Another overlooked death of 2012... March 3rd of this year a man named Ralph McQuarrie died at 82 of Parkinson's. Who? (to quote the Cracked article I found this in) Ralph McQuarrie was working at Boeing doing technical art (aviation sketches - not space related) when George Lucas was trying desperately to get his space opera funded commissioned him to sketch some of the concepts he was unsuccessfully trying to explain. He got the job because he was an industrial artist and could make things look futuristic.
He sketched Darth Vader's helmet (and suggested the breathing apparatus) and cape,designed the porcelain armour of the Storm Troopers, C-3PO, light sabers, and TIE Fighters.
He also designed the mothership in Close Encounters and animated CBS News' Apollo Program coverage!