It's a sad day for the concept art world. Ralph McQuarrie, the artist who created concept designs for the first Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica television show, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., and other science fiction classics, has passed away at age 82. He set our minds on fire and made so many of us fall in love with science fiction. He'll be missed. [Tor]
McQuarrie's contributions to Star Wars are huge, as significant as those of ILM, John Williams, or Harrison Ford. Without his distinctive designs, the movie would never have captivated audiences worldwide, let alone generated sequels or spinoffs. His influence on the look of modern SF as a whole is tremendous.