COLIN CANTWELL’S INCREDIBLE CAREER
Designer of the Death Star, X-Wing, Y-Wing , TIE Fighter, & More
Architecture was Colin’s other passion. Since, he was only interested in studying with the best, he spent months creating building designs that he hoped would impress Frank Lloyd Wright. Without an invitation Colin found his way to Talliesen and presented Wright with his work. After looking it over Wright told Colin he was accepted. Colin said, wasn’t there a waiting list and Wright replied “Not for you”. By the time Colin had returned to LA to get his tuition, Wright had passed away in the meantime.
Not having lost his interest in space, Colin obtained work at JPL and NASA creating educational programs on recent developments in space exploration for the general public. This was a segueway into Colin working on several space projects including, “The Buck Rogers TV show”, “War Games” and “Close Encounters of a Third Kind”. It also led to his writing, directing and designing “Journey to the Outer Planets”, the first Imax type theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater in San Diego, California.
One of his major film contributions was working with Stanley Kubrick on the cutting-edge “2001, A Space Odyssey” where he designed the space scenes for the movie. Kubrick had intended the film to begin with a round table discussion while the audience was being seated. Feeling that this passive beginning did not do justice to the film, Colin created the dramatic Sun, Moon and Earth opening. Also, about this time, Kubrick was distraught over the score and had fired multiple composers. One night, while having an intimate conversations with Stanley over turkey sandwiches at Kubricks house, Colin suggested the now famous theme “Also sprach Zarathustra” as well as most of the other music in the film except “The Blue Danube Waltz”
One of Colin’s other memorable contributions included being known as the Hal 9000 computer while he was seated behind the CBS broadcaster, Walter Cronkite, during the July 20 1969 Apollo 11 first Moon landing. As Colin listened to a communications line between NASA and the Astronauts, he conveyed the progress of the Astronauts to Cronkite who in return broadcast this information to the world on live TV.
In the early 80’s Colin was so essential to the completion of the film “War Games” that they hired a doctor to monitor his health while he was working on the movie. Always on the cutting-edge, Colin designed the set and programmed the Hewlett Packard monitors to depict the dramatic bomb scenes displayed on Norad’s screens as the WOPR computer was attempting to annihilate the United States.
This led to Colin programming software that took Hewlett Packard from a few colors to 5000 colors.
These are only a few of pieces of Colin’s amazing career. .
Not surprisingly, Colin has written two science fiction novels, “CoreFires 1” and “CoreFires 2”. Two great reads. Be sure to read both of them. The first one is a cliff hanger.
If you want to learn more about Colin’s career and the Star Wars ships, keep your eye open for Colin’s videos that will be released during the year..