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'Empire Strikes Back' Director Irvin Kershner Has Died

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Irvin Kershner, USC graduate, USC professor, director of the Star Wars film, “The Empire Strikes Back” and the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again,” has died at age 87. The Philly-born Kershner passed away Saturday in Los Angeles after a long illness and is survived by two sons.

Kershner began producing documentaries for the U.S. Information Service in the 1950s and later turned to directing. Kershner was given an early break by producer Roger Corman, and a later break by former student George Lucas to direct Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, the widely-accepted best film in the series. He is the only man to direct both a Star Wars film and a James Bond movie. Go Kersh.