Empire Strikes Back Director Dead at 87

Irvin Kershner aimed for depth with Star Wars sequel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2010 12:03 PM CST
In this 1990 file photo released by Orion Pictures Corp., American film director Irvin Kershner, right, and actor Peter Weller, as Robocop, are seen during the making of "Robocop II."   (Deana Newcomb)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Irvin Kershner—who directed the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back, the James Bond film Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2—died Saturday after a long illness at age 87. Kershner already had made a number of well-received movies when he was hired by George Lucas to direct Empire, the second-produced Star Wars film.

The movie initially got mixed reviews but has gone on to become one of the most critically praised. Kershner told Vanity Fair in October that he tried to give the sequel more depth than the original. But “it took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book." A fun tidbit: Kershner had only one major disagreement with Lucas. The script originally called for the heroine, Princess Leia, to tell Han Solo "I love you" and for him to reply "I love you, too." It just didn't seem right to Kershner, though Lucas was pushing for it. Instead, actor Harrison Ford improvised the reply—"I know"—which has gone on to be one of the best-known lines in the series.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |