Star Wars designer Ralph McQuarrie died on Saturday at the age of 82, plunging the world of science fiction and fantasy into sadness, as Twitter fans express how his work fueled their dreams, imagination and fantasies.
McQuarrie, an art designer, worked on the designs for George Lucas' Star Wars and its sequels. According to Empire, McQuarrie's design career began after he moved to California from Indiana in the early 1960s. He began as a technical illustrator for Boeing and also dabbled in designing film posters and providing animation elements for CBS News coverage of the Apollo space program, according to the Web site.
In the mid-'70s, Lucas hired McQuarrie to design Chewbacca, Darth Vader and other visual elements for the movie, according to Alt Film Guide.
I just did my best to depict what I thought the film should look like, I really liked the idea, McQuarrie later told the San Diego Union-Tribune, as reported by Alt Film Guide. I didn't think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn't be enough of an audience. It's just too complicated. But George knew a lot of things that I didn't know.
Lucas then asked McQuarrie to work on The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. The Empire reported that McQuarrie later decline Lucas' offer to work on prequels so as to make way for a new generation of artists and designers.
McQuarrie has also worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg on Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and ET. He also won a Best Visual Effects Oscar for Ron Howard's 1985 fantasy Cocoon. McQuarrie is survived by Joan, his wife, Empire reported.
Here's how he is remembered by fans on Twitter:
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie, an extraordinary artist whose work fueled my dreams, fantasies and imagination. His paintings will live forever. - Simon Pegg
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie. A true god of my geeky teen years. - Bill Amend
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie. My childhood was more joyous because of you. - Nathan Hamill
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie. Your images and concepts ignited my imagination and kept it burning to this day. Thank you. - Justin Stewart
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie. Now he's one with the Force. - Victor Cavalcanti
-- RIP Ralph McQuarrie.You were one of my childhood inspirations. - Wan Mek
-- George Lucas created a universe, but Ralph mcquarrie illustrated it. RIP Ralph Mcquarrie - Nick Flannery