Miscellaneous, Movies

Ralph McQuarrie, 1929-2012

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?Ralph McQuarrie passed away on Saturday at the age of 82. I was about to say “Artist Ralph McQuarrie,” but that doesn’t really do him justice, does it? The man was as responsible for the look of the Star Wars universe as George Lucas himself, as it was his paintings that took the nebulous ideas in Lucas’ head and brought them to visual life. Without him, we wouldn’t have Darth Vader as we know him — as well as Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, many of the planet locations, and much, much more. Hell, it was McQuarrie’s paintings that helped convince Fox to even fund the film, so his role in making Star Wars happen cannot be overstated.

Of course, he did more then Star Wars; he was also helped design the look of the original Battlestar Galactica, Cocoon, E.T., Star Trek IV, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. (for which I’ll give him a pass) and more. We lost a visionary this weekend, in the truest sense of the word.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.