Remembering Irvin Kershner, Director of Empire Strikes Back and Dad

irvin kershner empire strikes back director
Irvin Kershner, Empire Strikes Back director, has passed away

Ah, so sad just hours after Leslie Nielsen’s passing, Irvin Kershner, the director of “Empire Strikes Back,” perhaps the most beloved “Stars Wars” movie ever, has died at age 87. The father of two sons, who also directed “Never Say Never,” a James Bond movie, prided himself on putting more depth into “Empire” than the original “Star Wars.”

“When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film,” he told Vanity Fair earlier this year. “It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.”

Kershner is also credited with advising George Lucas not to have Han Solo say “I love you too” to Princess Leia as he’s being taken away in the final scenes. Harrison Ford dreamed up his classic response: “I know.”

Just yesterday my son was experiencing “Empire Strikes Back” for his first magical time, and he was entranced. Kershner made a movie that has stood the test of three decades, and he’ll be missed. RIP Irvin.

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