Some sad news from LucasFilm this morning: Stuart Freeborn, the pioneering make-up artist responsible for creating Yoda and Chewbacca's signature looks has died at the age of 98.

LucasFilm confirmed  that Freeborn had passed away, telling I that the makeup artists was "leaving a legacy of unforgettable contributions." George Lucas himself took time to release a statement saying Freeborn was "already a makeup legend" when he started working on Star Wars."He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy," Lucas said. "His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."

Freeborn's other works included Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and the 1948 adaptation of Oliver Twist (where he was responsible for Alec Guinness' amazing transformation into Fagin). He is survived by his daughter Michelle, seven grandchildren and great grandchildren.