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Colin Cantwell The Star Wars Artist Who Designed The Death Star Died At The Age Of 90

Colin Cantwell, the concept artist responsible for classic Star Wars vehicles including the X-Wing and Death Star, died at the age of 90

Star Wars has been an iconic piece of pop culture for over 45 years, with Lucas' theme of an endless war between light and dark continuing to resonate and evolve to this day, stretching beyond film into the realm of television. Beyond Lucas' narration, though, audiences were captivated by the film's images of space travel and dogfighting, which were portrayed through Cantwell's unique and immediately identifiable designs. Cantwell, who was born in 1932, is responsible for the design of many of the film's spacecraft, including the Rebel Alliance's X-Wing and Y-Wing starfighters, the Galactic Empire's TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, and the infamous planet-killing Death Star, as well as civilian craft such as the T-16 Skyhopper that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) can be seen playing with a model of.

Cantwell died on Saturday, May 21st, 2022, at the age of 90, as originally reported by writer Clayton Sandell. The concept artist is said to have died at his Colorado home after a protracted struggle with dementia. Cantwell's longterm companion, Sierra Dall, later alerted Newsy of the artist's death.

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Despite not working on subsequent films, Cantwell's work had an impact on the series, with one of his concept designs appearing in a deleted scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story. The Cantwell-Class Arrestor Cruiser, named for the creator, may be seen in a scene depicting the younger Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) breaking instructions as an Imperial cadet, resulting to a trial and his transfer to Mimban. Cantwell's concept was supposed to be an Imperial carrier vehicle with strong radar dishes capable of killing opposing cruisers, but it was scrapped in favor of Cantwell's final Star Destroyer design. The artist's notion of the armed radar dishes, on the other hand, would subsequently be repurposed for the Death Star.

Cantwell's contribution to the Star Wars brand cannot be overstated, since his work established the franchise's design ideals, which are still followed today with new designs presented in shows like as The Mandalorian. Cantwell's designs not only worked brilliantly with Lucas' real-world influences by transferring numerous real-world fighter-plane characteristics to Star Wars' spaceships, but were also made in such a way that spectators could quickly identify whose group they belonged to. Cantwell's concepts, processes, and philosophies will continue to affect Star Wars in the future, and fans will remember him fondly for his role in creating a galaxy far, far away.

Source: Clayton_Sandell

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