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Ralph McQuarrie, 1929–2012
March 3, 2012 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Ralph McQuarrie, legendary concept artist for Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and many other projects, has passed away at the age of 82. Previously, here and here.
posted by brundlefly (85 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by rmannion at 7:34 PM on March 3, 2012


Without him, Star Wars as we know it would simply not exist. At all.
In fact it very possibly could have looked like Logan's Run.

So many .'s

RIP
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:35 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by radwolf76 at 7:35 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by ZeusHumms at 7:35 PM on March 3, 2012


Also

|=O=|
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:35 PM on March 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


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posted by pemberkins at 7:36 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by brundlefly at 7:36 PM on March 3, 2012




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posted by Tesseractive at 7:41 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by pts at 7:41 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by razorian at 7:44 PM on March 3, 2012


. -- Such great, iconic stuff.
posted by LucretiusJones at 7:45 PM on March 3, 2012


Probably the only true artist of the entire series.
posted by empath at 7:45 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by middleclasstool at 7:47 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by grabbingsand at 7:48 PM on March 3, 2012


Probably the only true artist of the entire series.

Alright chief, you're gonna apologize to Mr. Dee Wiiliams right here and now in front of everybody, or I'm gonna call you out over in MeTa.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:49 PM on March 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


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The future is a little less bright
posted by Renoroc at 7:51 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by immlass at 7:53 PM on March 3, 2012


Ralph McQuarrie. Wow. I'd like to do a whole ASCII Death Star here. Instead:

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(Not enough. Goodspeed, Ralph.)
posted by SPrintF at 7:56 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by usagizero at 8:00 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:00 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by Trurl at 8:01 PM on March 3, 2012


Crap. I miss the guy already.

One thing about the original Star Wars films that's underappreciated is how "lived in" the universe looks. Tatooine is a messy, dirty, sandy outpost. And the Millennium Falcon is an old greasy pile of jury rigged space parts that happens to run exceptionally well because the space pirate and his Wookie co-pilot just happen know every inch of the ship because they've had to do numerous repairs.

And when I see McQuarrie's sketches for Star Wars, I see that lived in-ness. He could draw a weird sci-fi world that people inhabited. And that's hard to do. He drew this universe that was like an outer space wild west. It wasn't a shiny utopia. It was an odd place where people actually lived and had day to day lives.
posted by mcmile at 8:13 PM on March 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 8:13 PM on March 3, 2012


    ,_~"""~-,
  .'(_)------`,
  |===========|
  `,---------,'
    ~-.___.-~

posted by Strange Interlude at 8:22 PM on March 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by cupcakeninja at 8:24 PM on March 3, 2012


Oh goodness. A visionary whose vision shaped the worlds of many people my age.

A most profound .
posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by TwelveTwo at 8:35 PM on March 3, 2012


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That's no moon.
posted by Artw at 8:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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As a child, I remember getting a Star Wars book with a bunch of his concept art in it. And I remember thinking it was stupid because it didn't look exactly like the movie. I was a stupid child.
posted by hanoixan at 8:41 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by oneironaut at 8:50 PM on March 3, 2012


Han drew first.







anyone?
posted by oneironaut at 8:50 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So compelling with such a clean style.
posted by meinvt at 9:00 PM on March 3, 2012


Certainly the original trilogy would have been a whole different, and lesser, beast without his amazing concept work. Lucas' half-imagined universe became flesh with McQuarrie's pen. His drawings are the stuff of my childhood dreams.

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posted by eyeballkid at 9:12 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 9:20 PM on March 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 9:20 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by ericales at 9:33 PM on March 3, 2012


Recommended it before, likely will again; Illustrated Star Wars Universe, if you like sci-fi, or art, or McQuarrie, or space, or robots, and have ~17$, it is well worth it, the book shows well how deeply that whole mythos has been influenced by so many people contributing to a big huge multi-media scrap-book project. He will have influenced and inspired many artists already, and hopefully his work will not be forgotten, and many more to come.
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posted by infinite intimation at 9:34 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by George Lucas at 9:45 PM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by ipe at 9:47 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by entropicamericana at 9:47 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by MythMaker at 9:49 PM on March 3, 2012


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posted by theartandsound at 10:00 PM on March 3, 2012


I can't look at these paintings without flashing back hard to my childhood. The hours I spent gazing at his work...

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posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:01 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, I was just thinking about him the other day. I have a portfolio of prints of his New Hope work, the same ones in the first link. I spent hours and hours studying them.
posted by Xoebe at 11:06 PM on March 3, 2012


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His illustrations never failed to amaze me and spark my imagination. I'm going to be hanging out with Syd Mead later on this week and I'm sure that Syd will have some fun stories to tell about Ralph. Their work was of a time, place, and arguably skill level, that is extremely lacking in the illustrators of today. When you're completely dependent on digital tools, you lose so much of the 'lived in' quality mentioned earlier. His matte paintings and character studies fully fleshed out in gouache the universe we've all come to know and love from the original trilogy. May he rest in peace.
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 11:07 PM on March 3, 2012


Bohemia Mountain: "I'm going to be hanging out with Syd Mead later on this week"

You know. Like ya do.

Wait, what?!
posted by brundlefly at 11:19 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you for my youth.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:24 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know they were just mentioned recently in another post but I have to add that watching the original trilogy in "despecialized" form would make an excellent tribute, I think, to his art's influence as it was meant to be seen.
posted by trackofalljades at 11:40 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by ChrisR at 12:15 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by equalpants at 12:37 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by condour75 at 12:40 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by germdisco at 12:42 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by WalkingAround at 1:40 AM on March 4, 2012


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his work was such an inspiration. damn
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:40 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Joey Michaels at 1:54 AM on March 4, 2012


I'd love, even if only for a day, to see the world we live in as someone as creative as McQuarrie does. His visual imagination and the art he created literally illustrated my childhood.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:03 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Smart Dalek at 2:24 AM on March 4, 2012


This man basically drew my childhood.

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posted by Cyrano at 2:51 AM on March 4, 2012


Me too. Thanks for the imagination fuel sir.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:54 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by trip and a half at 2:55 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by kandinski at 3:02 AM on March 4, 2012


Davy Jones and Ralph McQuarrie? This week sucks. Rest in peace, you incredibly imaginative and talented man, and thank you for the pretty pictures in my brain.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:42 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by djeo at 3:49 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by armage at 3:55 AM on March 4, 2012


For me, we live in a post-McQuarrie age. His aesthetic impact on popular culture is maybe without peer.
posted by specialbrew at 4:30 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by sciencejock at 5:18 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Atreides at 5:49 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Legomancer at 6:32 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Foosnark at 6:53 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Fleebnork at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by dbiedny at 7:06 AM on March 4, 2012


That era was really a high-point in artistic design of science fiction movies. People like McQuarrie, H. R. Giger, Ron Cobb, Chris Foss and Syd Mead were doing amazing work in the late seventies and early eighties.
posted by octothorpe at 7:10 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by KHAAAN! at 8:52 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Dr. Zira at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by sidesh0w at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Snyder at 9:38 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by ob1quixote at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Splunge at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2012


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posted by Bron at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2012


"I am deeply saddened by the passing of such a visionary artist and such a humble man. Ralph McQuarrie was the first person I hired to help me envision Star Wars. 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.'

"Beyond the movies, his artwork has inspired at least two generations of younger artists—all of whom learned through Ralph that movies are designed. Like me, they were thrilled by his keen eye and creative imagination, which always brought concepts to their most ideal plateau. 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. Beyond that, I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator."

George Lucas
posted by brundlefly at 8:46 PM on March 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


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posted by cjelli at 8:47 AM on March 5, 2012


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posted by Gelatin at 10:22 AM on March 5, 2012


Lovelyh collection of large images form concept ships
posted by Artw at 6:16 PM on March 10, 2012


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