Via SF Gate
Ralph McQuarrie, the artist and illustrator who brought George Lucas‘ Star Wars script to life, passed away on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. He will be remembered as a pioneering collaborator, one of the first illustrators to work widely with filmmakers, giving shape to their words and vision.
Lucas credits McQuarrie’s images for landing him a production deal for the Star Wars series with 20th Century Fox. After first being turned down by United Artists and Universal, Lucas hired him to draw the martian landscapes, super villains and hyper-futuristic spacecraft that made the films famous. Everything from Darth Vader‘s mask to Boba Fett’s helmet and C-3PO’s golden skin began with a stroke of McQuarrie’s hand.
The artist went on to work extensively in the movies, eventually contributing to the production of other classics including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. He and a cast of collaborators also won an Academy Award for their work on the 1985 film Cocoon.
As a member of the generation that grew up with his drawings all over everything from our bed sheets to our underwear, I can attest to McQuarrie’s powerful ability to capture the imagination. I’m sure the global creative community is mourning the loss and light of his artistic talent.
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