It was with great sadness this morning that we heard that Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual artist had passed away.

His influence on modern cinema is indelible and arguably when George Lucas hired Ralph McQuarrie to produce visuals based on the Star Wars screenplay, science fiction cinema changed forever.

Not only did his visuals help convince 20th Century Fox to cough up the cash for the Star Wars trilogy, they arguably shaped the look and feel of the universe. Without his input the films would have looked a lot different.

His other contributions included designs on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy award.

A fitting tribute to the man and his work has been posted on the official Star Wars website.

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.