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Irvin Kershner


Getting a genuinely good movie out of the Star Wars franchise definitely puts him the inner circle of the Amazing Directorial Accomplishments Hall of Fame, right up there with Billy Ray’s “getting a good performance our of Hayden Christensen.” R.I.P.

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  • Soft bigotry of low expectations, Scott. Just because Christensen wasn’t as bad as he was in the Trilogy doesn’t mean he gave a good performance.

    RIP Irwin.

  • Anderson

    ESB was the best of a bad lot, but I wince at how the badass Leia of the 1st movie became the squealing damsel of the 2d one.

    Still, anyone who kept Lucas out of the director’s chair was doing God’s work.

    • witless chum

      ESB was the best of a bad lot, but I wince at how the badass Leia of the 1st movie became the squealing damsel of the 2d one.

      To the extent that my mother insisted on being Chewbacca when I got her to play Star Wars with me. She informed my five-year-old self that Princess Leia was “dippy.”

    • Stag Party Palin

      Unfortunately, Anderson, Irvin was unable to keep Lucas away from the word processor. I *loved* the first (4th) and have grown up since then. I agree the second (5th) was the best of the bunch, but even then I knew the dialogue and character bit the Shiny Big One. Then came Ewoks and I gave up. Have not seen the rest other than in glancing blows while twiddling with the remote, and even those moments are parts of my life I will never get back.

      Signed – reader/viewer of good science fiction

    • John F

      A few months ago I watched THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars (i.e., Ep 4 A New Hope) in a span of about 2 days.

      There are echos of THX 1138 in Star Wars, certain similarities in sound and visuals… but insofar as how characters interacted- none, it’s easy to see the films as related- same sound engineer, certain visual styles- but it’s hard to discern a common touch to the actual direction

      WRT American Graffiti? I just cannot believe that the same man who directed that film directed THX or Star Wars, or any Star Wars prequel.

      Either American Graffiti was a monumental fluke- or he didn’t direct it, or someone else (2nd unit director I dunno) lent such a level of assistance during filming and editing that it was essentially co-directed with someone else…

      Judging by THX and the various Star Wars eps he’s helmed as a director, he’s basically a much lesser version of James Cameron, somewhere above Michal Bay, and obviously well below all the guys (and gals) that Cameron is below…

      • Anderson

        Good estimate, tho Avatar was about bad enough to be a Lucas project. We were just spared any cute fluffy blue babies.

        … Apropos of Avatar, I don’t know how typical my experience is, but I just learned the other day that the lead actress is black in non-virtual life. So we got not merely an interspecies hookup (yawn) but an INTERRACIAL hookup (zounds!).

        Was that fact common knowledge to everyone but me, or did the marketing folks do a good job of underplaying that just a tad for the American audience?

  • Bettencourt

    Zoe Saldana, who played (through motion capture) the female lead in Avatar, had played Uhura in the hugely successful Star Trek reboot earlier the same year (and was prominently featured in its advertising), so her race was hardly a secret — though, it’s true, not exactly emphasized in Avatar’s advertising, which prominently pictured her blue-skinned CG incarnation (understandably, since that’s the only way she appears in the film).

  • You can listen to audio outtakes from the late Irvin Kershner’s interview in the documentary “The Nature of Existence” only on Mr Media Radio: http://www.mrmedia.com/2011/01/exclusive-empire-strikes-back-director.html

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