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-ass 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

Illustration for article titled Ron Cobb, The Design Genius Behind iAliens /iAnd iBack To The Future/i, Has Died
Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

ALIEN

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

ALIENS

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

BACK TO THE FUTURE

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

TOTAL RECALL

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

THE LAST STARFIGHTER

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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb
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Illustration: Ron Cobb

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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lukeplunkett
Luke Plunkett

Every sci-fi video game you’ve ever played owes a great debt to this man.

There is no Halo, for example, without Ron Cobb.