This week marks the sad passing of conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie. The legendary conceptual artist not only inspired filmmaker George Lucas making Star Wars possible, but also other future directors, actors, screenwriters and more, not to mention millions of fans worldwide.
We asked some of our favorite celebrity fans what McQuarrie meant to them, as well as gathered the best celebs tweets that celebrated this one-of-a-kind artist.
Read more about Ralph McQuarrie and his work on Ralph McQuarrie.com.
Star Wars Prequels Producer Rick McCallum writes:
Ralph was the very first person I went to when we started prep on The Phantom Menace. When Ralph came to visit at the Ranch, he told me he just didn’t feel strong enough to take charge of the picture, but I felt sure I could convince him to change his mind. George and I were willing to work in any way that would make it possible for him to be part of the creation of the new trilogy. We had a great few days going over everything and finally when he told me he simply couldn’t take on the challenge because of his health, we took him into our conference room.
I showed him artwork from young artists from schools and visual effects companies throughout the world. We must have had at least 35 seriously talented artists work positioned throughout this big room. He walked around in total silence for nearly three hours, meticulously looking at everyone’s work and then he gathered Eric Tiemens, Ryan Church and Doug Chaing’s work and put them all together — then he sat down and looked at their work for what seemed like another hour and then suddenly he pointed at Doug Chaing’s samples and he exclaimed with urgency and a huge smile, “Yes, he’s the one!” And that’s how we hired Doug to become the Concept Designer on Episode I. And on Episode II and III, Ryan and Eric became the concept designers!
Ralph was a constant source of inspiration. We always had his art work hanging all over the art departments in the hallways and offices in London, Sydney and at Skywalker Ranch. There was never a single moment that I can remember not seeing someone looking, staring, or studying the beautiful and stirring images that Ralph created.
He was kind and decent — a consummate gentleman with a unique and beautiful perspective on our own world and those beyond. He will be sorely missed from our hearts but never ever forgotten.