Star Wars spaceship designer Colin Cantwell has died

Cantwell, who studied animation at the University of California and also attended Frank Lloyd Wright’s school of architecture, designed the prototypes for several ships in the Star Wars series, including the X-wing, the TIE Fighter, the Landspeeder and the iconic Death Star.

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Colin Cantwell, the man who designed the “Star Wars” spacecraft, has died.

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The 90-year-old artist’s longtime partner, Sierra Dall, said The Hollywood Reporter that he died Saturday at his home in Colorado.

Cantwell, who studied animation at the University of California and also attended Frank Lloyd Wright’s school of architecture, designed the prototypes for several ships in the “Star Wars” series, including the X-wing, the TIE Fighter, the Landspeeder and the iconic Death Star. . He also created the design for the Tantive IV, which was originally intended to be the Millennium Falcon.

After working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on educational films, Cantwell was able to combine his love of space and architecture when he moved into the film world, forming a friendship with the late Stanley Kubrick. when he landed a job on the director’s film in 1968. film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

Cantwell created the dramatic space opening that followed the start of the film’s “dawn of man”.

“I worked closely with Stanley Kubrick and persuaded him not to start the film with a 20-minute conference table,” he previously said.

Regarding his most famous work on “Star Wars”, Cantwell admitted “that a dart thrown at a target in a British pub gave him the idea for the X-wing, while he accidentally designed the Death Star meridian trench, which was used by the Alliance and Luke Skywalker during an attack in “A New Hope”.

“I originally didn’t plan for the Death Star to have a trench, but as I worked with the mold, I noticed that the two halves had tapered to the point where they met in the middle” , he said in 2016.

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“It would have taken a week of work just to fill, sand and fill that depression again. So to save myself the toil, I went to George’s [Lucas, director] and suggested a trench. He loved the idea so much that it became one of the film’s most iconic moments!

Cantwell has also written two science fiction novels and worked on the films “WarGames” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.