Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ralph McQuarrie, ‘Star Wars’ Concept Artist, Dies At 82

Ralph McQuarrie the artist who helped design cinema's most iconic characters, such as 'Star Wars' characters as Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca has passed away at the age of 82 years.

McQuarrie worked on such films as 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' 'E.T.,' and 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' as well as the the original 'Battlestar Galactica' TV series. He won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1986 for his work on the movie 'Cocoon.'

A statement on McQuarrie’s website reads
“His influence on design will be felt forever. There’s no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say…’that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.’”

George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” released this statement about McQuarrie’s passing:
“Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.’”