‘Star Wars’ loses two original “family members” due to COVID-19

(LOS ANGELES) — Star Wars superfans are mourning the losses of former sound engineer Ken Nightingall and publicist Charles Lippincott.

Nightingall, 90, passed away due to COVID-19, according to his son. Lippincott, 80, died in a Vermont hospital after suffering a heart attack, but while confirming his death, his wife listed him as among the “90,000 plus” who’d died from the virus.

Nightingall’s name was relatively unknown to Star Wars fans, but thanks to a viral Reddit post of a behind-the-scenes shot of Star Wars: A New Hope, he became known as Pink Shorts Boom Guy, thanks to his work outfit in the Tunisian desert: no shirt, short pink shorts, a boom microphone, and boots. The picture even inspired cosplayers to dress like him, which he found amusing.

His son Ken told ABC News’ Clayton Sandell that Nightingall had “gone to the bar in the sky to have a pint and share all the stories of time gone by.”

Lippincott’s contribution to the Star Wars universe was more well-known.  He’s credited with starting the buzz on the then-unknown film back in 1976, personally introducing now-famous characters like Darth Vader and actors like Mark Hamill to fans at early sci-fi conventions.

Officially the one-time Vice President of Advertising, Publicity, Promotion & Merchandising for Star Wars, Lippincott also was credited with making the first inroads with companies like Kenner that went on to manufacture Star Wars toys.

In a memoriam post on StarWars.com, he was remembered as the man whose “convention appearances resulted in movie theaters welcoming large crowds of fans on Star Wars’ opening day.”

Star Wars fandom owes a great debt to Charley Lippincott, and we will miss him dearly,” the site added.

Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

More about: