‘Star Wars’ ship creator soars into Statesboro on March 3

Aubrey Brumblow

“Stars Wars” fans will be excited to know that Colin Cantwell, who worked on the first “Stars Wars” movie, will visit Galactic Comics and Games on March 3.

Cantwell designed the original concept art for many influential aspects of “Star Wars,” such as the Star Destroyer and the Death Star conceptual art and design.

During his panel, which will begin at noon and end at 2 p.m., Cantwell will describe projects such as the ship designs and models for “Star Wars” and his work at NASA.

Cantwell said his favorite parts of working on “Star Wars” were his collaboration with George Lucas and coming up with creative ideas. Because he already had a background in both space and film at the time, Cantwell’s friend introduced him to George Lucas, who hired Cantwell after seeing his “two strange kit-bashed models.”

In regard to the massive success and cultural influence of “Star Wars,” Cantwell says, “I knew from the beginning it was something special, so I am not surprised that it has been a continued success.”

Aside from “Star Wars” fame, Cantwell worked with Stanley Kubrick on “2001, A Space Odyssey” and Steven Spielberg on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

One of Cantwell’s favorite achievements is becoming known as the “Hal 9000 Computer” for sitting behind Walter Cronkite and relaying the progress of the first Apollo 11 moon landing while the newscaster was being broadcast live.

Keith Brown, owner of Galactic Comics & Games, believes Cantwell’s presentation will appeal to students not only because of how popular “Star Wars” is, but also because the process of progressing from concept to paper to model is the same creative process a lot of majors work through in their respective fields, such as art and video game design.

As for the future of Statesboro as a community, Brown thinks more people will see Statesboro listed due to events like Cantwell’s visit, which may generate further interest in the small town.

To find out more about Colin Cantwell and inside stories about his work with George Lucas, visit colincantwell.com. Signed prints of the original concept art for “Star Wars” are also available there.

Aubrey Brumblow, The George-Anne Candidate, ganewsed@georgiasouthern.edu