The throne room of Return of the Jedi, one of its best pieces of visual design.
Image: Lucasfilm

You may not have heard of him, but his work is far more influential than you realize.

George Jenson, born in 1930 in Calgary, worked on art for some of the most important science fiction and fantasy films of the 20th century. He did production illustration or storyboards for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Rocketeer, and, most notably, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for his work on 2010, the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also work as a layout artist on Star Trek: The Animated Series.


While Jenson was never a big name, he left an indelible mark on a large swath of film and television’s biggest genre fiction. News of his death was released yesterday, when the Art Directors Guild report that he died of cancer on May 25th. He was 87.


io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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