The man who I remember as giving a look” to Star Wars, even before I heard of the movie was Ralph McQuarrie. This was 1976, and my friend Lars Frykman was then given to quoting seemingly obscure ideas from someone named “Owen Lars.” At first, I thought Owen Lars was someone Lars made up, but it, or “he”, was actually a character in a book Lars turned me on to called Star Wars, written by another guy I’d never heard of, George Lucas.
At the back of the book was this sentence: “Soon to be a major motion picture from 20th Century Fox.” But what captured my imagination as much, no more, than any text, or anything Lars could say, was this illustration:
That battle photo between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, which actually never made it into the first Star Wars movie, was created by Ralph McQuarrie, and became the iconic illustration of the franchise for decades to come.
Sadly, McQuarrie passed away in Berkeley at 82 years of age.