Elizebeth Smith majored in English at Hillsdale (Michigan) College (B.A., 1915). He created the movie poster for cult-classic, 'The Legend of Boggy Creek', in 1972, as well as others for independent filmmaker, Charles B. A McQuarrie Star Wars design looks like what would have resulted if Salvador Dalí had sketched concepts for Universals 1936 Flash Gordon serial by way of Sergio Leones Old West. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. "It became less fun as time went on. Following the immense success of Star Wars, McQuarrie was brought in as concep… the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award. [5], McQuarrie's concept paintings were instrumental in helping Lucas to win approval from 20th Century Fox; armed with vivid illustrations of his planned movie, Lucas was able to convince Fox executives to take a gamble and fund his Star Wars project. McQuarrie initially worked for a dentistry firm, drawing teeth and equipment,[1] before working as an Artist and Preliminary Design Illustrator for the Boeing Company, where he drew diagrams for a manual on constructing the 747 Jumbo Jet, as well as designing film posters and animating CBS News' coverage of the Apollo space program at the three-man company Reel Three. For the original Star Wars, the special effects team had to come up with a believable size for the Death Star that would allow it to appear round in long shots, but still appear flat in close-ups, since these had to be created by using flat sections of model, placed on flat tables. [1] He served in the United States Army during the Korean War, surviving a shot to the head. His triangular ship design has been likened to the appearance of the Star Destroyers featured in Star Wars. Trendacosta, Katharine (July 23, 2016).

His career included work on the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ralph-Angus-McQuarrie, Turner Classic Movies - Biography of Ralph Mcquarrie. Corrections? But George knew a lot of things that I didn't know.". Updates? I didn't think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive.

Official Sites, Former conceptual design artist for Boeing. with a double major in Spanish and in theatre arts from Ripon College. [7] McQuarrie has said of his work on Star Wars, "I thought I had the best job that an artist ever had on a film, and I had never worked on a feature film before.

His early concept for C-3PO was visibly inspired by the Art Deco Maschinenmensch robot from Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis. [17], When Lucas began work on his sequel to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), McQuarrie was once again brought in to supply previsualization artwork. He died on March 3, 2012 in Berkeley, California, USA. While there, McQuarrie was asked by Hal Barwood to produce some illustrations for a film project he and Matthew Robbins were starting. |  [16] The design was later used in 2017's Star Trek: Discovery as the basis of the titular ship. . in fact, I think the look of the picture was more interesting to him than the plot. [19], McQuarrie designed the alien ships in Steven Spielberg's films Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and E.T. [12][13] A 1975 production painting of Darth Vader engaged in a lightsaber duel with Deak Starkiller (a character prototype for Luke Skywalker) depicts Vader wearing black armour, a flowing cape and an elongated, skull-like mask and helmet. |  Retrieved July 24, 2016. McQuarrie retired and his Star Wars concept paintings were subsequently displayed in art exhibitions, including the 1999 Star Wars: The Magic of Myth. "Star Trek: Discovery Officially Takes Place in the Prime Universe". Omissions? He also provided concept illustrations for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and the illustration of the Ark of the Covenant seen in … And Now Miguel (1953), Onion John (1958), and Henry 3 (1967), the last about a boy with an I.Q. [3] Several of McQuarrie's unused designs from the original trilogy were utilized for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels animated TV series,[21] including the planet Orto Plutonia, which was based on McQuarrie's original design of Hoth,[22] and the characters Zeb Orrelios and Chopper, based on his original designs for Chewbacca and R2-D2, respectively. Ralph Angus McQuarrie, American conceptual artist (born June 13, 1929, Gary, Ind.—died March 3, 2012, Berkeley, Calif.), created production paintings from a script by film director George Lucas that resulted in the look of Star Wars (1977) and its first two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); his work informed the appearance of the villainous Darth Vader and of the … He was married to Joan Benjamin. United States: Univision Communications. of 154 trying to get along in a society antagonistic to brains. Star Trek: Planet of the Titans did not make it past the pre-production phase and the project was cancelled in 1977. [on the visualization of Star Wars] George had ideas about how his picture would look. Like the film, the book was a runaway success, and McQuarrie began a long relationship with the publisher, producing the artwork for 22 further titles for Del Rey Books between 1978 and 1987. Assistant Editor, Encyclopaedia Britannica. The first edition of Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker went to press in 1976 featuring McQuarrie's version of Darth Vader's helmet on the cover. [23][24], McQuarrie married Joan Benjamin in 1983 and stayed married until his death at age 82 on March 3, 2012, in his Berkeley, CA home. Ralph McQuarrie was born on June 13, 1929 in Gary, Indiana, USA as Ralph Angus McQuarrie.

He died on March 3, 2012 in Berkeley, California, USA. He is known for his work on Cocoon (1985), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Pierce. During filming, Lucas ensured that many shots reproduced McQuarrie's paintings exactly, such was his esteem for McQuarrie's work. [10] Working from McQuarrie's artwork, the costume designer John Mollo devised a costume that could be worn by an actor on-screen using a combination of clerical robes, a motorcycle suit, a German military helmet and a gas mask.

[4] In 1975, Lucas commissioned McQuarrie to illustrate several scenes from the script of the film. [2] His production painting of R2-D2 and C-3PO wandering in the desert on the planet Tatooine was the first to be completed. His first influences came in the form of his parents. His career included work on the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica television series, the film E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and contributed conceptual art for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). Despite their scepticism, it became a huge success upon release in 1977. Both of them were artists and it was through them that he got his first taste of painting with watercolor and sketching. Ralph Angus McQuarrie, American conceptual artist (born June 13, 1929, Gary, Ind.—died March 3, 2012, Berkeley, Calif.), created production paintings from a script by film director George Lucas that resulted in the look of Star Wars (1977) and its first two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983); his work informed the appearance of the villainous Darth Vader and of the robots C-3PO and R2-D2 as well as many locations in the movies. He shared an Academy Award for best visual effects for his work on Cocoon (1985). [12], It was McQuarrie who first suggested that Darth Vader should wear a breathing apparatus. His sketches and production paintings established the appearance of some of the saga's most enduring elements, such as the gigantic AT-AT Walkers in the battle on the ice planet Hoth and the wizened elf creature Yoda. Ralph McQuarrie was a conceptual designer and futurist responsible for many of the designs and aesthetics featured in the original trilogy. Ralph McQuarrie was born on June 13, 1929 in Gary, Indiana. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the film Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award. He is known for his work on Cocoon (1985), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). the Extra-Terrestrial, and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award. McQuarrie's design for Cloud City, a floating city in the clouds, actually originated from his early sketches for Star Wars from 1975, when he was illustrating a concept for the planet Alderaan, as described in Lucas's 1975 draft script, Adventures of the Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. It's just too complicated. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the film Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award. [1] In 2007, McQuarrie became part of the Star Wars action figure range when an action figure in his likeness as "General McQuarrie" was produced for the Star Wars 30th anniversary in 2007. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro. Ralph Angus McQuarrie \mə-'kōr-ē\ (June 13, 1929 – March 3, 2012) was an American conceptual designer and illustrator. McQuarrie, who studied design in Pasadena, Calif., initially worked as a technical illustrator for Boeing Co. and crafted graphics for CBS television’s news coverage of the Apollo space program. He is known for his work on Cocoon (1985), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). There wouldn't be enough of an audience. [25] McQuarrie died from complications of Parkinson's disease. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). I kept meeting myself in my thinking. [1][1][6][9], Christian Blauvelt of Entertainment Weekly praised McQuarrie's works as "pioneering of the 'used future' aesthetic" which unlike other science-fiction, "imagined a lived-in galaxy that was gritty, dirty, and in advance states of decay." [7], Around the time that McQuarrie was completing his work on Star Wars, he was brought on board the design team for a planned cinematic production based on Gene Roddenberry's science fiction television series, Star Trek. American conceptual designer and illustrator, "I just did my best to depict what I thought the film should look like, I really liked the idea. Lucas agreed, and McQuarrie combined a full-face breathing mask with a Samurai helmet, thus creating one of the most iconic designs of space fantasy cinema. As technically accurate as his professional credits may have been, when contemplating the enduring legacy left behind by Ralph McQuarrie, perhaps "visionary" was a more fitting appellation. McQuarrie also designed the mother ship for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and the spaceship in E.T.

When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'do it like this'. [2][3], The young filmmaker George Lucas was impressed by McQuarrie's work and met with him to discuss his plans for a space-fantasy film, The Star Wars. It became more and more difficult to keep my enthusiasm up," McQuarrie has said. Our latest podcast episode features popular TED speaker Mara Mintzer. I still get fan mail — people wondering if I worked on Episode I or just wanting to have my autograph. Publicity Listings

[1][2][3][6] Among McQuarrie's Star Wars portfolio were concept paintings depicting scenes on the planet Tatooine, inside the Mos Eisley cantina, inside the Death Star and on the moon of Yavin. [14] The prop sculptor Brian Muir created the helmet and armour used in the film from McQuarrie's designs.

[15], McQuarrie's design brief specified Samurai influences, such as this kabuto helmet, Fan cosplay costume inspired by McQuarrie's original Vader design, The robot from Metropolis (1927) that inspired McQuarrie, While McQuarrie was working on visualisation work for Lucas, he was also commissioned by an executive of Ballantine Books, Judy-Lynn del Rey, to produce the cover art of the forthcoming novelization of Star Wars.



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