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'Empire Strikes Back' Director Dead at 87

Photo Courtesy - JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Irvin Kershner, who directed The Empire Strikes Back, died Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 87, reports AFP.  Kershner, who was selected by George Lucas to direct the first Star Wars sequel, also helmed the James Bond flick Never Say Never Again, as well as Up the Sandbox and Robocop II.

Kershner's best-known work is The Empire Strikes Back.  Despite the fact it received lukewarm reviews after its initial release, the film -- in which Darth Vader reveals that he's Luke Skywalker's father -- has since come to be considered a classic, and it went on to gross more than $200 million in its initial release.

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