Andor finally brings Colin Cantwell’s prototype to life as the Arrestor Cruiser

(L-R, on bridge): Weapons Spec (Harry McEntire), Executive Officer (Gethin Alderman) and Captain Elk (Roger Barclay) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R, on bridge): Weapons Spec (Harry McEntire), Executive Officer (Gethin Alderman) and Captain Elk (Roger Barclay) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers from Andor.

Space battles have long been a staple of Star Wars, and ultra fans will know that virtually all of the movies start with a battle going on in space. When George Lucas was designing his world, a lot of work was done to model all of the ships in the way that he wanted, with some designs even being reused. The original Millennium Falcon was transformed into the Tantive IV for example. Not all of these designs made it to the big screen, but Andor has finally given one of those its chance to officially make it into Star Wars canon.

Who is Colin Cantwell?

Colin Cantwell was one of the first designers that George Lucas recruited to help with the design of the ships. He first worked on projects such as the 1968 project 2001:A Space Odessy and after being impressed with his work on those projects George Lucas showed him an early draft and they got to work on creating the models. Colin Cantwell worked on almost all of your favorite ships and even a few land-based ones including the X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE/LN Fighter, Stardestroyer, Imperial Cruiser, Death Star, Landspeeder, Sandcrawler, Millennium Falcon, and T-16 Skyhopper. He also is credited with creating the names for the X-Wing and Y-Wing. In that sense, Mr. Cantwell had a massive hand in creating the lore of Star Wars even if you ignore him literally creating the iconic visuals that we associate with the rebellion. Unforttanly Mr. Cantwell passed away on May 23 of 2022 so he wasn’t able to see the Arrestor Cruiser in its full glory.

Was Andor the first time we saw the Arrestor Cruiser?

That being said this is not the first time that we have seen this ship in Star Wars canon. The ship first appeared in Solo in the background of the Imperial recruiting booth and in a deleted scene that was released in the DVD edition of the movie. The deleted scene is both extremely short and the ship was never fully rendered so the outline looks quite blurry. It was a laudable effort to try and get the original prototype for the Star Destroyer into the canon, however.

What is the Arrestor Cruiser?

At its core, the entire design of Cantwell’s design is the three large tractor-beam projectors. If the ship has been used in the opening sequence of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the hope was that the tractor beam would have been easily identifiable to the audience as the ship is built around those massive arrays. This function seems to have translated to its function in canon as well.

In Andor, we see the ship described as a patrol cruiser of sorts. The ships lack any of the larger turbo blasters we see on larger ships such as Star Destroyers or even the Light Cruiser seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian. In Andor, the ship is pictured with a small wing of four Ties which makes it seem comparable to the Imperial Gozanti-class cruiser in terms of its fighter complement. As of the moment, sources differ on its technical characteristics with some sources citing the crew of 2,770 and 24 fighters/bombers. There will no doubt be more appearance of the class in other mediums, such as comics. In fact, the Arrestor cruiser (whose official name is the Cantwell Class cruiser) was already featured in  Starships and Speeders where most of the technical details were first ironed out.

It was about time we had another amazing space battle in Star Wars, and Luthen showed complete mastery over those imperial goons. Even as we enjoy the fun of that classic space battle, it is nice to see Colin Cantwell’s work finally being displayed with his name forever enshrined into Star Wars canon.

Andor is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.  Be sure to check out all of our coverage of the series, including episode recaps, reviews, and more.