Mar. 3rd, 2012

lazypadawan: (brokenheart)
Just posted on http://www.ralphmcquarrie.com:

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Ralph McQuarrie.

People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.

Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush. He was an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman. And as fine a role model as any one could have wished for.

His influence on design will be felt forever. There's no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say...

"that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted."


McQuarrie had been in poor health in recent years. He couldn't attend Celebration V for an exhibit of his work and while he kept autographing books, prints, posters, and the like, he had to abbreviate his signature with a simple "RMcQ."

He created the Star Wars aesthetic and ultimately it was his work that sold 20th Century Fox on taking a chance with ANH. It was also his work that sold Anthony Daniels on playing C3PO.

He started out doing aviation illustrations and artist recreations of the Apollo missions for CBS. His other film/t.v. work include "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Back To The Future," "Battlestar Galactica," "E.T.," "Cocoon," and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind."



This was the very first McQuarrie piece I ever saw. I was eight years old and at a mall heading toward a gaming arcade for a friend's birthday party with some friends. This artwork was on an edition of "The Art of Star Wars," which was on display at a bookstore. Already obsessed with all things Star Wars, it grabbed my attention. It was like an alternative view of what was familiar to me. Then I had to get going to keep up with the other kids.

McQuarrie's work has intrigued me ever since, ranging from the whimsical Christmas cards done for Lucasfilm to the action scenes in ROTJ or the hauntingly beautiful snowscapes of Hoth. It was a shame McQuarrie had retired by the time they got around to making Eps I-III, though his work certainly influenced the younger artists taking his place.

Even though I never had the opportunity to meet McQuarrie, fans who did had nothing but glowing things to say about him. He will be missed by friends, family, and those who admired his brilliant art.

Rest in peace.

Update: George Lucas's statement is here:

http://www.starwars.com/news/ralph_mcquarrie_remembered.html

December 2012

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