Ship part

Star Wars ship designer Colin Cantwell dies at 90

Colin Cantwell, the concept artist behind several icons star wars spaceship, died.

Cantwell died at his Colorado home on May 21 and his death was confirmed at The Hollywood Reporter by his partner of 24 years, Sierra Dall. He was 90 years old.

Cantwell designed many iconic ships that appeared in the George Lucas universe star wars, including TIE fighter, Death Star, X-wing Starfighter and Star Destroyer, among others. While star wars is perhaps the home of his best-known work, Cantwell’s work has appeared in many other sci-fi classics. His other film credits include Special Photographic Effects for 1968 2001: A Space Odysseytechnical dialogue for 1977 Dating of the Third Kindand infographic for 1983 War games.


Cantwell was born in San Francisco in 1932 and, according to the biography on his official website, his interest in space started early. He then attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he suggested the university add a major in animation. Cantwell would go on to become UCLA’s first animation graduate.

After graduating, Cantwell was personally invited to attend the School of Architecture by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. However, before Cantwell moved to Hollywood, he worked for NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the space race between the United States and Russia in the 1960s. In fact, it was Cantwell who helped legendary journalist Walter Cronkite during his 1969 moon landing show by providing him with updates on the line of communication between NASA and the astronauts.


With a combined interest in architecture and space, Cantwell would go on to design several iconic scenes in numerous science fiction films. His work on 2001: A Space Odyssey included the designs for the space scenes, particularly the film’s dramatic opening sequence. In a 2016 AMA, Cantwell revealed he convinced director Stanley Kubrik not to open the film with a “20-minute conference table.”

Cantwell would go on to work as a concept artist on Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where he designed spaceships like the X-Wing, Y-Wing/Skyhopper, TIE/LN Fighter, Death Star, Stardestroyers and Imperial Cruisers, Landspeeder and Sandcrawler. Cantwell also designed an early iteration of the Millennium Falcon.


Cantwell has also written two science fiction novels, Core Fires 1 and Core Fires 2. He is survived by his partner, Sierra Dall.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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