Colin Cantwell Passed Away At The Age Of 90

Colin Cantwell died at the age of 90 on Saturday, May 21, 2022. After a lengthy struggle with dementia, the concept artist is claimed to have died at his Colorado home. Sierra Dall, Cantwell’s lifelong lover, subsequently alerted Newsy of the artist’s death. He was well known for his work on Star Wars alongside George Lucas, where he created prototypes for the X-wing, TIE fighter, Star Destroyer, and Death Star, among other things.

The legacy of the late Colin Cantwell

Colin Cantwell was born in San Francisco in 1932, and his interest in space dates back to his childhood. He went on to study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he recommended that the university establish an animation department. Cantwell went on to become UCLA’s first animation graduate.

Colin Cantwell

Cantwell spent much of the 1960s and 1970s working on both real-life NASA missions to explore the final frontier and sci-fi fantasies about what may be out there. Cantwell had a good career before moving to Hollywood. Cantwell worked at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she created public education programs to assist people to comprehend space travel. Cantwell would go on to create numerous iconic sequences in several science fiction films, merging his architectural and space interests. Among his contributions to 2001: A Space Odyssey were the ideas for the film’s dramatic opening scene.

He stated:

“I worked closely with Stanley Kubrick and convinced him that the film should not begin with a 20-minute conference table debate.”

After viewing his work on the spaceship in 2001 and serving as a technical dialogue consultant for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1973, he received a call from George Lucas asking him to be a concept artist for Star Wars. All of the spacecraft portrayed in the iconic 1977 film, from the X-Wing fighter and Rebel cruisers to the Star Destroyers and Death Star, were based on his prototype designs.

Colin Cantwell

Cantwell claims that the X-Wing was inspired by the back end of a dart he threw while out at a bar, while the Death Star’s trench, which Luke Skywalker flies down to destroy, was inspired by a touch of sloth. His influence on the Star Wars brand cannot be understated, since his work defined the franchise’s design goals, which are still relevant today thanks to fresh concepts brought in programs like The Mandalorian. Colin, on the other hand, did not stop there. In 1983, he worked as a computer programmer on John Badham’s Cold War thriller WarGames.

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