Colin Cantwell, ‘Star Wars’ Death Star Designer, Has Passed Away

We are sad to report Colin Cantwell, legendary designer of the Death Star in Star Wars, has passed away.

TIE Fighter in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios

Cantwell died at his home in Colorado on Saturday, according to Deadline. He was 90 years old.

Colin Cantwell had a unique and accomplished career, including work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, where he worked on creating public educational programs. Prior to that, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles as the first graduate with an animation degree.


Cantwell is credited with the design and construction of iconic Star Wars spaceships like the X-wing, the TIE fighter, the Death Star, and the Star Destroyer. He created and built the prototypes for these ships two years before the first Star Wars film, Star Wars: A New Hope, premiered in 1977.

©Colin Cantwell

Cantwell’s partner of 24 years, Sierra Dall, said on Facebook, “Colin Cantwell passed away peacefully at his home with me by his side. I will miss him greatly.”

Our thoughts are with Cantwell’s loved ones at this time. He will be missed.

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