The man behind Star Wars Ralph McQuarrie has died.
McQuarrie, the artist whose conceptual paintings helped create the hit Star Wars died at 82 years old Saturday.
The news was announced on his website.
“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph McQuarrie,” reads RalphMcQuarrie.com. “People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.”
“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.'”
George Lucas released a statement regarding McQuarrie’s death, in which he said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man.”
“Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. 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,'” Lucas said, reported CBS.
Twitter users, including celebrities like Will Smith, showed their support through numerous tweets.
RIP Ralph McQuarrie, the visionary behind Star Wars. Retweet for respect.
— Will Smith (@LifeAsWillSmith) March 4, 2012
“R.I.P. artist Ralph McQuarrie. If there’s a Heaven, he just painted a better one,” tweeted one user.
“There has been a disturbance in the force, I have felt it. I feel something terrible has happened…Indeed, Ralph McQuarrie has passed away,” tweeted another.