Star Wars conceptual artist dies at 82

Nickalas Tabbert

 Ralph McQuarrie, the man credited with helping George Lucas' vision for "Star Wars' to the big screen, has died at the age of 82.

McQuarrie's conceptual designs were the basis for some of the trilogy's iconic characters, cnn.com said.

A statement on McQuarrie's official website, posted after his death Saturday, said his influence on design will be felt forever.

"There's no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say … that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted," it read.

Lucas called him a visionary artist and a humble man.

"Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars," he said.  "His genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy."

McQuarrie also helped to create concept designs for the original Battlestar Galactica TV show, along with the movies "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," the article said.

McQuarrie's conceptual work on the 1985 film, "Cocoon," won him the Academy Award for Visual Effects.