McQuarrie died at the age of 82, born in Indiana he started out as a technical illustrator for Boeing and also designed promotional posters for films, he later moved on to become a conceptual designer. In 1975, Lucas hired him to work on scenes for his "space opera" Star Wars. Ralph went onto work on all three of the original Star Wars trilogy films bringing R2-D2 and C-3PO to the Big screen and into our lives.
As well as creating many famed characters McQuarrie also designed many film sets including the desert planet Tatooine in Star Wars and alien spaceships in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. Lucas speaks highly of McQuarrie and gave him the uncredited role of General Pharl McQuarrie in the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back which saw him get his own action figure.
"His genial contribution, in the form of unequalled 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'."
Aswell as working on fiction such as the original Battlestar Galactica, McQuarrie animated US TV network CBS'S coverage of Nasa's Apollo space programme showing that he had a talent for creating anything space related. His fans recognised his talents and left many tributes on his website
"We'll miss you Ralph. You will forever be the brightest star in our galaxy."
McQuarrie was presented with an Oscar and a Academy Award for Visual Effects for the film Cocoon which sees visting aliens give life back to an old peoples home. Known not only for his creative genius McQuarrie has been praised for being "an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman."
"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'."