Movie Buffs Remember Colin Cantwell

Published by: Carolyn Brooks Fleming on May 27, 2022.

If you’re a serious movie buff, you may be aware of Colin Cantwell and his contributions to iconic sci-fi films. If not, prepare to be impressed.

Cantwell studied animation at UCLA and architecture at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture. Before he transitioned to the movie business, Cantwell created educational programs at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, and he was a liaison between NASA and anchorman Walter Cronkite during the 1969 moon landing.

Here’s a partial list of his film credits:

  • “2001: A Space Odyssey”: special photographic effects, including the famous opening sequence
  • “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”: technical dialogue
  • “WarGames”: computer graphics design
  • “Star Wars” franchise: designs and prototypes for the X-wing, TIE fighter, Star Destroyer, Death Star, cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, and more

Cantwell also wrote a sci-fi novel series, “CoreFires.”

Colin Cantwell died at his home on May 21, 2022, at the age of 90, but his legacy lives on. He is survived by his partner, Sierra Dall.


LucasFilm. “Colin Cantwell, Designer of the X-Wing and More, Passes Away.” Star Wars, May 23, 2022, https://www.starwars.com/news/colin-cantwell.

Parker, Ryan. “Colin Cantwell, Concept Artist Who Designed Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Spacecraft, Dies at 90.” The Hollywood Reporter, May 22, 2022, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/colin-cantwell-dead-star-wars-spacecraft-concept-artist-1235152043/.


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