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Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars Conceptual Artist Ralph McQuarrie Dies at 82 65

First time accepted submitter puddingebola writes "Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual designer that created the look of characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, and helped design sets and scenes for George Lucas has passed away at 82. From the article: 'The success of his Star Wars paintings launched a late feature film career for McQuarrie that included helping design such classics as Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, Back to the Future, Cocoon, Total Recall, and the original TV series Battlestar Galactica.'"
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Star Wars Conceptual Artist Ralph McQuarrie Dies at 82

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  • Here's to you! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @03:25PM (#39241121) Journal

    I dedicate this bowl of weed to the great designs you drew and kept me entertained for so many years!

    Here's to you!

    • Yeah it hasn't been a good couple of days as we lost Ronnie Montrose too, total bummer. Star Wars and Montrose, two things that helped to make the 70s a blast.
  • Why God why!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @03:30PM (#39241159)
    Couldn't it have been George. Cruel I know, but so is what he does seemingly for a living now- destroying my childhood and that of millions of other fans in the search for his ego. Queue the karma bonfire.
    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      Unless he invents a time machine I think your childhood is safe.
    • destroying my childhood

      "Destroying your childhood?" WFT? Look, I was ten years old when "Star Wars" came out. I saw it every Saturday matinee in the theatre for 13 weeks. I bought all the comics and had the toys. As far I was concerned it was the greatest thing ever. Then, later on, Lucas mucked with it. Did it 'destroy my childhood?' Not even close. My childhood is attached to watching all those showings with my buddies, maybe with a bucket of popcorn - Lucas can't ever destroy that.

      • I used the term in it's figurative sense. It's an expression, but rooted in my real frustration with Lucas. Not every common expression means exactly what the words specifically suggest; and this is one of those cases. Perhaps I should have said Lucas damaged the fantasy that was the "universe" in Star Wars through his never-ending manipulation. I forgive and usually openly accept "directors cuts" like the first Special Edition, I bought them and enjoyed them. Heck maybe that was his original vision (which
    • by KlomDark ( 6370 )

      Hell no! He's still gotta make the originally-promised episodes 7 thru 9.

      And he needs to hurry it up, he's getting old.

      I've wanted to see Episodes 7-9 far more than I ever wanted to see eps 1-3. What happens NEXT, not what happened before. (Tho I did want to see the story of the Clone Wars, but he severely botched that compared to my mental vision. Never thought it would be as lame as just hundreds of clones of Jango Fett. I imagined it more as where every warrior had a few clones, and they did the actual f

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @03:33PM (#39241179) Homepage Journal
    "He's heading for that small moon..." th sky. Go easy, 'bro. Loved your work.
  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @03:49PM (#39241293)
    Chewie on that, Lucas!
  • by Dr Herbert West ( 1357769 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @05:44PM (#39242051)
    Hate to be on-topic, but what the hell:
    Article on [] with some images from some of his other concept art. I always get a kick out of seeing hand-painted 70s-80s concept art. Cognitive dissonance-- "old fashioned" sci-fi imagery.
  • I used to think the day Lucas decided he would direct the prequels as the worst day ever in the Star Wars universe.
    I was wrong.
    RIP, good sir. Thanks for everything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 04, 2012 @06:18PM (#39242251)

    When I was in the midst of my elementary school Star Wars fever I was also a collector of autographs. I made a point of tracking down more obscure people tied to the films, including Mr. McQuarrie. I sent him a letter and a drawing or two and was amazed to get a wonderful handwritten response, with his own little sketches in the margins and offering tips on my artwork. I then wrote back, with more drawings, and got a second response with a similar, personal tone. He seemed genuinely surprised that there was interest in his work. I've never forgotten those kind responses and still have the letters.

    I never met him or knew much more about his life (I believe he was a WWII vet), but those responses make me believe he was a kind and thoughtful guy. Thanks, Mr. McQuarrie, for taking the time to inspire a young kid in the midwest.

  • .. that way when the next Sith Lord gains enough unnatural abilities of the Dark Side to reverse death he'll be ok.
    • Or just a modest funeral, with an R2-D2 casket, perhaps one in excellent condition a real bargain, carried by 6 jawa pallbearers, with some John Williams scored procession music. yea it could work. The eulogy by Yoda could be a fun. Joking aside- Brilliant artist, had his posters in my room as a kid. I imagine that Star Wars would be be a cheesy mess without his art. He added wonder to my childhood, I'll remember his work fondly the rest of my life.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:38PM (#39242757)

    I do visual work for a living. We have a whole library of art we look at for inspiration and Mr. McQuarrie's right at the top of the list. His work not only affected my visual development as a youngin, I mean who at my age didn't see Star Wars, but for the rest of my life his paintings will be studied and, even if indirectly, they'll continue to serve to entertain the world.

    I'm exhausted right now. I really wish I had the ability to speak more eloquently about this man. I'm just at a loss for words. I hear this man's name at least once a week and it seems like I'd just have a lot more to say. But I'm tired. I'm just going to leave it at this: I really wish I could have shaken his hand, both for personal and for professional reasons.

    Farewell, Mr. McQuarrie. You were fantastic.

  • Definitely an influential figure in my early years. A wonderful artist and imaginative soul.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )

      Agreed. I had his "Art of Empire Strikes Back" portfolio pics up on my wall when I was a kid :)

Air is water with holes in it.