March 03, 2012.
I'm sure all of you are aware that on Saturday, visionary artist and brush for the imagination of George Lucas, Ralph McQuarrie, died. GardenSnake encouraged me to post something here, but to be honest, I've been avoiding it. But he's right. Ralph should be remembered here. Just putting this together puts a lump in my throat still.
"...in 1974 the Empire existed only in the imagination and writing of George Lucas. To get the expensive intergalactic project off the ground, though, the filmmaker knew he would need more proof of his vision — that’s when he hired artist Ralph McQuarrie to paint vivid dispatches from this far-away galaxy and its alien landscapes, strange warriors and memorable machines.
The collaboration bottled-up a rare sort of lightning and the echo of its thunder grew louder with the news that McQuarrie, 82, died Saturday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease."
"McQuarrie had fought in Korea, illustrated catalogs, and found success as a technical artist for Boeing by the time Lucas, a generation younger, asked him to paint scenes he could take to the studio to persuade them to fund “Star Wars.” After seeing McQuarrie’s paintings, Fox executives gave Lucas the green light for the film."
"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.'
"... I will always remember him as a kind and patient, and wonderfully talented, friend and collaborator."
We'll miss you Ralph. You will forever be the brightest star in our galaxy.
His concept paintings were some of my earliest memories of Star Wars. What I love would not look the same, or possibly exist, without him.
Goodbye, and thank you.
Post edited 3/07/12 4:26PM