Ralph McQuarrie, 1929-2012


?Ralph McQuarrie passed away on Saturday at the age of 82. I was about to say “Artist Ralph McQuarrie,” but that doesn’t really do him justice, does it? The man was as responsible for the look of the Star Wars universe as George Lucas himself, as it was his paintings that took the nebulous ideas in Lucas’ head and brought them to visual life. Without him, we wouldn’t have Darth Vader as we know him — as well as Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, many of the planet locations, and much, much more. Hell, it was McQuarrie’s paintings that helped convince Fox to even fund the film, so his role in making Star Wars happen cannot be overstated.

Of course, he did more then Star Wars; he was also helped design the look of the original Battlestar Galactica, Cocoon, E.T., Star Trek IV, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. (for which I’ll give him a pass) and more. We lost a visionary this weekend, in the truest sense of the word.