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Colin Cantwell, the concept artist behind some of Star Wars’ most iconic spacecraft, died on Saturday in his Colorado home, at the age of 90. The news was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his partner, Sierra Dall.
The designer was best known for his work on Star Wars, designing and constructing prototypes of the X-wing starfighter, TIE fighter, Death Star, Star Destroyer and more (via Wikipedia). His designs were further developed by other artists, including Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, to become the ones we know and love today.
Beyond Star Wars, Cantwell was also employed to work on the photographic effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the technical dialogue for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and as a computer graphics design consultant for WarGames.
Before any of that though, as The Hollywood Reporter writes, during the space race, he worked with NASA in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and created educational programs to help the general public to understand the flights. He was also on the communications line between NASA and the astronauts during the moon landing, giving live updates to the legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite, who was broadcasting the event on TV.
Fans have been pouring out tributes for Cantwell on Twitter: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Colin Cantwell, the first #StarWars designer. He based the X-Wing on a dart from a pub game he'd seen in the UK. He kindly allowed me to include his designs in The Star Wars Archives for the first time. My condolences to Sierra and his family,” wrote @kershed. “RIP to the great Colin Cantwell: the [original] designer of starships, a Star Wars legend, and a good man,” tweeted @TalkingBay94.
RIP to the great Colin Cantwell: the orginal designer of starships, a Star Wars legend, and a good man. pic.twitter.com/xkB4AxRkSO— TALKING BAY 94 🔜 SWCA (@TalkingBay94) May 22, 2022
Our thoughts go out to Cantwell’s family and friends at this difficult time - may he rest in peace.
Featured Image Credit: TalksAtGoogle via YouTube, Star Wars.com/Disney
Topics: Star Wars
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