Mental Floss

Star Wars: How the Death Star Computer Graphics Sequence Was Made

Chris Higgins

Way back in 1977, the original Star Wars movie was released, and so began our battle against the Empire. Among many other amazing things, the film featured a computer-animated graphics sequence -- in which a 3D model of the Death Star is shown to pilots who are about to attack it. I remember as a kid seeing that computer graphics sequence and thinking, "Wow, computers in the future can do 3D!!!" Although it looks dated now, it was state-of-the-art at the time, and quite frankly it's better than some "computer" sequences seen in similar vintage movies like Alien. Here's a rare bit of a tape in which the animator, Larry Cuba, describes how he made the sequence.