Sad news following the death of comic actor Leslie Nielsen yesterday: The AFP reports that Irvin Kershner, the director of The Empire Strikes Back, died yesterday at 87 years old.
Kershner, who besides the 1980 sci-fi epic also directed Sean Connery as James Bond in "Never Say Never Again" (1983) and Peter Weller in "Robocop II" (1990), died at home after a long illness, said Santini, who lives in France.
Kershner, who turned down the director's chair for Return of the Jedi
and said he didn't regret it, recently told Vanity Fair in a must-read interview that in hindsight, he wished he had gotten to direct one of the prequels.
Below, Kershner's revealing interview with the Colorado Film School, in which he discusses the making of the film and shares some insight into the mind of his former student George Lucas
, who he said was "not a good cameraman at all," but possessed a rare vision and talent for filmmaking: "He was different. He was good." He also talks about how many filmmakers initially thought Star Wars: A New Hope
was one of the worst movies they'd seen.