Director Irvin Kershner has passed away today at the age of 87. According to the AFP, Kershner had been suffering from a long-illness. Kershner was born in 1923 in Philadelphia and was a graduate of the University of Southern California film school. He was later one of George Lucas’ instructors in college. He initially turned down the director’s chair for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, but his agent convinced him to take it. Widely considered to be the best of all the Star Wars films, fans the world over are glad he took the gig. Kershner’s other credits include the “unofficial” James Bond film Never Say Never Again, which brought Sean Connery back to the franchise, and Robocop 2. His last directorial work was on the TV series SeaQuest 2032.
Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Kershner’s friends and family.