John Dykstra

For the American politician, see John Dykstra (politician).

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John Dykstra

John Charles Dykstra
(1947-06-03) June 3, 1947 (age 69)
Long Beach, California, U.S.


Alma mater
California State University, Long Beach

Special effects artist

Years active

Cass McCune (1996–)

Chloe Dykstra

John Charles Dykstra, A.S.C. (born June 3, 1947 in Long Beach, California, United States) is an American special effects artist, pioneer in the development of the use of computers in filmmaking and recipient of three Academy Awards, among many other awards and prizes. He was one of the original founders of Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects and computer graphics division of Lucasfilm. He is well known as the special effects lead on the original Star Wars, helping bring the original visuals for lightsabers, space battles between X-wings and TIE fighters, and Force powers to the screen. He also led special effects on many other movies, including Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Stuart Little, X-Men: First Class, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.


1 Education and early career
2 Star Wars
3 Battlestar Galactica
4 Firefox and the 1980s
5 Comic book films
6 Video games
7 Academy Awards

7.1 Two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects
7.2 One Academy Award for Technical Achievement

8 Other awards

8.1 Saturn Awards
8.2 Primetime Emmy Awards
8.3 Hollywood Film Awards
8.4 OFTA Film Awards
8.5 Sitges Award for Best Special Effects
8.6 Golden Satellite Awards
8.7 Visual Effects Society Awards

9 Notes
10 External links

Education and early career[edit]
After studying industrial design at California State University, Long Beach (where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity), in 1971 Dykstra landed a job working with Douglas Trumbull on Silent Running filming model effects, when Trumbull hired recent college graduates due to the films low budget.
Star Wars[edit]
In 1975, when George Lucas was recruiting people for the special effects work on Star Wars, he approached Douglas Trumbull, but he was unavailable as he was about to start working on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encount