Miscellaneous, Movies

Irvin Kershner, 1923-2010



?Director Irvin Kershner also died yesterday, at the age of 87, after a long illness. I doubt I have to tell you that Kershner directed The Empire Strikes Back, generally considered the best of all Star Wars movies, and one of the most important nerd movies of all time.

He had a lengthy career in Hollywood, but really, all I want to remember him for on TR is Empire — and I certainly don’t mean that as a slight, because Empire is a masterpiece. Yes, Star Wars created a phenomenon, but Empire is likely the biggest reason so many of us turned into Star Wars nerds. Kershner was a much better director than Lucas, taking Lucas’ epic vision and populating it with actual characters instead of archetypes. He also reworked George Lucas’ dialog, even creating the memorable “I love you.”/”I know.” exchange between Han and Leia.

Even if Kershner had only directed that one film, that would be like Michelangelo only sculpting David — it alone ensures his legacy forever. Thank you, sir.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.