Just got word that Ralph McQuarrie has died at the age of 82. He will always be remembered as George Lucas' go-to conceptual artist on Star Wars, and as backlashing haters like myself grew disdain towards Lucas' shiny prequels our love for McQuarrie's retro cool paintings of yore grew; so much so that Hasbro has even released a brand of Star Wars action figures based on his original concepts.
But the artist did not solely work in the world of a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. When the producers of Battlestar Galactica wanted to rip off Lucas for the small screen they went to McQuarrie and designed their not-X Wing Viper ships and not Stormtrooper Cylons. McQuarrie even worked on Raiders of the Lost Ark producing the scary, nightmarish ancient drawing depicting the power of The Ark that Indy shows off to the ignorant G-Men at the start of the film.
And in the wake of Star Wars' epic success, when Paramount wanted to bring Star Trek back to the public they brought in McQuarrie. The man has worked on everything from Back to the Future to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Batteries Not Included. He even did a couple cave paintings for Clive Barker's Nightbreed.
Rest In Peace, sir. Your were definitely a Dork Hero.