Saying goodbye to a Star Wars visionary

The Force was certainly strong with Star Wars visionary Ralph McQuarrie, who recently passed away at the age of 82.

The talented artist helped create the appearance of numerous iconic Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca. 

“Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars,” George Lucas said in an official statement.

“His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.'”

In addition to his work on Star Wars, McQuarrie participated in a number of notable films, such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as well as the the original “Battlestar Galactica” TV series.

 The veteran artist also won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1986 for his “Cocoon.”

“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,” reads a commemorative statement on McQuarrie’s website.

“People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. You created so many wonders that will always live in our hearts. We’ll miss you Ralph. You will forever be the brightest star in our galaxy.”