In the late 70s and early 80s one of the most influential artists on me (before I discovered Picasso, Dali and Vallejo) was a man named Ralph McQuarrie. Most people have heard of George Lucas and have the false belief that he had the “vision” to create the look and feel of the Star Wars Universe. George wrote the stories, but left the look and feel of practically the entire thing to a true visionary named Ralph.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man,” George Lucas said in a statement. “Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. 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.'”
“In many ways, he was a generous father to a conceptual art revolution that was born of his artwork, and which seized the imaginations of thousands and propelled them into the film industry. In that way, we will all be benefiting from his oeuvre for generations to come,” Lucas said.
“Beyond that, I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator.” -George Lucas