Lucasfilm pays tribute to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Back To The Future’ design legend Ron Cobb

Jene J. Long

Lucasfilm and Mark Hamill have paid tribute to Ron Cobb, the veteran production designer behind movies like Back To The Future, Conan The Barbarian and Alien.

Cobb died yesterday, on his 83rd birthday, in Sydney from complications of Lewy body dementia.

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In a post to Twitter, Luscafilm, via its Star Wars account, said: “We were saddened to learn of the passing of conceptual designer Ron Cobb, who designed one of the most memorable characters in the Mos Eisley cantina, Momaw Nadon.

“He also contributed to E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Alien, Back to the Future, and many more. He will be missed.”

Mark Hamill added that Cobb was ‘a giant in his field’.

After working as an animator at Disney, he was laid off before joining the army, working as a draughtsman in Vietnam.

He later became an underground political cartoonist, and began designing album covers then moving into the movies, working on Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien, designing the interior and exterior of the space ship Nostromo.

While working as a designer for John Milius on his fantasy classic Conan The Barbarian, he met Steven Spielberg, who was working on Raiders of the Lost Ark on the same studio lot, and worked on the original idea for the movie Night Skies, which would later become E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

His career in production design took off, and he worked on movies including The Last Starfighter, Total Recall and True Lies.

For Back To The Future, he was credited as the ‘DeLorean Time Travel Consultant’, having created the home-made look for Doc Brown’s now iconic time machine.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years Robin, and his son Nicky.

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