Colin Cantwell was the man who designed the famous Death Star from Star Wars, and he will be missed after his recent passing Saturday, at his home in Colorado. He was 90 years old.
Cantwell was born in 1932 in San Francisco, California. He graduated with his degree in animation from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before designing the Death Star for George Lucas, Cantwell worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. Cantwell’s work grew valuable to newsman Walter Cronkite, where Cantwell provided communication between NASA and the astronauts to Cronkite.
HIs other famous work includes special photographic effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Cantwell also provided the technical dialogue for the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind and designed the computer graphics for the 1983 film WarGames. In addition to the creation of the Death Star, Cantwell contributed to the designs for the X-Wing, TIE fighter, and Star Destroyer.
Cantwell’s passion for space made him one of the greatest designers of Sci-Fi spaceships. He went on later to write two science fiction novels, CoreFires 1 and Corefires 2. His wife Sierra Dall said that her husband had Alzheimer’s Disease in the final years of his life.