Irvin Kershner, director of ESB, has died

Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back, has died at the age of 87.

ESB is considered by many to be the finest entry in the Star Wars franchise.  And he’s probably most appreciated for arguing it out with Harrison Ford to put together the famous “I love you” “I know” exchange.

Those of us lucky enough to have heard him speak at Celebration know what an interesting and multi-faceted man he was.  He will be missed.

UPDATE: George remembers Kersh.

3 thoughts on “Irvin Kershner, director of ESB, has died

  1. Mark Newbold

    Just heard seconds ago and am heartbroken. I had the great fortune to interview Kersh 3 years ago for Lightsabre and spent an hour chatting to him about Empire. He was so clear, to the point, forthright and very distinctive. My favourite interview, I tried to steer the discussion (out of respect to his wider career) to other films, but I think he knew I was a GFFA fan and kept bringing us back to Empire. How sad that we lose the greatest Star Wars director in the year of Empire’s 30th anniversary, and on the day we also lost another class act, Leslie Nielsen.
    And the common link between Kersh and Nielsen – Forbidden Planet. Leslie starred in the original, Kersh was slated to direct the remake in the 80′s, which never got of the ground.

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  2. Josh

    Sad news indeed. Can’t say I knew anything of his work outside ESB, but his Star Wars contribution alone is enough to make me care. I remember listening to him on the DVD commentary and interviews, and he came across as a really smart, witty, likeable guy.

    Although it does irk me the number of comments I’ve seen that just take the opportunity to make another potshot at Lucas. There’s a time and a place for ‘take thats’, and after someone’s died isn’t one of them. I’m sure Kershner himself would have been too classy for that.

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  3. Doyle

    Heartbreaking news. I used to throw his name around a lot when I was still a film student and was always surprised at how many people couldn’t identify him. Truly a fine director and a personal favorite, he deserves to be missed by everyone who knew his name.

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