Star Wars, Ralph McQuarrie Remembered

Original Star Wars concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie, was a visionary and inspired many.

When I was very young, my mother introduced me to the star wars phenomenon, and all its ground breaking work in the film industry. I feel so many great creatives and amazing film making techniques came out of the trilogy (I’m only counting the first three movies that came out). All three of those movies go down in history as some of the best movies ever made, some even broached the top ten list of the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies which is determined by the American Film Institute. Obviously there are many amazing movies on that list, but these three were groundbreaking in their own way. They had scours of talented artists, musicians, editors, etc pour their heart and soul into them.


It all started with this man, Ralph McQuarrie. George Lucas himself admits that the story of star wars was so unique at the time, it would have never been produced without the beautiful conceptualization and artistic vision of Ralph McQuarrie. George Lucas’ entire presentation to the big production houses were really only relying on a dozen or so colorful drawings showing the world, its characters, the theme, and the general style of the story.

In the 7th issue of Starlog magazine, which came out in August 1977, the featured article was entitled “Preview of the Spectacular New Science Fiction Movie: Star Wars”. The article shows many behind the scenes photos of the movie and a few choice concept works by Ralph McQuarrie. Pictured in the first image of the gallery below is his Sandcrawler artwork. The article mentions, “the Sandcrawler is truly awe-inspiring in its conception. Not only couldn’t the whole thing be built, but the miniature stands four stories tall”.

So, rest in peace Ralph McQuarrie, your presence will be sorely missed.

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15 Comments on “Star Wars, Ralph McQuarrie Remembered”

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