Ralph McQuarrie, artist, and the first person hired by George Lucas to conceptualize the Star Wars universe, passed away this weekend at age 82. When George had a hard time selling a science fiction film to Hollywood studios, he turned to Ralph to paint the beautifully detailed characters, locations, and action scenes to show executives the films were much more than a space-based fairy tale.
George remembered his film partner in a statement: "Beyond the movies, his artwork has inspired at least two generations of younger artists — all of whom learned through Ralph that movies are designed. Like me, they were thrilled by his keen eye and creative imagination, which always brought concepts to their most ideal plateau."
Ralph later went on to create the concept art for other famous adventure films, including Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T.. See a few of his most memorable paintings brought to life in Star Wars.
Source: Ralph McQuarrie Facebook