Heartbreaking news for both Star Wars and non-Star Wars fans. Colin Cantwell left us a few days ago. It was his genius who designed the Death Star, the TIE Fighters, the X-Wings and many other spacecraft seen in George Lucas’ films. Cantwell was 90 years old. Breaking the news was Sierra Dall, who had shared Cantwell’s life for 24 years.
Not just Star Wars in his career. The concept artist has also collaborated on another cinema masterpiece such as 2001: A Space Odyssey – 2001: A Space Odyssey – directed by Stanley Kubrick. For what is perhaps one of the best known films in history, Cartwell collaborated on visual effects. The artist gave his contribution also at WarGames, John Badham’s 1983 film starring John Wood and Matthew Broderick. For the latter film, in 1984, Cantwell was nominated for the British Academy Film Awards to the Visual Effects. Irony of fate, the award went to Return of the Jedi.
Cantwell’s work on Star Wars was later completed by colleagues Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston. But at least one of Cantwell’s original and unmodified concepts made it up to the 1977 film. In a dialogue scene between Luke Skywalker and the protocol droid C-3PO, we can see Mark Hamill handling a model. That model is part of Cantwell’s original work. Another of the original works was fished out for the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story. In that case it was one of the original concepts for the Star Destroyers to reach the big screen.
In the end, the artist who made us dream of traveling among the stars reached them himself.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter