Thank You, Ralph McQuarrie (1929 – 2012)
Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary science-fiction concept artist who gave George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy its iconic, timeless look, died Saturday at 82. And for those of you who haven’t spent 98% of your life obsessed with Star Wars like I still am (Did you know they made McQuarrie concept figures?! I need to quit drinking.), here’s a little background info via Wikipedia:
Impressed with his work, director George Lucas met with him to discuss his plans for a space-fantasy film. Several years later, in 1975, Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate several scenes from the script of the film, Star Wars. McQuarrie designed many of the film’s characters, including Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO and drew many concepts for the film’s sets. It was McQuarrie who suggested that Vader wear breathing apparatus. McQuarrie’s concept paintings, including such scenes as R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving on Tatooine, helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Star Wars, which became a huge success upon release in 1977. Neil Kendricks of The San Diego Union-Tribune stated McQuarrie “holds a unique position when it comes to defining much of the look of the “Star Wars” universe.” McQuarrie noted “I thought I had the best job that an artist ever had on a film, and I had never worked on a feature film before. […] I still get fan mail — people wondering if I worked on Episode I or just wanting to have my autograph.“
Oh, good. So he spent the last years of his life being mistakenly held responsible for the prequels. What an incredible way to honor the man who brought you goddamn Boba Fett. Which is why I’d like to say thanks, Ralph McQuarrie, for having the creative vision that gave this dick-joke blogger a childhood filled with incredible characters that Hollywood lacks the soul and/or iota of creative capacity to ever even come close to matching again which probably explains why walking pee monsters are our children’s new heroes now.
Rest in Peace.
Photos: Ralph McQuarrie