SWCA Recap: Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art

From the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim App

Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art

Lucasfilm executive editor J.W. Rinzler, Abrams senior editor Eric Klopfer and authors Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose discuss the seminal Star Wars artist and the upcoming book on his work. The new Abrams publication, set for release in Spring 2016, will be the most comprehensive volume of Ralph McQuarrie’s extensive Star Wars work ever assembled. McQuarrie’s long history with Lucasfilm will be covered in the discussion, from his early days working directly with George Lucas through the publications he worked on in the mid-90s. The team will talk about the process of creating the coffee-table book and show many highlight artworks in this exclusive preview. Track: Art, Classic Trilogy

Overall, it was a very good presentation. It gave me a further appreciation of Ralph McQuarrie and his work on the Star Wars films and related projects. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what Ralph went through during the making of these films and just how much work really went into making these beautiful pieces.

I am not going to give you a detailed account of what was discussed during this panel because this has already been done by Adam Kautzer. Instead I am going to give you a few of the pieces shown during the panel and my impressions of what was revealed or what I learned from these pieces.

Cover Reveal for the Ralph McQuarrie: Art of Star Wars


Some may think that the cover art is not appropriate because it is from one of the ‘Legends’ books instead of from the films. However, I really like the cover choice for this book. For me, this cover evokes both Star Wars and the art of Ralph McQuarrie without reusing artwork that has been used on the cover of other reference books.


Ralph’s famous painting with R2-D2 and C3PO that was used to sell Star Wars to the studio execs.

  
When searching through the LucasFilm archives, it was discovered that Ralph had two versions of this famous piece, each with different ‘facial’ features for C3PO. This was an interesting fact to me because I never realized that small details like facial feature could change the whole feel of a character. I wonder if this was a result of feedback from George Lucas or if one day he felt the character would be better with the other facial features?

LucasFilm is moving card

This was an interesting item for me to learn about because I did not realize that Ralph created this piece. In addition, based on what was shown in the panel, this was sketched out first and notes made on the sketch with changes. This tells me that even for small projects, like this one, Ralph put a lot of thought and care into what he was going to do before he put paint on the canvas.

The Emperor’s Throne Room in an underground cavern


I first heard about this piece of Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars Art from Paul Bateman, who apprenticed with Ralph. I was very happy to see to piece included in the presentation.  

Rancor Pit

  
Ralph created this with so much detail, especially the teeth and claws of the Rancor.  I just find this piece fascinating because it feels like this dangerous creature will just burst out from the canvas and tear everyone and everything apart.

I am looking forward to all of the other artwork, stories and anything else that will be revealed when this book comes out in 2016.

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About Patty Hammond

I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for an advertising firm. You can find me on Twitter as @pattybones2

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