Ralph McQuarrie.

It must be the end of an era, at least creatively. Here lately it seems like all the great modern artists (illustrators, etc.) are passing away. Now Ralph McQuarrie, the man who saw Star Wars even before George Lucas did, has left us for a better place than Bespin.

I can still remember digging through a friend’s copy of The Art of Star Wars at the tender age of nine, hungrily taking in all the amazing imagery:

Long before the days when crews of conceptual artists would collectively create the fantastic worlds of films, Star Wars (with help from future filmmaker Joe Johnston)was mainly McQuarrie’s vision. His paintings reflected Lucas’ “used universe”, which itself set the tone for many a sci-fi flick for the next 20 years. That his influence was felt is a massive understatement. The Force was strong with him, to say the least.

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