Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie dead at 82

Ralph McQuarrie, best known for his incredible concept art for Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, ET and Close Encounters, has died aged 82

Ralph McQuarrie dead
Ralph McQuarrie dead at 82
Ralph McQuarrie's concept art defined the look and feel of the original Star Wars trilogy.

We’re saddened to report that the legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie has died at the age of 82.

McQuarrie became a part of genre history when he was hired in 1975 to produce concept art for George Lucas, his images helping to shape the iconic depictions of C-3PO, Darth Vader, Imperial Stormtroopers, and locations such as Tatooine and Hoth.

He worked on all three films in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as the contentious Star Wars Holiday Special, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, ET, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and the original Battlestar Galactica TV series

“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,” continued Lucas,  “I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this’.”