We reported earlier today on the sad news that Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner has passed away. StarWars.com was able to speak with George Lucas for his reaction to the director's passing. Here's what he told the site below:
"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. I knew him from USC -- I attended his lectures and he was actually on the festival panel that gave the prize to my THX short. I considered him a mentor.
"Following Star Wars, I knew one thing for sure: I didn't want to direct the second movie myself. I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over. I didn't want Empire to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something, and I knew Kersh was the guy to help me do it. He brought so much to the table. I am truly grateful to him.
"He was a friend as well as a colleague. He will be missed."
You can CLICK HERE for more details on the passing of Irvin Kershner and his filmmaking career.