Any kid (or kid at heart) who passing through the eighties had some sort of indelible impression made by Ralph McQuarrie. He influenced so many decades before and after, but the obvious is any walking out of a theater during blockbuster season and spending all week trying to keep the imagery from flooding their heads. If you randomly chuckle when saying you need to phone home, imitate breathing behind a black helmet, or mention something about an object among ‘top men’…then indirectly you have this guy to thank. Anyone worth their lore knows the tale of this guy’s concept work being the only reason Lucas got a green light concerning a space opera.
If you read this and you agree with the statement(s) above at all, doodle something on a napkin and say thanks to McQ. Even post it as a comment. Maybe I will too.
One of the cool things about Mr. McQuarrie was turning down doing the prequel Star Wars episodes because he felt it should be passed to a new artist for the next generation. Very classy (even if I can’t remember when/where I read it).
To read a little more, check this great writeup from tor.com by Irene Gallo:
The comments at the bottom are fantastic as well, so do a favor and scroll down if you peek there.
(Hit the jump to see familiar imagery.)