'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' director Irvin Kershner dies

'Kersh', as he was fondly known, was 87 when he passed away

Photo: Getty
Irvin Kershner, who directed the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, has died.

The director was 87 when he passed away. He died after suffering from a long illness, reports AFP.

r /> He made contributions to other franchises in his career, directing RoboCop 2 in 1990 as well as Sean Connery's last James Bond appearance in 1983's Never Say Never Again.

His last contribution to film was a cameo as Statistics Professor in 2005's Berkeley.

George Lucas said: "The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I've had the pleasure of knowing. Irvin Kershner was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When I think of Kersh, I think of his warmth, his thoughtfulness and his talent."

He added: "I considered him a mentor."

Actor, writer and Star Wars fan Simon Pegg tweeted today (November 30): "RIP Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back. For me, yours was the best of all."

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