Continuing this Monday morning parade of expiration, we bring more sad news:
Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner died at his home in Paris after suffering from illness, his goddaughter Adriana Santini confirmed to the AFP Monday. He was 87.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, he lamented that he should have directed one of the Star Wars prequels.
Damn straight. He should have directed all of them. There’s a reason “Empire” was the best of the original trilogy - Lucas didn’t direct it, and he didn’t write it, either. If nothing else, Kershner proved that age is no impediment to crafting pop-culture classics. To this day kids on the internets are quoting a movie made by a dude who was like over sixty when he made it. But he did more:
He taught photography while taking cinema courses at the USC School of Cinema, and soon after took a job as a photographer on a State Department film project in Iran. That experience ultimately led to an assignment as a director and cinematographer of documentaries with the U.S Information Service. Traveling through Iran, Greece and Turkey in the early 1950s, Kershner’s early films were documentaries with titles such as, "Malaria", "Locust Plague" and "Childbirth.”
If George Lucas had directed “Locust Plague,” there would have been a scene where a mile-wide cloud of bugs appears on the horizon, and the hero says “I have a bad feeling about this.”