Sunday, 11 March 2012

Obituary: 'The Man Who Brought Star Wars to Life'

The Star Wars 'architect' - Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph Angus McQuarrie (pictured) [June 13, 1929 – March 3, 2012] was the man who brought George Lucas' vision of the Star Wars saga to life. It was to be in 1975 when George Lucas would approach Mr McQuarrie in regards to the commissioning of the, what would later become, legendary 'Star Wars Universe'. McQuarrie initially designed some of the films major characters which would include C3PO, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2D2, with it being his idea that Vader wore a permanent breathing apparatus around his head. It was the result of his breathtaking drawing skills which convinced the key people at 20th Century Fox that Star Wars could be something special following its 1977 release. From this, the three prequels 'A New Hope', 'The Empire Strikes Back' and the 'Return of the Jedi' were all born, and he was the one to be who would sketch, illustrate and design Lucas' visions. It is with this that us at OBWD wish to salute the man, who inspired many generations, galvanised the imaginations of many and created a parallel universe for us to explore avidly. He is one of the greatest visual artists to have ever lived, and his legacy will be survived proudly by the Star Wars Universe.

"I just did my best to depict what I thought the film should look like, I really liked the idea. I didn't think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn't be enough of an audience. It's just too complicated. But George knew a lot of things that I didn't know."
—McQuarrie on Star Wars.