WHO IS RALPH MCQUARRIE?
A talented conceptual artist with a vivid imagination, Ralph McQuarrie served as one of the major creative forces behind the first three Star Wars Films. McQuarrie's visionary paintings and concept drawings brought to life characters and locations that had previously existed only in the mind of George Lucas.
Born on June 13, 1929 in Gary, Indiana Ralph quickly took to design and creation. At age 10, Ralph began art classes and studied technical drawing in high school and landed his first major job with Kaiser Graphics in the 1950's. He soon moved to the Boeing Company where he sharpened his craft in mechanical drawing illustrating the latest concepts in air and spacecraft. Millions of Americans became familiar with Ralph McQuarrie's artwork during the televised CBS news coverage of the Apollo lunar missions. His graphic illustrations revealed to us the first stages of man's exploration of the universe.
In 1975 Ralph was hired by George Lucas to develop a series of conceptual paintings that were ultimately used to convince the executives at 20th Century Fox to finance Star Wars. Once the film was in production, Ralph continued working for what would become Industrial Light and Magic. Ralph's imagery helped define the look of the Star Wars universe, from Darth Vader and R2D2 to the Sandcrawler and Stormtroopers. In addition to the Star Wars Trilogy, Ralph's designs have been realized in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Cocoon (for which he won an Academy Award) and Battlestar Galactica (the original television pilot). Ralph's artwork has graced numerous science fiction and fantasy book covers, and was used to illustrate two collections of Isaac Asimov's robot stories.