Star Wars visionary becomes one with the Force
Artist dies at 82
Star Wars conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie, whose paintings were the force behind much of the film series' design, has popped his clogs at the age of 82.
McQuarrie's art was instrumental in persuading 20th Century Fox to back the production of Star Wars.
This was followed by further film success, as McQuarrie provided pre-production art for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Back to the Future and Total Recall as well as TV hits such as Battlestar Galactica.
The news of his passing this weekend was announced on McQuarrie's official website.
"Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars," George Lucas said in a statement.
"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'."
McQuarrie, whose work was featured on many a book cover and advertisement, provided the designs for the general look of robots, lightsabres, stormtroopers, the Death Star and even Darth Vader himself, submitting nearly two dozen illustrations that formed the basis of the film's design.
"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," Lucas added.
"Beyond that, I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator."
RIP Ralph, your luminous being is now free to become one with the Force. ®
Would Star Wars would have had the impact it did without Ralph McQuarrie's wonderful designs (and John Williams stirring score) adding to the production values? George Lucas hired the right people for the job. I was a wide-eyed 7 year old when I saw Star Wars for the first time, and it was like nothing I'd seen before. The droids, the ships, the technology all mesmerised me (especially the wonderful stormtrooper helmet which Andrew Ainsworth so effectively sculpted and brought to life). Years later my wife bought me the "Art Of Star Wars" books from the original trilogy I and found that almost everything was designed by Ralph McQuarrie. Bon Voyage sir, I'll be raising a glass to your genius tonight and toasting my Shepperton Studios ANH Stunt helmet in your memory.
'popped his clogs'?
Could you be more disrespectful in using such a jocular phrase to announce someone's death?
Oh, and apparently, I'm a coward for demanding my right to anonymity. Idiots
Be glad that Lucas recognised him
McQuarrie probably got paid as much as well as John Howe got paid for his conceptual art for the Lord of the Rings movies. It's a shame artists often don't get the rewards they deserve, but they do get paid - and better than comic artists sometimes get paid for their work.
Never Mind Star Wars - What About Maplin?
RIP Ralph. A shame that your fine artistic visions largely lined the pockets of the bearded one. I'll remember your work best for your Maplin catalogue covers - equal nostalgia of my youth.
Of course, this was before they re-invented themselves as a cross between Argos and a Pound Shop.
and the chances are....
...he got paid **** all for his efforts...