Sunday, March 04, 2012
Ralph McQuarrie 1929-2012
It's equally impossible to estimate the impact McQuarrie had on generations now of subsequent artists. Not just visual artists and engineers - McQuarrie worked for Boeing before Star Wars - but writers like myself whose imaginations were fired by the paintings, sketches and books that followed in the wake of the Star Wars films. I'm primarily a visual thinker. I see scenes. I use a tremendous about of visual inspiration when I work and any time I'm writing I have photos, paintings, etc. close by. I have stacks of concept art books on my shelves. I have all the art books of McQuarrie's Star Wars art right next to books on Escher, Parrish, James Jean and other artists. I live in these books.
For the last 6 months or so, I've been writing a sci-fi novel set on a planet where night only comes once a year. I've been gathering material for this novel in one way or another since I first saw Star Wars. There is undeniably a lot of Star Wars and McQuarrie in the design of this world, its cities and its characters. Words will likely never convey what I see in my head, or the debt that I and so many others like me owe to Ralph.