Kershner died in November (10) following a long battle with ill health.
He made his name working on movies with A-list stars Sir Sean Connery, Barbra Streisand and Richard Harris in the 1960s and '70s before Lucas asked him to take charge of the second film in his sci-fi franchise.
And the movie mogul has warmly remembered his late pal, revealing he needed a man he could "trust" to do the 1980 sequel justice.
Lucas says in a statement, "I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humour. That was Kersh (sic) all over.
"(He) was a great director and one of the most genuine people I've had the pleasure of knowing."