Kershner’s agent confirmed the director died Monday in his Los Angeles home following an illness.
As well as directing the critically acclaimed and fan-favorite Empire Strikes Back, Kershner also directed the James Bond film Never Say Never, Eyes of Laura Mars and Robocop 2.
George Lucas wrote this statement:
“The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. 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.”
Look…I know you readers don’t know this, but…I’m a Star Wars fan. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. The Empire Strikes Back is one of those movies that forever changed how I viewed films, and that is because of Kershner’s directing. His focus on character and human emotion is what captivated me about Empire, that and allowing Harrison Ford to respond to Leia’s “I love you” with “I know.” I expressed my love for Empire several months ago on Butr.net…so check it out.
Kershner has left his mark in cinematic history, and now his spirit joins the force along with Obi-Wan and Yoda. Thank you, Mr. Kershner…the force was strong with you, and will always be strong.