Colin Cantwell died at 90the designer of the iconic Star Wars, X-Wings and TIE Fighter ships as well draftsman of the Death Star.
His partner Sierra Dall made the sad announcementconfirming a The Hollywood Reporter that Colin passed away Saturday at his home in Colorado at the age of 90.
In addition to being known for his work on Star Wars, Colin Cantwell also worked on the special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, edited the dialogue in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and consulted on WarGames’ computer graphics.
Cantwell had a BA in animation from the University of California, located in Los Angeles. He later received an invitation to attend Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture.
Before coming to Hollywood, Colin worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at NASA, creating educational programs for the public.
Cantwell was also invited by Walter Cronkite in 1969 to act as a consultant for the moon landing during the live broadcast.
Halfway through the final descent, I advised Walter that I had spotted an orbit change that would have consumed more fuel, and would have delayed the expected time a bit. When according to the other broadcasters, according to NASA’s plans, they thought that the spacecraft had landed, in reality the Apollo had not yet landed.
It was later confirmed that I had updated landing data.
He revealed Colin himself in a 2016 Reddit.
However Colin Cantwell remains best known for his work in the Star Wars sagaof which he discussed his Death Star project in Reddit itself:
I hadn’t initially thought the Death Star had that design, however as I was working on the mold I noticed that the two halves had shrunk slightly at the halfway point between the two.
It would take a week of work just to fill, sand, and so on, so to save time and work I went to George Lucas and suggested using it as a concept idea.
It is sad to know, however, that Cantwell’s contributions to the Star Wars universe were initially totally ignored.
Sierra Dall shared these details when speaking to the Denver Post in 2017:
When the Colorado Sping Galaxy Fest started, we had put up so many banners but people walked by and ignored them.
So I sat there and said to people passing by, “Hey, are you a Star Wars fan? He is Colin Cantwell, he designed the design of the Death Star “
People were amazed, we even heard some people tell us that Star Wars changed their lives. Incredible.
It is indisputable that with the death of Colin Cantwell the Star Wars universe loses an important piecenow looking at the Death Star we will all have someone to remember.
The Hollywood Reporter