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I didn't think the film would ever get made.
April 5, 2010 1:43 PM   Subscribe


 
God, I love McQuarrie. I don't like Star Wars much anymore (either trilogy), but the production design is amazing.
posted by brundlefly at 1:46 PM on April 5, 2010


This stuff rules, I used to stare at these paintings on the trading cards. McQuarrie is up there with Syd Mead in terms of sheer mind blowing conceptional architectural art .
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:52 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Interesting how viceral a reaction I had to the wrongness of seeing a storm trooper holding a light sabre.
posted by Think_Long at 1:54 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Am I missing something? I click on the images it takes me to Flickr and I see a very small image with no size options. I have a pro account.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:03 PM on April 5, 2010


When I open the first link Avast gives me a Trojan Horse warning, for the site penandpaperportal.com, malware name HTML:IFrame-KT [Trij].

False positive maybe?

I also get the same small images at flickr as doctor_negative.
posted by aerotive at 2:08 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got some sort of threat detection from these links
posted by KokuRyu at 2:11 PM on April 5, 2010


Am I missing something? I click on the images it takes me to Flickr and I see a very small image with no size options. I have a pro account.

Sounds like you're missing the pictures.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on April 5, 2010


Got the threat warnings, too.
posted by fijiwriter at 2:20 PM on April 5, 2010


"There was some sort of a rumor going around that there wasn't anybody over 30 working on [Star Wars], and I was 45. I never really knew what [the other artists] thought about that." McQuarrie was 45, and making more realistic spacecraft art for Boeing and CBS News's coverage of the Apollo space program before he started making some significant parts of the Star Wars visual feel. Very keen!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:20 PM on April 5, 2010


As a Star wars-crazed ten-year-old, I had a big commerically available folder of most if not all of these. They were gorgeous and about 1% as interesting to callow young me as my Kenner action figures... I sold the folder at a yard sale in 1982 for maybe a buck. Because I scarcely ever looked at it, it was in great condition, too. I am curious to know where that folder wound up. Is it in someone's treasured collection of memorabilia? Is it sitting on a dusty shelf in a comic store with a hundred-dollar price tag on it? Is it in a landfill?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:23 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you like sci fi concept art (and McQuarrie's stuff is definitely great), then I would recommend the blog Sci-Fi-O-Rama.
posted by Slothrop at 2:25 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


!!!
posted by griphus at 2:25 PM on April 5, 2010


These are awesome. Are there any truly hi-res versions out there? I'd really like to know. I'd frame some of these if I could.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:29 PM on April 5, 2010


wow, I hope he gets royalties for those designs because dang, he created that universe.
posted by zzazazz at 2:40 PM on April 5, 2010


Are there any truly hi-res versions out there?

From his site, RMQ links to Dreams and Visions Press, where you can buy an artbook. The Japanese soft-cover is selling for $50, which you could take apart and make into wall art, or scan it and enlarge to a degree.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:46 PM on April 5, 2010


If you wanted to point to one thing where the prequels simply didn't have the oomph of the original trilogy, you could do worse than pointing to the lack of Ralph McQuarrie.
posted by mightygodking at 2:47 PM on April 5, 2010


I just love this stuff. Thanks for the post.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:55 PM on April 5, 2010


It's interesting to see even the stormtroopers carrying lightsabers. Of course the reason that had to go is that, given their usual accuracy, the troopers would have ended up cutting themselves to shreds...
posted by Electric Dragon at 3:00 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I see these images, I'm back at the magic age again. Thanks for posting them.
posted by immlass at 3:00 PM on April 5, 2010


Man, if you look at the second image down you'll see that even in the conceptual art rendering Guido drew first. Fucking old man Lucas rewriting our shared cultural experiences.

*goes back to eating pizza rolls*
posted by Muddler at 3:05 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


This right here is the book with images and stories you're looking for...

Descriptions for each of Mr. McQuarrie's planet systems... as if they were written by "urban archaeologists"... includes a bunch of his art... well worth the discounted price it seems to be going for if you are into this sort of thing.
posted by infinite intimation at 3:32 PM on April 5, 2010


ricochet biscuit: As a Star wars-crazed ten-year-old, I had a big commerically available folder of most if not all of these. They were gorgeous and about 1% as interesting to callow young me as my Kenner action figures... I sold the folder at a yard sale in 1982 for maybe a buck. Because I scarcely ever looked at it, it was in great condition, too. I am curious to know where that folder wound up. Is it in someone's treasured collection of memorabilia? Is it sitting on a dusty shelf in a comic store with a hundred-dollar price tag on it? Is it in a landfill?

I was coming here to post the exact same thing! Except I don't think I even got a buck for them; probably just donated them to a bookstore or charity org that comes and takes your junk away.

Man I wish I had those things now.
posted by sharpener at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2010


I had the book that these were from when I was a kid! And let me tell you, they look so much better in a glossy coffee table book than on screen (though they still look great).
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:00 PM on April 5, 2010


even in the conceptual art rendering Guido drew first.

I don't know what to make of your statement, so I'm going to go get my friend Sigmund to help me out.
posted by komara at 4:23 PM on April 5, 2010


guido?
posted by bam at 4:32 PM on April 5, 2010


That's a great photoshop begging to be 'shopped, right there.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:02 PM on April 5, 2010


Look at the picture; Guido is the bounty hunter alien with the gun who Han Solo shoots in the cantina.
posted by axiom at 5:50 PM on April 5, 2010


As a kid, my Star Wars Album (a collection of McQuarrie's concept art and behind the scenes photos, etc - basically that which would comprise DVD extras today) was the most thumbworn book I owned. I'd pore over the sketches and marvel at how different the movies were while looking for clues about the next movie that they might contain.

As the trilogy went on, McQuarrie's art seemed tamed by the Star Wars universe. The movies began to ossify into canon and scripture while looking a lot more the concept drawings. I think they met each other halfway in a sense. The special effects technology finally evolved to render McQuarrie's and Lucas's imaginations more directly, but those imaginations ranged in a smaller area more defined by their past commercial success. I remember some funky early renderings of ewoks, but for the most part, everything is more directly translated by the time Return of the Jedi rolls around.
posted by Verdant at 5:59 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guido vs. Greedo
posted by komara at 6:09 PM on April 5, 2010


Man, redoing 'A New Hope' with guidos would be fuckin' amazin'!
posted by GuyZero at 6:12 PM on April 5, 2010


Reminds me of why I loved Star Wars so. Before the prequel trilogy, anyway.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:42 PM on April 5, 2010


AVG gives me a threat warning also.
posted by various at 7:01 PM on April 5, 2010


Here's a bunch of 'em at least 1000px wide if you're looking for desktop wallpaper like me, and thank you for posting this, it reminded me about what was really cool about Star Wars.
posted by furtive at 8:24 PM on April 5, 2010


Even better quality McQuarrie wallpapers (all 1280px wide, files names end with numbers ranging from 001 to 031)
posted by furtive at 8:41 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I owned this set when the movie came out. They were like 18" x 7" or something like that. They were totally glossy. I owned the soundtrack album and would put on headphones and listen and look at the pictures and read the novelization of the movie. I saw the movie 20 times in 1977. It played for 4 months straight and then re-released it at Christmas. It made so much money and kids were so obsessed. It was incredible.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:54 PM on April 5, 2010


Wow, that concept art is phenomenal.

I always thought Lucas had a hand in the design, the feel of the original trilogy. Apparently the future is/was wholly designed and illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie, and we should be thankful that it looks so damn good, and vast.

Really, really vast.
posted by Sphinx at 11:46 PM on April 5, 2010


wallpaper? i want to print these things on canvas! anybody has a link to a higher resolution ??
posted by madeinitaly at 2:14 AM on April 6, 2010


Look at the picture; Guido is the bounty hunter alien with the gun who Han Solo shoots in the cantina.

So Jabba used to be a fat guy in a fur coat, and Greedo used to be an orange guy with spiky hair?

Makes sense.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


INT. MOS EISLEY - CANTINA

As Han is about to leave, Guido, a slimy orange-skinned alien with a short, spiky haircut full of product, pokes a gun in his side. The creature speaks in a foreign tongue translated into English subtitles.

GUIDO
Ay, yo, you goin' somewheah, Solo?
HAN
Yes, Guido. As a matter of fact, I was just going to see your boss. Tell Jabba that I've got his money.
Han sits down and the alien sits across from him holding the gun on him.

GUIDO
It's too fuckin’ late. You shoulda paid ‘im when you had the chance. Jabba's put some dough on ya head, so large that every mothafuckin’ bounty hunter in the fuckin’ galaxy will be looking for you. I'm fuckin’ lucky I found you first.
HAN
Yeah, but this time I got the money.
GUIDO
Yo, give it to me an’ Imma forget I fuckin’ found you.
HAN
I don't have it with me. Tell Jabba...

GUIDO
Jabba's don’t want none o’ ya shit. He ain’t got notime for smugglas who drop their fuckin’ shipments at the first sign of an Imperial fuckin’ cruiser.
HAN
Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
Han Solo slowly reaches for his gun under the table.

GUIDO
You can tell that shit to Jabba. He might only take ya fuckin’ ship.
HAN
Over my dead body.
GUIDO
That’s what I’m fuckin’ talkin’ about! I've been wantin’ to fuckin’ kill you for a long fuckin’ time.
HAN
Yes, I'll bet you have.
Suddenly the slimy alien disappears in a blinding flash of light. Han pulls his smoking gun from beneath the table as the other patron look on in bemused amazement. Han gets up and starts out of the cantina, flipping the bartender some coins as he leaves.

HAN
Sorry about the fuckin’ mess.

posted by grubi at 5:50 AM on April 6, 2010


I think they're using some of the abandoned/unused concept art for the Clone Wars TV series now.
posted by muckster at 7:46 AM on April 6, 2010


That seemed like an uninformed, casual, pedestrian-random recommendation of that book that I made... I bought it in 1995, it is still amazing. Highly recommended for any young person who is even remotely interested in Archaeology, anthropology, or any other type of person who likes to think about how cultures evolve (even imaginary ones).

You will be vastly more entertained by reading it for an hour than by watching some movie. (and entertained by looking at the full page coffee table book sized amazing reproductions of most/all of the images from these websites.)

Thank you very much for posting this, I have gone back to read it again, and examine those finely detailed artworks it contains, interestingly the Urban Archaeologist who is looking at and exploring "cloud city" from the Empire Strikes Back sees flying airwhales, Mr. McQuarrie invented the "flying whales that fly around on Kamino, the water planet in Attack of the Clones" (which is an awesome concept)... well there they are... flying airwhales, flying around Bespin... from way back. (also it is a book that was one of the only places where the "ideas behind the prequels" were first written down. Being from 1995, it contains some of the first descriptions of places/events/things that show up in the newer movies... from the time just before Mr. Lucas had committed to creating the new movies, a time before they had been written and completed by Mr. Lucas.)

His creativity and architectural skill are on full display in the section on "coruscant" the city-planet... the art he created is simply amazing; definitely a good chunk of that universe owes its existence and memorable nature to this man.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:28 PM on April 6, 2010


This seems like a good opportunity to plug my friend's Star Wars artwork, some of which is heavily inspired by McQuarrie and Joe Johnston.
posted by armage at 5:44 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


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