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Director of 'Empire Strikes Back' dies

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Sarge

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Good grief. Been a bad year for celebs

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20101129/7529a283-c5cf-414d-a792-91de236efbf7

Irvin Kershner, who directed the Star Wars sequel "The Empire Strikes Back" and the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again," has died. He was 87.

Kershner died during the weekend but no other details were immediately available, his agent, Derek Maki, said Monday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Kershner already had made a number of well-received movies when he was hired by George Lucas to direct "Empire," which was the second produced but fifth in the "Star Wars" chronology.

The 1980 production was a darker story than the original. In it, hero Luke Skywalker loses a hand and learns that villain Darth Vader is his father. The movie initially got mixed reviews but has gone on to become one of the most critically praised.

Kershner told Vanity Fair in October that he tried to give the sequel more depth than the original.

"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," he said. "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."
 

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