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Ralph McQuarrie

Posted by Nathan Strum, 04 March 2012 · 1,395 views

Label Artwork
An amazing artist - Ralph McQuarrie - passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Even if you can't place the name, you've seen his work, if you've ever seen:

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Star Trek IV
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Battlestar Galactica (the original series)

And many more...

Or played:

Vanguard (Atari 2600), which he did the label artwork for (possibly others, but that's the one I know of).

The Art of Star Wars was the first big "Art of..." book I ever owned, so even at a young age, I became familiar with his work and his name. If it weren't for his pre-production paintings that helped sell the movie to 20th Century Fox, it's safe to say Star Wars probably never would have happened. I've been heavily influenced by him as an artist since I was a kid. That's not to say I ever came close to painting the way he did, but it did encourage me to dream that I could.

Rest in peace, Ralph. Thanks for the amazing visions you shared with all of us.

The Concept Ships Blog has some great Ralph McQuarrie art posted in his memory.
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Thanks for the link! Truly awesome work. My favorite is the two Death Stars under construction. I've never seen that before. Seems to me there was an early draft of Jedi where that was part of the story - they weren't just building "a" new Death Star, but it was more of a production line. It's great to see a glimpse of that.
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New Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars book coming in 2016. Definite must-buy.

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