For the man I hold responsible for not only the existence of the original Star Wars trilogy but it’s look and feel, I just don’t think I have the adequate words for how much I’m affected by his passing.
Most everyone knows how George Lucas was finding doors shut in his face by the leading movie studios when trying to secure financing for his space saga. It wasn’t until Lucas hired McQuarrie to produce Production Paintings that would help to convey to the Studio Executives what he had envisioned in his mind’s eye for the film that the necessary funding was obtained, in fact it was the first studio they held a meeting with after the paintings had been completed, 20th Century Fox.
Ralph McQuarrie’s career didn’t obviously stop at Star Wars. He also had a hand in designs for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cocoon, Nightbreed, and even the Back to the Future Ride that was at Universal Studios beginning in 1991 until it’s closure in 2007.
George Lucas has written a very nice remembrance over on the official Star Wars.Com site.
[Via] Star Wars.Com