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.