Ben Isaacson, Actor Who Played Death Star, Dead at 78

by Rob Smat

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PINEWOOD STUDIOS — Ben Isaacson, a longtime actor in film and television, was found dead in his London home last Sunday after a long battle with ecological self-abuse. He is most well known for his role as the Death Star in George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977).

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a dear friend and colleague. Ben was a great actor and performer, but more importantly he was a dear friend,” eulogized head of LucasFilms, Kathleen Kennedy.

After extensive special effects and make-up work, he was re-cast as the Death Star II in 1983’s Revenge of the Jedi. He also played roles such as the planet Genesis from the Star Trek films.

Most recently, he was a special advisor on the new Star Wars Story, Rogue One, which is about the construction of the original Death Star. However, in Rogue One, the Death Star will be entirely generated by computer graphics and will not be played by an actor at all.

Andy Serkis was in talks to play a “mocap” version of the iconic space station, but declined out of respect for Ben’s original performance. Ben is survived by his supernova and three small moons.