Star Wars designer behind the Death Star and X-wing dies

The man who designed Star Wars craft including the Death Star, TIE fighter, the Star Destroyer and X-wing has died aged 90.

His partner confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he died on Saturday at his Colorado home.

Colin Cantwell came up with the prototypes for the original Star Wars films – with other artists developing the iconic designs further.

He got the job after working on other sci-fi classics, namely Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cantwell was also a computer graphics consultant on the 1983 film War Games.

The Death Star's famous design pictured at an event in Japan in 2016. Pic: AP
Image:
The Death Star’s famous design pictured at an event in Japan in 2016. Pic: AP

Born in 1932 in San Francisco, he studied animation at the University of California in LA and also attended Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned School of Architecture.

In the 1960s, he created educational programmes for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so people could better understand space flights.

More on Star Wars

He also acted as a go-between giving live updates to US newsreader Walter Cronkite during his famous moon landing broadcast in 1969.

As well as his film work, he wrote two science fiction books.

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