Ron Cobb, The Design Genius Behind Aliens And Back To The Future, Has Died

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Ron Cobb, the legendary production designer whose ideas helped define movies like Alien, its sequel Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Back to the Future and The Last Starfighter, has died at the age of 83.

As THR reports, Cobb passed away in Sydney (where he has been living for decades) on Monday having suffered from Lewy body dementia.

His influence on a generation of sci-fi movies, and in turn their influence on generations of kids sketching aliens and spaceships (who would then go on to make their own movies and video games), are almost too immense to measure.

Cobb designed the Nostromo from Alien, along with much of the architecture in Aliens, along with its dropship and APC. He designed the iconic DeLorean from Back to the Future. He did The Last Starfighter’s starships. He imagined some of the aliens from the cantina scene in Star Wars. The cool Nazi plane from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Almost everything in Conan. The kick-arse giant mechs in Robot Jox.

He also worked on Running Man, Total Recall, The Abyss, The Rocketeer, Titan AE, District 9 and True Lies. Cobb was even involved in Jodorowsky’s Dune.

Cobb is survived by his wife Robin Love and son Nicky.

Below you’ll find a selection of his most notable Hollywood work over the years, but you can see a lot more in the galleries of his personal site.

STAR WARS

ALIEN

ALIENS

BACK TO THE FUTURE

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

TOTAL RECALL

THE LAST STARFIGHTER

Comments

  • Ever since I saw Alien I’ve (unknowingly) been a big fan of his work, I still think the interior of the Nostromo looks better and feels more believable than any other spaceship (bar perhaps the one in 2001, but I was never a big fan of that film).

    I never knew he worked on the Delorean from Back to the Future too, that’s an amazing bit of design as well. Just those two films alone represent a pretty amazing body of work, not to mention the other stuff he’s worked on.

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