Monday, November 29, 2010

RIP: Irvin Kershner (1923-2010)

Irvin Kershner, perhaps best known to geeks everywhere for his direction of the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, is dead at the age of 87. Although I don't share the opinion that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film -- I still prefer the original -- there's no question that Kershner was a much better director than Lucas and The Empire Strikes Back benefited greatly from his talents. It's a great film in its own right and has had a profound influence on my imagination in the 30 years since its release. Kershner will be missed.

9 comments:

  1. I once worked on a Star Wars video game (X-Wing: Alliance), where we had to watch all 3 movies over and over (and over and over) for research. Empire Strikes Back holds up very well. Kershner was a great director.

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  2. "Although I don't share the opinion that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film..."

    Heretic! Bring torches and pitchforks!

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  3. It may be the best directed-but it is only part of a story. Star Wars is the only movie that is it's own whole story. That's why it's the best one.

    On a different note, consider a sequel where Luke took Han up on his offer to sign on with him before the Death Star attack. You'd have Han, Chewie, Luke R2D2 and maybe Threepio paying off Jabba and continuing a smuggler's life. Just a thought I had last night as I was trying to get to sleep.

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  4. "Kershner was a much better director than Lucas..."

    At this point it seems like pretty much anybody is a better anything than George Lucas. I don't know what kind of miracle happened with American Graffiti and the original Star Wars, but apparently Lucas has the highest ratio of luck to talent of anyone on the planet.

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  5. Kersh had let Lucas know he was available to do the prequels (or at least one of them). Imagine the difference it might have made.

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  6. The harder you work, the luckier you get! :)

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  7. "Although I don't share the opinion that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film..."

    Hear, hear! While Empire is a great film, I never quite bought into the supposed geek orthodoxy that it was better than the original film (untampered version).

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  8. The Empire Strikes Back is better made than A New Hope (it ought to be since Lucas spent almost three times as much to make it), but nothing can compare to being a grade school-age kid and seeing Star Wars for the first time.

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  9. Hard to compare the two - in a vaccuum, Star Wars is perhaps the best. In context, Empire.

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