Star Wars Franchise Legend Gary Kurtz has passed away at the age of 78.
Kurtz produced both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in collaboration with George Lucas.
His body of work also included American Graffiti, The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz and Slipstream.
He was nominated on multiple occasions for Oscars.
How Did Gary Kurtz Die?
Gary Kurtz had been suffering from cancer and the disease took his life.
Split with Lucas
Kurtz left the Star Wars franchise after disagreements with George Lucas over the direction in which Return of the Jedi was taking the franchise.
Kurtz claimed that after Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, Lucas became convinced that audiences no longer cared about the story and were simply there for thrills and entertainment, and began to deviate from the originally planned plotlines for Return of the Jedi, at which point Kurtz quit the series. Kurtz has also claimed that Lucas changed the emphasis from storytelling to prioritizing toy merchandising
Social Media on the passing of Gary Kurtz
Producer Gary Kurtz was a force behind “Star Wars,” “American Graffiti” and “The Dark Crystal,” and a friend to so many in our industry. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/RUwt2kzRYF— The Academy (@TheAcademy) September 24, 2018
George Lucas is a genius and a visionary rivaling just about any contemporary filmmaker. That said, Gary Kurtz was crucial to making Star Wars what it was. He focused Lucas’ vision on the original two films in a way that made the franchise what it is. Rest In Peace, Gary Kurtz. pic.twitter.com/TUeuPxJtCn— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) September 24, 2018
RIP Gary Kurtz. A great filmmaker and man has just passed. Without him there would have been no "force". You will be remembered in the incredible films you made that touched the lives of millions. #ESB #starwars #americangraffiti @starwars pic.twitter.com/0D9RyP3DJH— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) September 24, 2018
What are your memories of Gary Kurtz and his films? Share them in the Comments section below.
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