Monday, 22nd April 2019

Irvin Kershner The Sequel’s King

Posted on 01. Dec, 2010 by in Directors

Irvin Kershner The Sequel’s King

The man who directed Empire Strikes Back, is dead. This is old news. But I wanted to make some notes since I’ve been a geek about the films forever. Some say Empire is the only good Star Wars film. Others say it’s their favorite because, like any good story, the second act is when characters (and a good story) are tested. While you often hear how George Lucas ruined Star Wars with the prequels, the man is rarely credited for the good choices he made. Selecting Irvin Kershner to direct Empire Strikes Back was one of those choices. In an interview in October with Vanity Fair, Kershner had this to say about the film:
“I wanted very much for the film to succeed because I knew that George was spending his own money on it. I think the critics felt that they were going to see an extension of ‘Star Wars.’ In other words, they wanted another ‘Star Wars.’ I decided that the potential was much greater than a rerun of ‘Star Wars.’ When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film. It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.”
Kershner not only understood the expectation that audiences would have of a second Star Wars film, he understood good storytelling, and wasn’t afraid to take the narrative to the dark places it needed to go. Too bad he didn’t direct all six Star Wars films. In truth, however, nobody, not even Kershner, could have made the Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks cool.

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