It is arguable that no single man, outside of George Lucas, has had more of an impact on the look and feel of the Star Wars universe than Ralph McQuarrie. He served as the original concept artist on the first film, and returned for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He also had the uncredited role of General McQuarrie in The Empire Strikes Back.
In addition to his Star Wars work, McQuarrie designed the alien ships for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and was the conceptual artist on the 1985 film Cocoon, for which he won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.
We couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute than to pull out some of our favourite examples of his work from the Star Wars trilogy. His legacy will live as long as we have the original Star Wars films available.
You can find a full list of his work over on RalphMcQuarrie.com.
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