This Week in the Mercury


Monday, November 29, 2010

Irvin Kershner Dies at 87

Posted on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Maybe you've felt the sting of George Lucas' general molestation of the Star Wars franchise. Perhaps you're in denial. Could it be that you're an outraged fanboy or a disillusioned fan?

Either way, lets set aside that rage to remember the man who directed Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back.

Kershner passed away yesterday at the age of 87. He was battling an unspecified illness.

Many know Kershner for his work on Star Wars, which you can find more information about in a recently released book entitled, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The second film of the original Star Wars trilogy is widely considered to be the best of the three. The tone of the film was darker than the others and added needed depth to Lucas' characters. Though at the time, Kershner's film received mixed reviews.

You might want to check the interview from Vanity Fair that was possibly one of the last he gave.

There's also this video of Kershner discussing the afterlife and the creative process:

Some fun (non-Star Wars) facts about Kershner that maybe you didn't know:

- He directed Robocop 2 in 1990. The film was not well received at the time. Most of that blame can probably be laid at Frank Miller's feet as he was the original scriptwriter (though his script was changed, rewritten, and overhauled throughout the filming process).

- He was the only American to date to direct a James Bond film, Never Say Never Again. Though this film is considered an 'unofficial' 007 movie because it was not filmed through EON Productions.

- Kershner did get Sean Connery to return to the role of Bond for the final time.

- His acting debut came in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ.

- For whatever reason he makes an appearance in the Steven Seagal film On Deadly Ground.

And with that I'll leave you with the scene that Irvin Kershner considered the most difficult to film in Empire.

Rest in peace Mister Kershner.

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