Conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie, who created the looks behind Darth Vader, Cewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO died at his home Saturday in Berkeley, CA, BBC reports. He was 82. In addition to helping George Lucas create the Star Wars look, McQuarrie designed the original Battlestar Galactica television series, E.T., Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and others. In 1986 he shared an Oscar win for Best Visual Effects for Cocoon. McQuarrie’s work with Star Wars may nevertheless be his most memorable. He worked as the conceptual designer on sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, but he later declined to work on the Star Wars prequels.
UPDATE: A notice on McQuarrie’s website reads: “It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph McQuarrie. People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man…His influence on design will be felt forever. There’s no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone somewhere will say, ‘that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.'”
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