Monday, March 5, 2012

Remembering Ralph McQuarrie

In marking the March 3rd passing of Ralph McQuarrie, I did not have to look far for an example of his conceptual art.  The above image came by way of a generous gift of Star Wars memorabilia from a fellow Typospherian.  You know who you are - thanks again!

The cast above includes one of the intermediate renditions of Darth Vader as well as the young Dirk/Luke Starkiller/Skywalker.  At one point, Han Solo was even more of a major character as you will see below.

In the words of Threepio, "I'm backwards!"  I can't bring myself to try this iron on transfer, but I have been happy to see many fine Star Wars t-shirts at Target and through the Thinkgeek catalog.  However, I will never look as good as this crew.

It would be impossible to overstate the influence and creative vision of Ralph McQuarrie.  Envisioning the Lucas Star Wars universe could not have been an easy task.  Even the lowliest, or in this case amazing, bit of Star Wars kitsch would not have been possible without him.

In rummaging through my Star Wars collection, I came across another image that carries on the T-shirt theme.  This comes from Stephen Sansweet's "Star Wars Scrapbook' The Essential Collection".  Interestingly enough, the guy in the logo below is not Dirk Starkiller or Luke Skywaler, it's Han Solo as envisioned by Ralph McQuarrie.

I'll never look this good, either.
And here is the story behind the first logo for The Star Wars; also from Sansweet's book.
 We also own signed lithographs of the conceptual art from the run down the Death Star trench and the Millenium Falcon in Docking Bay 94. These were impractical for scanning, but images abound on the web.  Not surprisingly, everything Ralph McQuarrie has gone up in price on ebay.  While these are not particularly rare, they have been reserved wall space in our family room for years.

This last image seems appropriate.  Ralph McQuarrie created special announcements and a beloved series of Christmas cards for the Star Wars empire.   He has moved on, but will always be revered among the Star Wars faithful.


  1. Seems like I've triggered a cool post with cool Star Wars stuff.

  2. The inspiration was appreciated :)

  3. Great post! May the force be with you :)


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