Ralph McQuarrie, Artist Who Helped Bring ‘Star Wars’ to Life, Dies at 82nted=2&ref=todayspaper


Ralph McQuarrie, the artist who transformed George Lucas’s rudimentary concepts and earliest scripts into lush, vivid images of intergalactic expanse and light-saber combat that became the visual core of the “Star Wars” saga, died on Saturday at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 82.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, said Stan Stice, a friend and co-author of the 2007 book “The Art of Ralph McQuarrie.”

Mr. McQuarrie had a hand in some of the most successful science-fiction and adventure films of the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. He created the original drawings for the mother ship in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977) and the spaceship for Mr. Spielberg’s “ET” (1982). He also did conceptual art for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Star Trek IV” (1986), “Batteries Not Included” (1987) and “Jurassic Park” (1993), as well as for the original “Battlestar Galactica” TV series....

Mr. McQuarrie was best known as the concept artist for the first three of the six “Star Wars” films: “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi” (1983). Mr. Lucas’s tale of cosmic civil war against the evil regime of Emperor Palpatine had been rejected by both United Artists and Universal when Mr. McQuarrie was brought on board. After Mr. Lucas placed before him illustrations from comic books and several pages from an early script for the first “Star Wars” film, Mr. McQuarrie came back with a dozen full-color renditions of Mr. Lucas’s imaginings....

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