Ralph McQuarrie, who was behind much of the look and feel of the original (and still the best) Star Wars trilogy, has passed away at the ago of 82.
McQuarrie’s conceptual designs were the basis for some of the trilogy’s iconic characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO. He also did design work for Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T.
The passing was announced at McQuarrie’s official website with a short, touching tribute:
It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph McQuarrie. People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush. He was an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman. And as fine a role model as any one could have wished for.
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.”