Ralph McQuarrie, an illustrator who was responsible for creating the look of Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2, the Stormtroopers and many other characters for director George Lucas’ “Star Wars” movies, has died. McQuarrie, who shared an Academy Award for visual effects for “Cocoon” in 1986, was 82.
McQuarrie, whose paintings helped persuade 20th Century Fox to greenlight what became the 1977 blockbuster “Star Wars,” died Saturday at his home in Berkeley, said John Scoleri, co-author of a book on McQuarrie’s art.
Rest in Peace Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Will Never Be the Same Without You
Before Dr. Seuss gained worldwide fame as a beloved author and illustrator of children’s books, he paid the bills with advertising gigs and magazine artwork. In fact, Theodore Seuss Geisel landed his first paying job after leaving Oxford with the New York City publication Judge.
In the 1920s, Seuss embarked on a career as an advertising illustrator, a job that garnered him national exposure and a better paycheck. A series of cartoons for Flit bug spray kicked open the door for Seuss. One illustration shows three guys in a tank as an oversized mosquito jettisons toward them. In large yellow words it reads: “Quick Henry, The Flit!”