much here, just tend to read and laugh, but when I heard about this one the other day I knew I would have to log in and pay my respects. Life can be a gloriously sad journey at times. Sadness when you realize that your childhood heroes are starting to leave this plane of existence coupled with the joy of the memories you still hold, from what they gave you with the time they had on this earth. God speed Mr. Kirshner. Your contributions to my childhood imagination and the SW Universe were amazing. -Peace

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    You people are morons

    by Hesiod2k7

    Lucas can't direct actors? Lucas can't get any emotional depth from them? Have any of you doofuses seen American Graffiti? Lucas was at tge height of his creative genius in the 70's to early 80's. Dont forget that Indiana Jones was HIS idea. What happened was that he lost his directorial touch.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST

    You will be missed, Mr Kershner...

    by Ghostball

    ...ESB truly changed my life from 5 years onwards for the better. I remember that in 1980 I was left unsupervised at the cinema as a five year old, while my mother went shopping. I didn't care - if anything the lack of adequate parental controls augmented the experience for me - I think maybe it was meant to be that way (even if presumably I woulda been put in care in this day and age!) I'd seen other movies at the cinema, I'd seen science fantasy on tv like Glen A Larson's version of Buck Rogers... but Empire... Jesus wept, what a mindblowing, paradimensional experience - and it still holds up, in every way that matters! The... Best... Movie... Ever... Period. Mr. Kershner, thank you. And those of you here bitching about Lucas and who inputted what, and the prequels, and the Ewoks... another time. Let's keep it dignified for once.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Imagine Return of the Jedi directed by him

    by BizarroJerry

    It would've been great to see what that could have been like.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Bizarro Jerry

    by Ghostball

    If ever there was an incentive for devising the tech to visit parallel universes, it'd be so that we could get to see Kershner's ROTJ... (and TPM... and AOTC... etc)

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by DVaderRIP

    There's a reason why American Graffiti worked - because of the acting talent on the screen. Sometimes, all you need to do is point a camera at someone - and Lucas knew that back then. More recently, he has drawn absolutely wretched performances from otherwise gifted people (Natalie Portman, for a start). Why? Because he no longer believes that sometimes you just have to point and shoot.<p>Lucas has his skills. Like Peter Jackson, he is a very efficient general - he gets things done, he marshalls people, he produces results. But he will never be an auteur. Now that's not to say that Kershner was either - he was no Kubrick, he would have admitted that himself. But Kershner knew that sometimes, you just have to point and shoot. And let's not forget Kasdan. Without him, Empire would not have been what it was.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Yoda was a muppet that sounded too much like Grover

    by Rupee88

    ESB sucked, not as much as ROTJ but was still crappy.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Blame the internet

    by JamesT

    For the persistent Lucas bashing. Christ people, let it go. You sound like a bunch of old biddies.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Just watched A Fine Madness this summer...

    by eustisclay girlfriend wanted to watch What's New Pussycat and I tried to find something to go along with it. I spotted the Connery film at the library and thought it would be a good double feature. I liked it, didn't love it, but my girl wasn't crazu about it. If you're one of those who slams Connery for his remark about slapping a woman around you may not care for it. But I did love the Flim Flam Man. Haven't seen it for years(maybe Warner Archive or one of those can release it). One of my favorite Scott performances that really should be one dvd. Used to get the score mixed up with the Culpepper Cattle company. As for Empire? What more can I add? Great film and I don't care who was responsible.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    ESB box office

    by kiwicanuck

    Im response to some previous comments, I believe that when taking inflation/ticket prices into account, ESB is actually the second highest grossing Star Wars film, by a huge margin. If anybody has the stats to prove otherwise, pleae post.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST


    by DVaderRIP

    Nice rebuttal. Wow, you've really pwned me with your lengthy and astute critical analysis. <p>If you look at Hesiods original post, he says "Lucas can't direct actors? Lucas can't get any emotional depth from them?". Hence, my point was in that context. Now try again.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Mario Monicelli

    by jon pertwee

    the italian director mario monicelli died today. he directed 70 films. hopefully we'll see an obit for him on this site, his body of work was greater than many who get eulogised on this site.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Empire is the best of Star Wars

    by Transhuman

    This is a sad day.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by TheSecondQuest

    Kershner also directed the pilot for seaQuest DSV, produced by Spielberg and written by Farscape creator Rockne O'Bannon. Doesn't get enough love.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:40 a.m. CST

    R.I.P Mr Kirshner......

    by connor187

    Forever may you be fondly remembered for your contribution to film.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Kirshner

    by BoStrike1

    I am a true lover of film, and you made my favorite. Your work will fuel my imagination to the end of my days.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Confidential Committee on Moral Abuses

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    That ESB trailer has Ford's fake, nervous voice that he used in Blade Runner as a "disguise" just before the stripper replicant Zhora kicks his ass. Here he seems to be using it seriously? Or maybe he's hoping it will be so bad they won't use it, but they did anyway (one excuse I've heard for the deadpan Blade Runner narration). Sounds like he's holding his nose in disgust while reading it.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    "Lord Vader, the ship has moved out of light-speed...

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    and we're preparing to GLRUGK!!!" Best. Movie. Ever. Thanks IK

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Lucas edited EMPIRE STRIEKS BACK (as he did RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), and as such, the movie we watched is the movie that Lucas decided it should be, when he edited. Nobody diminished Kershner's contributuions, it's not for nothing that his directed Sw movie is considered the best. but the movie as we know it is, in the end, what Lucas decided it should be. and as anybody who watched the criterion DVD of BRAZIL, bad editing chlices can completly change a movie and turn a smart movie into a piece of shit. If EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is good, at the very least half the reason why is due to Lucas. Those who hate Lucas becaus eof the prequels should be wis eot remember that. And this is as true for RAIDERS. i'm not a lucas groupie, but the bashing against Lucas can go too far into complete dogmatic blindless.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:16 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You're talking about the opriginal trilogy? Actually, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is the movie that made less money of the original trilogy. I heard stories that Lucas felt some disapointment with the results. I mean, by all standars the movie was a huge sucess. But it didn't matched the sucess of STAR WARS, and it costed nearly 3 times more. Some dsay that was the reason why RETURN OF THE JEDI is such a retread to the first movie, with the same basic plotting and the same dramatic beats. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is somewhat more experiemental and daring in it's story.<br><br>And here's the thing: for a long time, ESB was the least liked movie of the Sw saga. It was only in the mid90s that the majority opinion started to favour ESB over the other two Sw movies. Until then, it was the SW's underdog, withthe ususla complaisn because it was darker, more depressing, and it ended on a sad note with a bad ending for half the hero characters. How things changed.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Box office

    by kiwicanuck

    According to Box office mojo, adjusted for inflation, Empire trumps Jedi: $780,536,100 ($290,475,067 1980^) vs. $747,772,300 ($309,306,177 1983^) for Jedi. Granted, perhaps they're taking the special edition grosses into account, but both made similar figures released years later, so while there's not a huge margin, the difference in money made must be pretty negligible at best. I seem to remember rumblings about Lucas's disappointment as well, but if he was pissed about Empire's (lack of) success, was he (presumably) ticked off when Jedi's recepits rolled in? Of course if he didn't spend as much, maybe not. Still, it seems insane for somebody to be disappointed in such enormous numbers. By the way, overseas earnings were also within 20 million dollars of one another, meaning Empire would have been ahead of Jedi there too in terms of tickets sold. As for the least liked of the saga until the mid-90's, I don't necessarily agree. In fact, I remember several reviews bashed Jedi for it's weaknesses back in '83, and while Empire was indeed recognized as being dark and depressing by some (and therefore a disappinting downer), it didn't take that long for it's superiority to be recognized. Perhaps not against Episide 4, but certainly compared to Jedi.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Thanks dude, RIP

    by Kontarsky

    Made my favourite film of all time. And anyone dissing ESB, seriously....get the fuck out of here trolls. Have some fucking respect for something and someone once in your worthless, inconsequential, lives.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    take care wherever you go Kirsh

    by moosetutters

    Thanks for the memories. A cold night in Tooting in 1980, south London, at a now long forgotten, demolished Odeon cinema, our dysfunctional family, alcoholic, violent father, decided to make a break from the usual domestic traumas to take us to see ESB, and it was pure magic and paternal bliss for a whole evening. I was 10, and it was unimaginably perfect. Nothing much ever moved my dad, but ESB did. Dad's dead only a few years later in troubled circumstances, but that one ray of goodness brought from ESB will always be cherished. My 2 year old daughter enjoys a happier more stable family, and she'll see the movie one day, though I wonder if she'll ever appreciate it as much as I did. thank you again Kirsh, you made it good for a day.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Empire is NOT the best film...

    by superkunk

    ...and I am sick of the fanboy revisionist bandwagon that has lifted it to that status. STAR WARS was a perfect film for what it was and it redefined cinema. EMPIRE was also Lucas' vision and expanded the saga. It has great moments (Yoda) but the plot meanders (45 minutes on Hoth? The detour to the asteroid???) without moving forward with direct purpose and the characters are already beginning to whine more than entertain. EMPIRE is for fanboys who grew up on VCR's and the Muppets and never experienced the impact the original STAR WARS had on us when we saw it in 1977. RIP Kersh - he did an admirable job under trying circumstances. But give Lucas the credit he deserves and rethink your stance on EMPIRE vs STAR WARS because you are dead wrong.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Irvin Kershner, RIP and ESB was the best SW film

    by Dark Doom

    Irvin Kershner, sir thank you for giving us the best and most human of all the SW flix.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Better late than never & a fantastic tribute...

    by LittleManFromAnotherPlace

    Thank you AICN. By the way Lucas-bashers, Lucas's concerns re; Empire's budget were not likely to be merely related to the fact that Kersh took his time filming. Star Wars also went over-budget & Gary Kurtz had to ask to be let back on board as producer again. Lucas conceded because they had worked together for so long but Kurtz still had the same problems. Bearing in mind Lucas was paying for the film with his own money his concerns were legitimate. Kershner deserves great credit for the magnificent job he did in directing Empire but Lucas himself also made a great contribution as well. The entire story & sequence of events in the film were written by Lucas. Lawrence Kasdan did a great job of writing the dialogue (the best of the series) but Lucas composed the story. Much of the visual designs in the film were also Lucas' inspiration. J.W. Rinzlers' excellent books on the making of Star Wars & Empire are well worth reading. Lucas was & is a visionary of flawed but Great talent.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    does lucas have a clue?

    by dodgethis27

    Everytime I read star wars related news I ask myself, "does lucas realize that empire is every star wars lovers' favorite film?" I think he honestly is so detached that he may not know but sadly, it is probably that he just doesn't care. What a shame that one of the best ideas (star wars) in cinema history was created and seen through by one of the worst writer/directors of all times. RIP Irvin.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    RIP....Red 5 standing by.

    by HavokJD

    Lucas...let other people direct.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:37 p.m. CST

    EMPIRE STRIKES BACK can be over-hyped

    by AsimovLives

    EMPRIE STRIEKS BACK is the best Sw movie made, i have no doubt on my midn about that. But the movie is not rhe best movie ever made. that's over-blowing it to such an extent that makes more harm then good. It's a damn fine movie, yes, but best ever? There's many, many otherr movies far more deserving of such accolades. It doesn't rob of ESB's merits, but let's not rob other's movies merit just because of some over-enthusiasm for one's prefered movie franchise. Hell, ESB is not even the best sequel ever made, that honour befalls THE GODFATHER PART II.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    So sad. The man gave SW it's testacles.

    by Onin Solstice

    Without Empire, SW would be an undefendable laughing joke. Kersh came in and made sure it got some respect for years to come.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Silly a nonsense word?

    by d_fens1969

    Get your fuckin' act together and join an English 101 class.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    This man's vision shaped my childhood. Forever Indebted.

    by chadiwack

    Empire truly has stood the test of time. A New Hope and even Jedi have dated a little but for some reason (none other than Irvin's direction), Empire stands the test of time. It's still remains legendary and it will for many more years to come. Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for giving us the greatest SCI-FI movie of all time.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Onin Solstice

    by AsimovLives

    It's testicles. Testacles sounds like an unholy hybrid between testicles and tentacles. That's an horror i don't want to have on my mind.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    I really don't like ROBOCOP 2

    by AsimovLives

    Tehjre's some individual stuff in it that belongs to a better movie, a much better movie then what's ROBOCOP 2. That movie is a failed experience. And the least said about the 3rd movie the better. Thankfully Kirshner had nothing to do with it.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Remember, ESB was not the first sequel Kirshner directed

    by AsimovLives

    A few years before he directed THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Damn, he sounds just like Ray Romano

    by Packabong

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    ...Ray Romano crossed with Stan Lee

    by Packabong

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Surely you can't be serious.

    by Yelsaeb

    Irvin Kershner and Leslie Neilson both on the same day? Fuck a duck.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Love them both

    by _Lizarkeo

    Star Wars was a perfect comic-booky-Flash-Gordonian one of a kind masterpiece. To the creators (George, Marcia, Kurtz, John, ILM, the actors), my eternal gratitude for some happy childhood moments. <p><p> BUT. ESB made Millenium Falcon the BEST sci-fi hardware character ever. The Falcon "dancing" over Cloud City...Pure Geek Heaven, man. And I dig a lot of the Snowtrooper dudes. They had their 15 seconds of fame, literally. And then, Han killed a bunch of them. Thinking better now, Vader ordered to not kill the fugitives... Poor guys, heh. And, of course, one of my all time favorite score of J.Williams (The Imperial March and The Rebel Fleet). I was watching the ending right now on the DVD. Imagine it without the wonderful score, man. Some dude and some chick using toga and two robots just standing there...Heh. For some crazy reason, I just pictured cartoon Scott Pilgrim as Luke, Ramona Flowers as Leia, Wallace as the gay robot, of course. And Artoo as Deetoo, because he owns the part, yo!<p><p> Ahem. RIP, Irvin. You did right and good.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Artoo on his tiptoes, Han saying "I know"

    by Tacom

    The little things he added gave the movie so much life.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Never Say Never Again sucked

    by thecat now way does it even come close to "Octopussy." I couldn't believe it when I found out the same guy who did "Empire" did that. Well, RIP Irvin Kershner, for doing one of the greatest movies ever made.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Only good thing about Octopussy was Loius Jordan saying it

    by Dirk_The_Amoeba

    Gave it such a weird inflection that it sounded classy and pornographic at same time

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    RIP to the man who directed the 2nd best Star Wars movie.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    And that is in no way an insult to Kershner. He was the right man in the right place at the right time to direct the best possible sequel to the legendary, never to be equaled let alone surpassed, original Star Wars. I only wish the subsequent sequels had been even a fraction as good as the one he made. God bless him.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10 p.m. CST

    On its release the average reaction to ESB was mild disappointme

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    Though well attended, the movie was hit pretty hard by both fans and critics alike for being too dark and plodding. ROTJ was much better received and lauded in its time. It really wasn't until some years later that ESB was recognized for its brilliance (thankfully).

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    That is, mild disappointment.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Directed Barbra Streisand

    by tom7836

    Don’t forget Kershner’s Up The Sandbox from 1972 staring Barbra Streisand. Streisand plays Margaret Reynolds a bored housewife with two children and a loving husband Paul (played by TV gothic soap "Dark Shadows'" David Selby) but it’s not enough. She’s bored with her life and she finds out that she is pregnant with a 3rd child and is scared of telling her college professor husband – who has that then 70s PC concern of over population. To avoid her current predicament, Margaret escapes into a fantasy life ranging from confronting the woman whom she believes is sleeping with her husband to interviewing Fidel Castro (which shows “him” to be a transgender), to being a terrorist, and slamming her overbearing mother's face into an anniversary cake! All in all, the film is very good. You can tell it was a labor of love for Streisand and for Kershner. I’m sure the consensus here on Ain’t It Cool is that Streisand SUCKS! But, this film is a rarity out of her limited 18 films – she seems to really act, creating a real depiction of a young mother/wife/woman (all with the assistance from Kershner). The film was a HUGE flop for both Streisand and Kershner. It sandwiched inbetween two of her hits of the 70s – What’s Up, Doc? and The Way We Were. FYI - The film was the first project of the new Streisand, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier production company, First Artists.

  • Nov. 30, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry, I Liked Robocop 2...

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    yeah, it was flawed, but it had its moments. Total camp all the way. The failed Robocops committing suicide, the "Thank you for not smoking!" bit. I loved when Murphy's unscrewing his helmet with the drill and saying, "after all, we're only human." Fucking classic. Not Oscar worthy, but classic.

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Robocop 2 mustve looked amazing on paper

    by studmaster

    what with Kersh directing a script by Frank Miller, and there's a lot to like about it, but overall it was just too campy. I have no doubt that Peter Weller was creaming his pants about the Empire guy with the guy who wrote Dark Knight Returns- Im not sure but one of the producers HAD to have given Weller a copy of DKR to sell him on it, otherwise Weller didnt like playing Robocop and probably wouldnt have returned. And thus a cinematic misfire was born. Kersh, we'll miss ya.

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 1:41 a.m. CST

    A point i wanna make about Lucas

    by studmaster

    I agree with many about how Lucas destroyed his franchise, albeit inadvertently, but with few exceptions the descent into complacency and disconnection as they get older, more successful, and wealthier happens to most artists, especially the REALLY successful ones. There was a time when GL was hungry, motivated, and interested in putting as much time and effort into his films and crafting as good a story as he could. These days he's more concerned with preserving his beloved franchise, milking it for all it's worth, and keeping his various businesses and investments solvent. To paraphrase ObiWan, "He's more businessman than artist now, twisted and evil." There're all kinds of stories about how Kershner and all the other people surrounding Lucas were at odds with him, and that it took the effort of all the creatives around him to keep him from destroying Star Wars. I'm more willing to believe that during this time, GL was more concerned with the artistic aspects of making SW, that he was more willing to listen to his directors and producers and more supportive of them than he is now, that that the stories that he was on the verge of ruining the OT are more than a little apocryphal. Lucas, at least during the making of the OT, AFAIK, was more concerned with the art than with the product.

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Kershner was offered ROTJ

    by elwinransom451

    IIRC I read a few years ago an interview with Mr. Kersher where he said that he was offered ROTJ, but decided to pass on it because of the time commitment. I believe that he spent 5 years on TESB. He also stated in the interview that they were "Going through the motions on ROTJ."

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Rest In Peace

    by JDanielP


  • Dec. 1, 2010, 9 a.m. CST

    RIP sir

    by orcus

    Orcus salutes you

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    It took ROTJ and perspective to cement ESB

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    I remember that ROTJ had a weird aftertaste after I saw it and I wasn't alone. Part of it was I was starting to grow up in general, but the movie itself just seemed more inherently childish than the other two. Then I went back and re-watched all the movies. It wasn't until all was said and done that ESB stood out. It's inseperable from the first one, of course, but it seems to be the one that feels the least like a kiddie movie after you're grown up, and I think this is why it's so loved (that, and you don't have to wait three years to have the cliffhanger resolved).

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Thanks for such a classic slice of 'Star Wars' Irvin.

    by Cervantes

    'Empire Strikes Back' remains my favourite sequel ever, and holds many great memories from my youth.<P>I'm really looking forward to Adywan's 'Empire Strikes Back:Revisited' spruced-up fanedit, the follow-up to his amazing 'Star Wars:Revisited' which will be finished early next year.<P>Here it is for anyone that hasn't seen it yet -<P><P>(note that those are capital 'i's in that link)

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Raid on Entebbe

    by laguna_loire

    I saw this 5 or 6 years ago, it used to be shown on British TV all the time. A solid film, Irvin's hallmarks were all over it. And dare I say it, but one of Charles Bronson's best. Everyone should check it out, its on channel 5 rotation, so I hope to pick it up again soon!!

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Thank you!

    by thecheesegrommit

    For one of the definitive memories of my life!!! RIP.

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Thank you!

    by thecheesegrommit

    For one of the definitive memories of my life!!! RIP.

  • Dec. 1, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Rest In Peace

    by Professor_Bedlam

    A sad day for true star wars fans! Empire is the best of them all! RIP Irvin and a shout out to Leslie Nelson Rip to my friend