Muddling things further is that Lucas was constantly present during filming (unlike Empire where Lucas was tied up getting Lucasfilm off the ground and mostly left Irvin Kershner to his own devices) and did ghost-direct parts of the film. … In Return of the Jedi, Luke's sister would eventually be revealed to be Leia rather than a new character. Not so easy as it might sound, as they’re all stored together in the archives. Kershner turned down Return of the Jedi. As millions of Star Wars fans continue to find new things to debate over, one thing most fans agree on is that The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie of the franchise and one of the most universally beloved films of all-time. Kershner wanted to take The Empire Strikes Back in a more serious direction than the first film, although he did not want to stray too far from what Lucas described as the "Saturday matinee, fun kind of film" it had been. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. [Source]. As a member of a golden generation of directors whose influence on film-making continues to this day, Lucas could have reached out to any of his peers such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola to direct the follow up to his mega-hit. Lucas responded saying "Well, because you know everything a Hollywood director is supposed to know, but you're not Hollywood." Kershner was 57 years old when offered the gig and initially refused. Died Expectations weighed heavily on Return of the Jedi, the conclusion to the original trilogy of Star Wars movies. In March 2007 I had the great fortune to interview the producer of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Rick McCallum, for my website Lightsabre (which merged with Jedi News back in 2010). 16. By the time he was offered the directing job, Irvin Kershner was a veteran filmmaker whose resume included directing several documentaries in the Middle East, television shows and independent films such as the Roger Corman produced Stakeout on Dope Street. Irvin Kershner and Carrie Fisher on the set of The Empire Strikes Back. For a world full of aliens, machines and intergalactic politics, Kershner found a way to show humanity in a galaxy far, far away. Rest in peace, Irvin Kershner, you director of RoboCop 2 and some film called The Empire Strikes Back. He was succeeded by Richard Marquand. Irvin Kershner, nicknamed "Kersh," (April 29, 1923 – November 27, 2010) was the director of the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Career April 29, 1923[1]Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.[source?] After the conclusion of a fascinating interview I mentioned to Rick that I had been attempting to contact director Irvin Kershner, but to little success. However, he stated in retrospect he would have directed a film in the prequel trilogy had they been produced sooner. Obituary: Irvin Kershner dies at 87; film director, https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Irvin_Kershner?oldid=9645285. Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, the third and (for awhile) final chapter in the Star Wars saga. Series creator George Lucas had stepped away from the camera on Empire, deferring duties to Irvin Kershner who encouraged improvisation among the actors and brought a more mature emotional tone to proceedings. Kershner agreed after Lucas told him he would concentrate on visual effects at the Skywalker Ranch and would leave directorial control to him; Kershner said Lucas told him it would be "[his] picture." American [3], Irvin Kershner passed away at the age of 87 on November 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California, after a long battle with lung cancer.[4]. This month marks the 40th anniversary Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Wookieepedia is a FANDOM Movies Community. How Wookieepedia treats Canon and Legends, Anthony Daniels: Remembering That Galaxy Far, Far Away, Creating A Starship Fleet: The Ice Hangar – Filming the Rebel Base. Its sequel Return of the Jedi was the real star of the 1980s dominating ... My own attempts at experiencing director Irvin Kershner’s muted benchmark of … The late filmmaker would be 94 on April 29. November 27, 2010Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.[source?] Harrison Ford, as Han Solo, and director Irvin Kershner in the Millennium Falcon hold. The Empire Strikes Back – dir. With The Empire Strikes Back celebrating its 40th anniversary, let's look back at why Irvin Kershner directed the film. While the visual effects had taken quantum leaps over the years, resulting in thrilling speeder chases and space dogfights, the story is an uneasy mix of serious themes (Luke's maturation as a Jedi, the end of the Empire-rebellion showdown) and the cuddly teddy bears known as the Ewoks. 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The Star Wars Trilogy, often colloquially referred to as the original trilogy or the classic trilogy, is the first set of three films produced in the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas.It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox, and consists of the original Star Wars film (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Occupation Film director Instead, he picked one of his film professors from USC to direct the movie, Irvin Kershner. After decades of learning the craft of filmmaking, Kershner marked his place in cinematic history with directing The Empire Strikes Back. KEEP READING: Star Wars: Darth Maul Dreamed Of Becoming A Jedi With A [SPOILER] Lightsaber. The film was directed by the great Irvin Kershner whose credibility as a director isn't even worth establishing on forums like these. The Empire Strikes Backdirector Irvin Kershner was a true-life Obi-Wan Kenobi. 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Richard Marquand, DP Alan Hume. 1 Irvin Kershner Initially Turned Down Lucas's Offer Despite having directed the first film, Lucas decided not to direct the sequel due to his other roles as the head of Industrial Light & Magic. Directed by Irvin Kershner. Regardless, had it not been for Kershner's direction, Star Wars may not have grown into the cultural phenomenon it remains to this day. IRVIN KERSHNER Although Irvin Kershner directed The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, he turned down the opportunity to direct its follow up, Return of the Jedi. Kershner did not return for Return of the Jedi, having spent almost three years on The Empire Strikes Back. The movie also represented Darth Vader better than he ever has been as he displays his cold ruthless in his hunt for Luke Skywalker. For the highly anticipated sequel Lucas thought outside the box in picking who he wanted to direct the picture. “The characteristics of Wicket in Return of the Jedi were modeled on my pet dog who used to tilt his head from side to side when he heard a strange sound,” the actor revealed years later. 1 Depicts a Vibrant Past... and an Already-Dated Future? Irvin Kershner Wookieepedia Richard Marquand directed Return of the Jedi , and he’s probably the least memorable, also because he didn’t write the film. https://www.cbr.com/star-wars-why-irvin-kershner-directed-empire-strikes-back supporting actors/actresses Kenny Baker, Peter Cushing, Anthony Daniels, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones (voice), Peter Mayhew, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, David Prowse, Billy Dee Williams. It's a rare sequel that outdid it's predecessor, introducing iconic characters like Yoda, Lando Calrissian and Emperor Palpatine. Ironically, The Empire Strikes Back is a movie that Hollywood has tried to recapture the essence of ever since, and most of them fall short because they didn't find a Kershner-type director. In celebration of … RELATED: Star Wars: Every Time 'I Have A Bad Feeling About This' Is Said In The Films. Biographical information We all know he was firing on all cylinders on this project at least. In an interview with Vanity Fair years later, Kershner said he would've even directed one of the prequels had they been made in the late '80s as opposed to the late '90s. Irvin Kershner A graduate of the University of Southern California, Kershner had directed several major film and television hits, but retired in 1994 after completing SeaQuest DSV. Stepping aside and letting director Irvin Kershner and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan take the reins of the sequel to "Star Wars" was the smartest decision Lucas ever made. Vol. You can find me on Twitter @mike_mccarrick. Also loves Studio Ghibli, Wrestling, Shakespeare, Video Games, some Broadway and '80s Thrash Metal. Luke Skywalker was a typical kid turned hero in the first movie, but in Empire his physical and mental fortitude is tested by both Yoda and Darth Vader. Kershner also had his funnier moments. Other works of note Nationality Some may assume that George Lucas directed all six Star Wars movies before selling it to Disney, but in reality he handed off the reigns for Empire and Return of the Jedi while overseeing the project as a writer and producer. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. Covering the hottest movie and TV topics that fans want. Disc 1: Star Wars: A New Hope IV-- Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher. What makes Empire stand out compared to every Star Wars movie before or since is its effective emphasis on character development. He gained notice early in his career as a filmmaker for directing quirky, independent drama films, while working as an influential lecturer at the University of Southern California. Asadora! A one-stop shop for all things video games. With Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams. Irvin Kershner couldn’t return to direct as he went off the do Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery. He tells this famous story about talking to Lucas over lunch asking him "Of all the younger guys around, all the hot shots, why me?" Never Say Never AgainRobocop 2SeaQuest DSV He taught film and photography at USC, and one of his influenced students happened to be the creator of Star Wars. With a fresh set of eyes, the story expanded beyond good versus evil in the vein of the 1930s "Flash Gordon" serials Lucas grew up on, and into a dark multi-layered story. 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