John Mollo, the Academy Award-winning costume designer of Star Wars and Gandhi, died at the age of 86. Star of the iconic franchise, Mark Hamill, took to Twitter to express his condolences calling him “brilliant.”
“Sad to say goodbye to the brilliant John Mollo,” tweeted Hamill. “He kindly let me pore through his designs-artwork & books.”
London-born Mollo’s death was confirmed by The Times of London. He was a military historian who worked as an advisor on films like Charge of the Light Brigade, Zulu Dawn, Barry Lyndon, and Nicholas and Alexandra. His first worked as a costume designer for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back from the original 1976 Star Wars trilogy. He adapted Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art for the costumes into what would become iconic, military-inspired looks in pop culture. This includes the original Stormtrooper outfit as well as caped Nazi helmet/gas mask Darth Vader costume.
His work for Star Wars earned him his first Oscar in 1977 and he would go on to receive his second alongside Bhanu Athaiya in 1983 for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi starring Ben Kingsley. He also worked on other classic films such as Ridley Scott’s Alien, The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Air America, Hanna’s War, Chaplin, and Event Horizon.