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Post Posted: November 29th 2010 8:29 am
 
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Empire Strikes Back director dead



US director Irvin Kershner, renowned for making the epic Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back, has died in Los Angeles aged 87.

Kershner also directed Sean Connery as James Bond in Never Say Never Again (1983) and Peter Weller in Robocop II (1990).

He died at home after a long illness, his goddaughter Adriana Santini told AFP.

Born in Philadelphia in 1923, Kershner trained as a musician and in photography before starting making documentaries and then feature films.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) is widely regarded as the most popular instalment in the Star Wars saga and is one of the highest rated films in history.


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 10:05 am
 

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RIP. Thanks for the memories. :heavymetal:


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 12:24 pm
 
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:(

backstage.blogs.com

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Director Irvin Kershner died on Monday in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 87 years old. Kershner directed the “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again,” and “Robocop 2.” Kershner was one of George Lucas’ professors at the University of Southern California and was asked by the “Star Wars” creator to direct “Empire.” He was born in Philadelphia in 1923.


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 4:25 pm
 
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Woah, RIP, indeed. One of my major wishes back in the day was that Lucas might see the light and bring him on for consulting for RoTS. I think Kershner would have nailed it and brought some great ideas.


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 7:11 pm
 
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R.I.P Irvin, thanks for the memories and the great contributions to the Star Wars saga/legacy, you'll be missed. :(


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 8:29 pm
 
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Congatulations on fulfilling a long and influential life, Kersh. You will not be forgotten.


Post Posted: November 29th 2010 8:53 pm
 
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Lucas just chimed in on Kershner's passing over @ SW.com:

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

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

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


Source: http://starwars.com/themovies/episode_v/irvin_kershner_remembered/



Like I said, Lucas should have gotten him to work on the PT's in at least some capacity, as AotC and RoTS felt exactly like just another couple episodes in a series of space adventures. :roll:


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 1:07 am
 

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I love what Kershner did in TESB...

But its not like everything the guy did turned to gold. For all we know if he had been brought in for AOTC or ROTS it could've been another Robocop 2 or Never Say Never Again, both of which were not only mere sequels, but awful ones at that.


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 9:32 am
 
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I think TESB’s success due to a combination of Kershner’s effort and his collaboration with Lucas. In regard to his other films, I doubt he worked as a hard as he did on Empire and, obviously, Lucas wasn’t around.

Per the Guardian:[hr]”Kershner's contribution to The Empire Strikes Back was considerable. He spent several hours a day for a year storyboarding the action himself, getting his perspective on each scene. "According to the books, I didn't even exist," Kershner said. "Of course, I couldn't have made the movie without George; on the other hand, they couldn't have made that movie without me."[hr]
Arkamazza wrote:
Like I said, Lucas should have gotten him to work on the PT's in at least some capacity, as AotC and RoTS felt exactly like just another couple episodes in a series of space adventures.

Kershner didn’t work with Lucas after Empire because the films were labor intensive and because he didn’t have final say in the creative process. These circumstances wouldn’t have changed with the prequels. So, it was unrealistic to think that he would help out with the PT films.

I agree that Empire is the overall most well-made of the 6 films. ANH did a good job of balancing audience identification with story and themes. ESB took this approach even further.

However, that being said, it’s a huge mistake to think that the PT films don’t have as much to offer as the OT. Yes, on the surface, the approach is “just another couple episodes in a series of space adventures.” However, if you watch an old Republic serial, you won’t find the PT’s level of depth with its main characters, a synthesized exploration of human history and mythology, and a pervasive juxtaposition motif.

As I stated over in the ROTS forum, while the OT films are more streamlined in their craftsmanship than the PT, the PT films have much more going on below the surface than the original three.


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 12:26 pm
 
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E_CHU_TA! wrote:
I think TESB’s success due to a combination of Kershner’s effort and his collaboration with Lucas. In regard to his other films, I doubt he worked as a hard as he did on Empire and, obviously, Lucas wasn’t around.

Per the Guardian:[hr]”Kershner's contribution to The Empire Strikes Back was considerable. He spent several hours a day for a year storyboarding the action himself, getting his perspective on each scene. "According to the books, I didn't even exist," Kershner said. "Of course, I couldn't have made the movie without George; on the other hand, they couldn't have made that movie without me."[hr]


Collaborative works in all fields of creative endeavour are the ones that have the most impact and lasting quality and value with the rarest of exceptions when someone is so talented that their genius is almost without flaw.

Kershner and Lucas were able to make a film that was just so well balanced and yet rich in it's delivery,imagery,themes and flow of story that it's a delight to watch.

A tribute to Kershner and Lucas and one that enriched so many people in so many different ways.


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 2:00 pm
 
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I appreciate all that Kersh did for Star Wars with Empire, but anyone else think yesterday was like "Rub Salt In Lucas' Eye Day?"


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 8:02 pm
 
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Doesn’t that happen every time Star Wars is mentioned in the mainstream media? The last three occurrences I can remember are Savage Opress, TPM 3D, and the sequel rumors. In each case, there was venom and bellyaching.

This is likely to take place for the next 50 to 60 years. As the generation one Star Wars fans begin to die out, the spitefulness may start to subside. The best case scenario is that in 100 years or so, Star Wars news may be greeted without overt spitefulness from a portion of the fan base.


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 8:11 pm
 
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This leaves George Lucas as the only living person to direct a Star Wars movie.

I don't mean to imply anything by that other than just the statement itself.

Very sad to hear of this news. Kersh's imprint on the world of Star Wars can never be duplicated or overstated. Godspeed.


Post Posted: November 30th 2010 10:41 pm
 
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Man, I had a total cinematic hard-on for ESB when I was 14. :nerd:

Death sucks a big one, but at least the man will live on in some way through his most popular directing effort.

R.I.P. :spawnskull:


Post Posted: December 1st 2010 11:10 am
 
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Joe1138 wrote:
I appreciate all that Kersh did for Star Wars with Empire, but anyone else think yesterday was like "Rub Salt In Lucas' Eye Day?"


Not I.


Post Posted: December 4th 2010 11:42 pm
 
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Although my only memory of 'ANH' was that my father told my brother and me that he was taking us to see a space movie ...

I do vividly remember 'TESB', Thank you Mr. Kershner for introducing me to my imagination

You (and your work) will not be forgotten

I will also remember the candidness at which Kersh spoke w/ at that Celebration IV seminar ... 'MTFBWYA'

We can be at least positive that (IMO) his greatest work is preserved on film and will be enjoyed by many in the years to come


Star Wars Blog (More comments, thoughts articles & reactions)

CNN

Wired Mag

Irvin Kershner: Remembering The Empire Strikes Back (Interview w/ Dan Madsen - April 1, 1990)

His last Interview - October (Vanity Fair)


Post Posted: December 5th 2010 2:51 pm
 
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E_CHU_TA! wrote:
Doesn’t that happen every time Star Wars is mentioned in the mainstream media?


QFT

Quote:
Not I.


Check out the comments left on the link Capt. Sith Park posted: Star Wars Blog (More comments, thoughts articles & reactions)

Reading the reactions you'd think Kershner had dreamed up the idea for Star Wars and Lucas pissed all over it. To me it just reeks of folks taking one more shot at George. I mean know the living have a tendency to romanticize the dead but this is a little overboard.


Post Posted: December 12th 2010 1:57 pm
 
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R.I.P Mr. Kershner.

I must admit to never having watched, with my adult eyes, many James Bond films, let alone the one directed by Mr. Kershner. Or Robocop II for that matter, although I recall not hating it as much as everyone else. I somewhat remember the story itself was most of my issue, as opposed to the directing or performances. The DVD is collecting dust around here somewhere. In honor of Mr. Kershner, I may have to dig it up and watch it. Considering ESB is on constant rotation in my brain, as well as getting a full on night at the movies treatment three to four times a year already, I don't need to make a special occasion of that one to know it's awesomeness. But I appreciate Mr. Kershner's contribution to film, and the Star Wars universe in particular, and I respectfully wish his spirit well navigating the great mystery beyond.

Personally, I think the real 'almost hidden-yet still very powerful' magic of Empire, was due in most part to the collaborative effort of Kershner and Lucas. Their chemistry, and the overall attitude behind the production comes across onscreen. I wrote a 5 page essay about it for my ENG111 class. I got an 'A', albeit it from my non-Star Wars loving professor, but the point is no one person can be credited with making it such a phenomenal film. So much of it is great, from the effects, the music, the commitment of wisdom to celluloid and its dissemination to the masses, the youth in particular. All that makes The Empire Strikes Back a real event, as opposed to just a movie, for me. But if any one person must be awarded 'most' credit honors, Kershner gets it for possibly inspiring, and definately capturing, that underlying look of believability in the eyes of the actors.

I applaud and thank Mr. Lucas for Star Wars. But, from all accounts: from written interviews, documentary films, hell even the commentaries of himself and others on his own DVD releases, he isn't a people person. Sadly, at least for the bravado OT fans had prior to TPM, that social inneptness came across all over the screen from 99' on. And it's acceptable to me, as my eyes and ears eat up so much of it I'm still enthralled. But my brain knows the people onscreen are lying. And still today, if you watch Empire, it looks like the people really believe it. And for that bit of magic, thanks Mr. Kershner.


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