R.I.P. ‘Star Wars’ Designer Ralph McQuarrie

Monday, March 5 by

The legendary concept artist who designed science fiction‘s most iconic characters has died. Ralph McQuarrie passed away on March 3rd at the age of 82.

Best known for bringing the world of Star Wars to visual life, McQuarrie worked with George Lucas to establish the look of not only characters like Darth Vader and Han Solo, but also the universe itself through its all of its incarnations. The picture below shows Han Solo (looking stylish with a beard and cape) with light saber drawn as he prepares to battle a light saber wielding Storm Trooper. Says McQuarrie of the illustration: “I gave Han Solo a light saber, and I thought it was reasonable to assume that the opposing forces would have the same weapons.”

Here’s another look at what could have been, an early concept of C3PO and R2-D2 before Lucas gave McQuarrie the note, “Make them look gayer.”

Our condolences to Mr. McQuarrie’s loved ones and millions of fans worldwide. (Ars Technica)

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