From the WaPo:
Ralph McQuarrie, an artist whose paintings of a gold-plated robot in an otherworldly desert and an intergalactic sword duel between a scraggly youth and a black-masked villain helped persuade film executives to gamble on a young director named George Lucas and his visionary story, “Star Wars,” died March 3 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 82.
Can you imagine being the guy who drew this? (Pic found here.)
That’s as well known a face as Mona Lisa’s!
McQuarrie also worked on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cocoon, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park. Quite the resume.
A nice—and probably true—sentiment on his website:
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.”
RIP, Ralph McQuarrie.