• George Lucas Remembers Ralph McQuarrie

      "I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man.



      Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. 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. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'Do it like this.'

      "Beyond the movies, his artwork has inspired at least two generations of younger artists—all of whom learned through Ralph that movies are designed. Like me, they were thrilled by his keen eye and creative imagination, which always brought concepts to their most ideal plateau.

      In many ways, he was a generous father to a conceptual art revolution that was born of his artwork, and which seized the imaginations of thousands and propelled them into the film industry. In that way, we will all be benefiting from his oeuvre for generations to come. Beyond that, I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator."

      —George Lucas

      McQuarrie's expansive body of work — including character, creature, vehicle, and setting designs for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi — has left an indelible mark on the world's imagination, creating what can only be called the unmistakable 'Star Wars aesthetic.'

      You can view a selection of Star Wars concept and licensed product paintings by Ralph McQuarrie in the slideshow on StarWars.com: http://starwars.com/news/ralph_mcqua...emembered.html
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      Comments 3 Comments
      1. JediTricks's Avatar
        JediTricks -
        The news of McQuarrie's passing breaks my heart. While his Parkinsons had robbed him of his ability to draw towards the end, his mind was still there and he still participated in the material, such as consulting with Hasbro on the McQuarrie figures. His art from the very first image resonated with me, the way every single image, no matter how still in subject, had movement and life and a suggestion of something larger. His art in "Illustrated Star Wars Universe" was the first Star Wars book I ever actively pursued. And knowing that Galoob hired him to do custom Star Wars artworks for their Micro Machines packaging made the line that much more true and special to me. I am not an autograph hound but at Celebration IV, when the booth for the Ralph McQuarrie book popped up next to the Hasbro booth and had some of the last items he ever signed on sale, I had to snap up one. Just a few months ago, I began hunting for McQuarrie posters for my home. To me, McQuarrie was like a great uncle I never met but had connection with, like both my grandfathers McQuarrie started out in the aerospace industry and yet dreamt bigger with ease, so his passing is bit of a loss to me.
      1. Warstar's Avatar
        Warstar -
        It broke my heart to read about the passing of Ralph McQuarrie. I had the extreme privilege to meet him at Starfest in Denver, CO, in 1996 (there's an old thread talking about it), and he was just an amazing, humble man. He was a bit hard or hearing even then, but I did, indeed, get to shake his hand. Back then, I was enamored with his visions of Coruscant- esp. since they were very prevalent in the "Shadows of the Empire" mythos at the time. I still love looking at all of his concept work for Star Wars to this day, and hope maybe someday, some of it will translate onto the big screen yet again.

        The Star Wars community at large has lost a great man this weekend. Let us honor him.
      1. Neuroleptic's Avatar
        Neuroleptic -
        Ralph MicQuarrie is the artist responsible for getting me interested in art enough to attempt to do something with it professionaly. It's very sad to see that he is gone.
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