Colin Cantwell’s filmography on his IMDB page starts in 1968, stalls out in 1983, and only contains seven films. But what a run it was.
That 1968 entry? Special photographic effects for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. After that he provided technical dialogue on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But maybe his biggest credit was “additional spacecraft design [on the] miniature and optical effects unit” for Star Wars.
That last one is the impetus for his visit to Current Comics on May 26 as part of a California tour. His bio states that he was the “original concept artist and modeler for all things that flew in the first Star Wars movie.”
He’ll bring prints of his concept drawings, which look like a hybrid of both 2001 and Star Wars. George Lucas even thought Cantwell’s initial design of the Millennium Falcon looked too much like something from 2001.
Cantwell charges for signing objects and prints, and selfies; if someone doesn’t have a print, the organizers can provide one. It may seem capitalistic, but it’s a way of supporting an artist who helped design some of the most iconic spacecraft in all filmdom.
Cantwell, who is 87, doesn’t talk much at his appearances because he gets flustered. But there will be screenings of videos that tell the backstory of his work on these seminal sci-fi films. One video is titled “Creating Millennium Falcon, Tie Fighter, Star Destroyer.” Nuff said.