Norman Reynolds, known for his production design work for films in the “Star Wars” franchise and the first Indiana Jones film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” has died. He was 89.
“Norman was a cherished husband, father, father-in-law, granddad and great grandad,” read a statement obtained by BBC. “He died peacefully with his wife Ann and three daughters by his side.”
Reynolds worked as art director on “Star Wars: A New Hope” in 1977, winning an Oscar for it in 1978. He then took the production design reins from Josh Barry for the sequel films. He was behind the carbon freezing chamber that encased Han Solo in carbonite, The Emperor’s throne room, Yoda’s planet of Dagobah, Jabba’s sail barge and the Ewok village in “Return of the Jedi.”
Steven Speilberg asked Reynolds to serve as production designer for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, and Reynolds won his second Oscar for that film, contributing the scene of Jones running from a giant boulder as well as the well of snakes. He also transformed the “tacky’” Mexican souvenir of a fertility figure intended for Indiana Jones to seek out into the well-known golden idol that takes him through the precarious sets.
Spielberg has called Reynolds the “creative core of two of the biggest franchises of all time — ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones.’”
Reynolds also designed sets for films like “Superman,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Alien 3,” “Return to Oz” and the first film of the Tom Cruise-starring “Mission Impossible” movies. He also worked on “Alive” in 1993 and “Exorcist III.”
He is survived by his wife Ann and their three daughters.