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.