Today’s featurette has current Star Wars artists, designers and other luminaries talking about concept art maestro Ralph McQuarrie.
StarWars.com has posted two archival videos to their Youtube account. The first, above, is George Lucas discussing the crafting of the story. The second, below the cut, features Ralph McQuarrie on his concept work.
Pros and fans alike have plenty to say on the passing of the legendary Star Wars concept artist. Below the cut, I’ve collected several remembrances of McQuarrie on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.
It’s a sad day in fandom: The man who gave Star Wars its first images passed away yesterday. Originally commissioned by George Lucas to illustrate scenes from the Star Wars script in 1975, Ralph McQuarrie was the first – and certainly the most well-known – concept artist for the saga. On StarWars.com, Lucas said: “When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘Do it like this.’”
In addition to the original trilogy, McQuarrie also worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award.
Michael Heilemann takes to the books to explore the origins of our favorite Wookiee.
The ‘lost’ Star Wars artwork of Ralph McQuarrie will be on display at Celebration. The pieces – discovered due to a furnace repair too late to make The Art of Ralph McQuarrie – include “design work on characters, creatures, spacecraft, weapons and worlds.”
Let them eat slime. This Jabba cake is appropriately disgusting yet totally hand-made. Pretty impressive.
Don’t strain yourself.Is Star Wars science fiction or fantasy? It’s sci-fantasy. Duh.
Listicles. Princess Leia is one of Yahoo’s lethal ladies; The prequels bottom out io9′s list of science fiction prequels, beating out even You-Know-Who’s Dune books on their scale of crappiness. Ouch.
Road trip! If you missed it, The Vader Project is now in Pittsburgh.
The StarWars.com crew did some digging and unearthed several Holiday Special props and other detris – even an animatic reel of the cartoon. There’s also a handful of old articles – one on the art directors and concept art, kicking off with Ralph McQuarrie and an interview with Patty Maloney, who played Lumpawarrump, and Stan Winston on Wookiee makeup/costuming. And finally, learn to draw Chewie’s family.
Try not to be totally surprised that Star Wars is #2 on Cracked’s list of seven terrible early versions of great movies. After reading the early drafts, some of the prequels less-stellar quirks make a lot more sense.