Ralph McQuarrie, Star Wars illustrator, dies

Star Wars, as envisioned by Ralph McQuarrieRalph McQuarrie, the artist who envisioned key scenes and settings of the Star Wars universe, before sets or models were built and before filming began, dies at the age of 82. As the production artist for Star Wars, McQuarrie got his licks in early on how the “universe” should look, from costumes to spacecraft to weaponry. George Lucas credited McQuarrie’s artwork with keeping the movies’ “look” on track, as well as selling 20th Century Fox on the idea of financing the first movie in the absence of any kind of test footage. McQuarrie also provided concepts for a redesigned U.S.S. Enterprise for an early ‘70s Star Trek movie project, Star Trek: Planet Of The Titans, that ultimately went unfilmed. He also contributed early concept art to Battlestar Galactica, E.T., Cocoon, Batteries Not Included, and many others, and had also worked on the animated artists’ conceptions of the Apollo moon missions played during CBS’ coverage of those flights.