Saturday, March 03, 2012
Ralph McQuarrie died today. He was the concept artist for E.T., RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, "Battlestar Galactica," and the STAR WARS TRILOGY.If you're a Star Wars fan, you know the story, how George Lucas couldn't get any studios interested in his vision, so he hired Ralph to do some art of what the characters, creatures, robots, and worlds would look like. And the rest is history (at least until the Special Editions and Prequels came about, I suppose).It was he who designed the look of the series, probably more so than any other man save Lucas. And it can be amazing to see how close to his vision a lot of the characters and settings ended up, and a couple of the ideas Ralph had that didn't make it on the screen.I went to three Star Wars conventions, in 1999, 2002, and 2005, and there was a booth at each where you could buy a signed print of Ralph's paintings, and it became a tradition for me to buy one from my favorite (and your least-favorite) of the Trilogy each visit.Thanks for your imagination, Ralph, and the talent to share it with kids like me.