Ralph McQuarrie, 1929-2012

I knew Ralph McQuarrie’s name even before I began working on the STAR WARS property. This was the man who had helped George Lucas visualize what he was trying to do, back when the director’s eye was still earthbound. Here’s what George himself has to say.

By the time I finally “met” Ralph, I was editing a book called THE ILLUSTRATED STAR WARS UNIVERSE, which, with Kevin Anderson’s wonderful, in-character help, showed late-Nineties STAR WARS fans where it all came from. We printed, as accurately as we possibly could, some of Ralph’s concept paintings (he even did some especially for us), and Kevin’s beautiful, funny prose helped place them in context. We were focusing on places throughout the then-three-film canon, but also adding some locations that we book-people ourselves were concentrating on, such as Coruscant, the planet-spanning Imperial City.

I got to speak with Mr. McQuarrie during this project, and found him just as everyone else has: a soft-spoken, generous visionary who wanted his work reproduced as precisely as possible. I am so pleased that George continues to this day to acknowledge Ralph’s contribution to the STAR WARS universe. There was a great disturbance in the Force today.

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