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March 5, 2012

In Memory Of Star Wars Conceptual Artist Ralph McQuarrie




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."

Ralph McQuarrie, the man credited with bringing director George Lucas' vision for Star Wars to the big screen, has died at the age 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.



A statement on McQuarrie's official website, posted after his death Saturday, said 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," it read.

Lucas said he was saddened by McQuarrie's passing, calling him a visionary artist and a humble man.

"Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars," Lucas said. "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.'"

McQuarrie also 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.”.

For more on the work of McQuarrie, the book, The Illustrated Star Wars Universe offers his best Star Wars concepts.

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