Only hours ago we heard the terrible news that Leslie Nielsen had passed away, now we’re sad to report that director Irvin Kershner has sadly died. He died peacefully in his home after a long struggle with illness at age 87.
Kershner was famously the director of The Empire Strikes Back, taking the reins from George Lucas and providing the best film of the Star Wars saga. He gave us some of the most memorable moments in cinema history including the huge Darth Vader revelation to Luke Skywalker: “I am your father.” He was also responsible for introducing us to one of the most indelible characters in the series: Yoda.
Outside of Star Wars he also contributed to other franchises including taking the reins on RoboCop 2 and the unofficial 007 film Never Say Never Again, which was also an unofficial remake of Thunderball. Before Star Wars, he got noticed with The Eyes of Laura Mars, an effective psychological thriller which was based on a script by John Carpenter and starred Faye Dunaway. Aside from filmmaking, he was also a film professor at USC and tutored many filmmakers including George Lucas, which is why partially he got the directing gig on Empire.
He will be most remembered for The Empire Strikes Back, which is still a classic and has aged better than most other science fiction films and still looks the best among the 6 films. The film celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year; see it to remind yourself of how good a filmmaker Kershner was.