It’s a sad day in fandom: The man who gave Star Wars its first images passed away yesterday. Originally commissioned by George Lucas to illustrate scenes from the Star Wars script in 1975, Ralph McQuarrie was the first – and certainly the most well-known – concept artist for the saga. On StarWars.com, Lucas said: “When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.'”
In addition to the original trilogy, McQuarrie also worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award.
These green, hill-shaped building plans that io9 discovered are still in the planning stages, but they’re rather reminesant of some of the concept art for Alderaan. Greener, of course, but I don’t think the Alderaani would object.
I really wish StarWars.com would put out a simple, easily browsable selection of photos like this… Of course, that might mean they’d shut Heilemann down. Still, the popularity of these sets – you can’t go anywhere on the internet this month without seeing a link to the storyboard gallery – shows there’s plenty of interest for this sort of thing.