RIP Star Wars Concept Artist Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T., Cocoon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Jurassic Park, died at his home on Saturday at the age of 82.

Star Wars wouldn’t have been half the film it was without this guy. The visual style of everything in the Star Wars universe was based on Ralph McQuarrie’s art. The Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, the X-wing, lightsabers, Darth Vader, Cloud City, R2-D2 and C-3PO – all of these were taken directly from his concept illustrations.

Not a bad legacy.

Matte painting background from The Empire Strikes Back.

McQuarrie working on a matte painting background for The Empire Strikes Back.

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