‘Star Wars’ Artist Dies

    403367 04: Original sketches of Imperial Storm Troopers by artist Ralph McQuarrie are exhibited April 4, 2002 at the exhibit "Star Wars: The Magic of the Myth" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York. The exhibition, which is making its last stop in the United States, presents original costumes, models, props and artwork used in the original film trilogy; "Star Wars: A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Ralph McQuarrie, the artist whose paintings of a gold-plated robot and a black-masked villain ultimately spawned George Lucas’s epic Star Wars trilogy, has died. McQuarrie, who was the vision behind C-3PO, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Chewbacca, the Stormtroopers, and many other Star Wars characters passed away at age 82 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. “When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this,’” George Lucas wrote in a statement following McQuarrie’s death. It was his idea to put a breathing apparatus on Darth Vader’s mask, giving the villain his infamous raspy voice.

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