Gary Kurtz: 'Star Wars' producer passes away at the age of 78

Author |Sep 25, 2018

Gary Kurtz, Star Wars producer, passed away on Sunday at 78. After Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, his collaborator, George Lucas and him parted ways.

Gary Kurtz, was reported to pass away at the age of 78. He works as an American filmmaker. He is famous for becoming a producer of multiples blockbusters such as American Graffiti (1973) and Star Wars (1977). Besides, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Dark Crystal (1982) and Return to Oz (1985) are also one of the most massive hits in his film's collection.


In his family's statement, Kurtz died in north London, England on Sunday, September 23, 2018 due to cancer, reports

His occupation was was in a close position with another American filmmaker, George Lucas. George Lucas is also a successful entrepreneur. Regretfully, after having trouble with production of The Empire Strikes Back, they both seperated.

Kurtz had advocated Star Wars through many drafts. Besides, with his help for Lucas, 20th Century Fox’s lack of eagerness was navigated for a movie they let go as a B-picture.

After Star Wars surprised everyone by turning into a massive blockbuster, Lucas and Kurtz discussed about creating a sequel. Lucas let director Irvin Kershner to have the reins. However, production went over the budget and Lucas was under pressure to dip into his own money to complete the movie.

In order to have the direction for second-unit work on the film, Kurtz decided to stepp in. When it came to making Return of the Jedi, Howard Kazanjian replaced Kurtz as producer. Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film and director is Richard Marquand. Mark Hamill compared the division as “Mom and Dad's divorce.” It seemed painful to Kurtz.

Mark Hamill, known for playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars film, was among those showing praise to Kurtz. In a writing, he said he had lost a long-lasting friend.

Kurtz's first step was working as an assistant director for Ride in the Whirlwind, directed by Monte Hellman. Ride in the Whirlwind is a low-budget Western film in 1966. It starred Jack Nicholson, Harry Dean Stanton and Millie Perkins.


In his family statement, they shared their thought about Gary.

According to that, Gary was an awesome man and everyone would miss him so much. He was memorized as a a beloved grandfather, father, husband, friend, mentor and co-worker.

We also could not deny his talent and dedication for filmmaking, music, photography and even cinema history. He was truly a world backpacker with an interest in spending most of his time outdoor.

To summarize, he was a kind and warm-hearted human being. And his family also expressed their grateful to him for his caring thoughts.


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