‘Star Wars’ Special Effects Artist Joe Viskocil Dies at 61

by | PopCrush

Academy Award-winning special effects artist Joe Viskocil has died at 61, Deadline reports.

Viskocil, who is remembered by ‘Star Wars’ fans as the visual mastermind who blew up the Death Star at the end of the franchise’s first film, ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,’ reportedly died yesterday (Aug. 11) due to complications from kidney and liver failure.

Viskocil boasts more than 50 credits to his name in his special and visual effects career, and nabbed his Best Visual Effects Oscar win with his work on 1996’s ‘Independence Day’.

In addition to his work on ‘Star Wars’ (he would also work on ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’) and ‘Independence Day,’ some of Viskocil’s other impressive credits include ‘Terminator,’ ‘Apollo 13,’ ‘Godzilla,’ ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ ‘Battlefield Earth,’ ‘Star Trek Nemesis,’ ‘Panic Room,’ and many more.

R.I.P., Joe Viskocil. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. May his memory live on in his outstanding special effects.

See Joe Viskocil’s Impressive Special Effects in ‘Star Wars’

Next: Celebrities We Lost in 2013