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Star Wars Conceptual Artist Ralph McQuarrie Dies at 82

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the may-the-force-be-with-you dept.

Star Wars Prequels 65

First time accepted submitter puddingebola writes "Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual designer that created the look of characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, and helped design sets and scenes for George Lucas has passed away at 82. From the article: 'The success of his Star Wars paintings launched a late feature film career for McQuarrie that included helping design such classics as Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, Back to the Future, Cocoon, Total Recall, and the original TV series Battlestar Galactica.'"

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65 comments

Lack of Gamemaker? (-1, Offtopic)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241089)

I think this is what happens when you don't use Gamemaker.

Re:Lack of Gamemaker? (-1, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241131)

So you are implying that people who make me-too copycat games on computers never die?

Well, that does explain the Apple App Store to a large degree.

Re:Lack of Gamemaker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241157)

Woosh! But hey at least you got some anti-Apple digging in, thats worth some Slashdot geek points isn't it. If you wish hard enough, one day you may even be able to talk to girls!

Re:Lack of Gamemaker? (1, Funny)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241777)

Woosh! But hey at least you got some anti-Apple digging in, thats worth some Slashdot geek points isn't it. If you wish hard enough, one day you may even be able to talk to girls!

AC what you did there.

Re:Lack of Gamemaker? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241219)

I think this is what happens when you don't use Gamemaker.

He lived a long life, produced things, supported himself and didn't burden taxpayers.

In short, he was defnitely not a nigger.

Re:Lack of Gamemaker? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242959)

...nor was he a white bank manager...

Here's to you! (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241121)

I dedicate this bowl of weed to the great designs you drew and kept me entertained for so many years!

Here's to you!

Re:Here's to you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241271)

And this brick of hash!

Re:Here's to you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241413)

and this brownie!

Re:Here's to you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241515)

And my axe!

Re:Here's to you! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241465)

Wonderful. Praise from a drug addict.

Re:Here's to you! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241517)

Says the conservative, anti-marijuana Christian who has been refilling his Oxycontin and Percocet prescriptions ever since having stubbed his toe 4 years ago.

GTFO, Hillbilly heroin junkie.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Here's to you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241749)

Not conservative, not religious, not American and I don't use drugs of any kind, but nice try. Actually, it's quite telling of your own nasty habits that you would even assume those things.

Enjoy your lung cancer, memory loss and incessant ennui. :)

Re:Here's to you! (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273303)

Enjoy your lung cancer,

Huh? Quite the contrary?

memory loss

Huh? Not really.

incessant ennui.

Huh? From weed? You see, you don't KNOW anything about "drugs". BTW do you drink alcohol ("hard" drug)?

Re:Here's to you! (0, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241769)

So what should he have said?

This beers for you? Props for my homies while spilling out malt liquor? Dedicated his next toxic cigarette?

You can be physically addicted to both alcohol and cigarettes. No so with marijauna.

Of course... there is also the fact that alcohol and cigarettes kill vastly more people each year and are a tremendous burden on the economy with health care costs.... but you keep right at it with the baseless denigration of the poster simply because of his preference on how he relaxes and achieves an altered state.

There is no difference between the raising a glass of wine/beer and toasting this man, and raising a bowl to do the same. The sentiment is the same.

Re:Here's to you! (-1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241819)

So what should he have said?

This beers for you? Props for my homies while spilling out malt liquor? Dedicated his next toxic cigarette?

You can be physically addicted to both alcohol and cigarettes. No so with marijauna.

Of course... there is also the fact that alcohol and cigarettes kill vastly more people each year and are a tremendous burden on the economy with health care costs.... but you keep right at it with the baseless denigration of the poster simply because of his preference on how he relaxes and achieves an altered state.

There is no difference between the raising a glass of wine/beer and toasting this man, and raising a bowl to do the same. The sentiment is the same.

If he doesn't look down his nose at you because you ingest a substance he doesn't approve of, it will be because you listen to music he doesn't approve of or read books he wouldn't read himself. That kind of false superiority is the only kind of self-hood people like him have.

In short, he is not mature enough to be reasoned with in an adult manner.

Re:Here's to you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242375)

And a stoner who models their life after "Cheech & Chong" is mature? I'm sorry, but if you need mind altering substances to bring value to your life, then you must have a pretty horrid life.

Re:Here's to you! (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242775)

And a stoner who models their life after "Cheech & Chong" is mature? I'm sorry, but if you need mind altering substances to bring value to your life, then you must have a pretty horrid life.

I don't believe it is proper to model one's life after any stereotype or Hollywood image. I'd rather be an individual and so would anyone else who truly understands what this means. That this model in particular bothers you is irrelevant to me. To me, they are all equally abhorrent and phony when viewed as anything more than entertainment.

The hinge of your statement is "need". Mind altering substances can also be appreciated. I would say that if you need to use a Web site to bring value to your life, that's also a horrid life. Yet, someone can use and enjoy a Web site without making it the center of one's existence. You could say that about hobbies, movies, relationships, anything really; for all of those things there is an unhealthy way of being too attached to them and giving them undue importance. We call the the unhealthy ones fanboys, zealots, and codependents. We call the healthy ones people who enjoy their free time.

To treat drugs as anything unusual or special is your particular hang-up. The inability to recognize it as such that prompts you to blame others for not living as you do is a character flaw and an area in which you are emotionally immature. It is the difference between someone who simply does not belong to a religion but honors the freedom of those who do, versus someone who hates all religious people and would love to shut down every church. You merely found a form of bigotry that is less likely to be challenged than hating people of faith, people of color, people of a particular gender, etc.

Re:Here's to you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39247537)

blame others for not living as you do is a character flaw and an area in which you are emotionally immature

Yet here you are doing the same thing.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39265527)

blame others for not living as you do is a character flaw and an area in which you are emotionally immature

Yet here you are doing the same thing.

If you wish to see it that way, then you shall. There are none so blind as those who will not see...

Re:Here's to you! (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39252923)

Look, I love you for all the things you say. But I smell troll. So it's better if you just leave it alone, too.

It's extremely difficult to convince people who are so sure of themselves, even if that what they're so sure about doesn't hold water.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39265373)

Look, I love you for all the things you say. But I smell troll. So it's better if you just leave it alone, too.

It's extremely difficult to convince people who are so sure of themselves, even if that what they're so sure about doesn't hold water.

I appreciate what you're saying. If that AC were the only one who could have seen what I wrote, I wouldn't have bothered. It would unfortunately be little more than pearls before swine, though I hold out the hope that when he decides he's better than swine he'll remember that someone spoke to him as an equal and appreciate the grace he was shown.

Troll or no, my hope is that an explanation coming from a spiritual place of what is and isn't a wholesome way to relate to anyone or anything would have had value to someone. If a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool troll gives me cause to provide that, then I would say the situation is redeemed no matter what he intended. I like that because then his bullshit intentions are solely his own problem, as they should be.

Re:Here's to you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243085)

The fact that you are unable to think of anything that could have been said which doesn't involve drugs use is sad.

The physical addiction of nicotine is actually not the reason why smokers have such a difficult time quitting, it's the mental addiction. The same is true for marijuana and a lot of other drugs. I have known many people who could not muster the willpower to stop smoking marijuana, despite it being "non-addictive".

I never said anything about alcohol or cigarettes being less harmful, so I am not sure why you would assume that I believe so. I agree that smoking/consuming marijuana is less harmful, but that still doesn't make it harmless or a particularly intelligent thing to do. Additionally, it is awfully hypocritical of you to denounce alcohol and cigarettes while criticising me for my "baseless denigration" of marijuana. Some drinker or smoker could lodge the same criticism against you because alcohol and cigarettes are less harmful than heroin or cocaine.

Besides, I don't smoke, drink or take any drugs, which renders the entirety of your post null and void.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39273315)

The physical addiction of nicotine is actually not the reason why smokers have such a difficult time quitting, it's the mental addiction.

BULLSHIT.

Re:Here's to you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242025)

Wonderful. Praise from a drug addict.

FYI most of the old designers and artists are/were stoners. I never touch the stuff myself but I know Ron Cobb was a stoner back in the day, I'm not sure about McQuarrie. The famous example was all the drug imagery in Fantasia. The dancing mushrooms were there for a reason. I know of few designers that don't have a drug of choice and if you include alcohol and cigarettes I think the number comes out at zero.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242227)

You stupid fuck. Despite being a "drug," weed is FARRRR less immediately damaging to him and those around him than alcohol will ever be.

If he smokes a bit much, he'll be happy and possibly very hungry. If he were to drink a bit much, he could get into a fight and/or drive home drunk and potentially kill someone.

Guess which is worse? Oh, I forgot, you drink so it's okay for everyone else to do so.

Goddamn. I don't do either, yet I STILL see the fallacy in this whole anti-weed b.s.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242917)

Angry AC is angry and probably a stoner and is overlooking the obvious. If you get stoned, you can drive home and potentially kill someone. Dunno about the US, but in New Zealand you can now be arrested for driving while under the influence of most drugs.

Re:Here's to you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39244367)

You stupid fuck. Despite being a "drug," weed is FARRRR less immediately damaging to him and those around him than alcohol will ever be.

If he smokes a bit much, he'll be happy and possibly very hungry. If he were to drink a bit much, he could get into a fight and/or drive home drunk and potentially kill someone.

Guess which is worse? Oh, I forgot, you drink so it's okay for everyone else to do so.

Goddamn. I don't do either, yet I STILL see the fallacy in this whole anti-weed b.s.

And here is one of the major issues with weed, people don't realise how much it screws up your ability to handle a 2 tonne vehicle travelling at 50 mph. We all know how bad alcohol is for your reaction times due to it being bombarded onto us 24/7 but not many realise that weed does the same or worse.

Re:Here's to you! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242725)

Whoa. And what makes you believe that this recently deceased person would have approved of your illegal self-harm (drug use) and financing of the international drug mafia?

Get some help, junkie.

Re:Here's to you! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243921)

Yeah it hasn't been a good couple of days as we lost Ronnie Montrose too, total bummer. Star Wars and Montrose, two things that helped to make the 70s a blast.

Why God why!? (2, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241159)

Couldn't it have been George. Cruel I know, but so is what he does seemingly for a living now- destroying my childhood and that of millions of other fans in the search for his ego. Queue the karma bonfire.

Re:Why God why!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241215)

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/115323-George-Lucas-is-Retiring-From-Film [escapistmagazine.com]

Maybe we can finally see what he is really capable of instead of milking SW for all its worth...

Wow, **everyone** get's a +1 Insightful (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241571)

From the article linked to above:

"Why would I make any more," Lucas stated about continuing with his popular sci-fi universe, "when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"

Re:Wow, **everyone** get's a +1 Insightful (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241667)

That's the point. I think everyone wants him stop. He's just now getting the message and trying to seem like it's or fault he produces crap like the last Indy film, the prequels, and the mediocre Red Tails. Obviously I was kidding wishing his physical death, but I cheer his supposed cinema production death.

Dwayne Johnson = Han Solo? (1)

Vecanti (2384840) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241889)

He's not retiring.

I'd bet anything is working on recasting and re-filming the Original trilogy all together. Staring The Rock!

Re:Dwayne Johnson = Han Solo? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242933)

And he'll chemically process the masters so he can film it again over any remaining frames of the original.

Re:Why God why!? (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242283)

destroying my childhood

"Destroying your childhood?" WFT? Look, I was ten years old when "Star Wars" came out. I saw it every Saturday matinee in the theatre for 13 weeks. I bought all the comics and had the toys. As far I was concerned it was the greatest thing ever. Then, later on, Lucas mucked with it. Did it 'destroy my childhood?' Not even close. My childhood is attached to watching all those showings with my buddies, maybe with a bucket of popcorn - Lucas can't ever destroy that.

Re:Why God why!? (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242793)

I used the term in it's figurative sense. It's an expression, but rooted in my real frustration with Lucas. Not every common expression means exactly what the words specifically suggest; and this is one of those cases. Perhaps I should have said Lucas damaged the fantasy that was the "universe" in Star Wars through his never-ending manipulation. I forgive and usually openly accept "directors cuts" like the first Special Edition, I bought them and enjoyed them. Heck maybe that was his original vision (which he stated at the time), I mean new tech in CGI did allow stuff in 1997 he could have dreamed-up in the 70's but never created during the original filming. However the further alterations on Blu-ray which use no new technology (NOOOOOOO!!!) or methods just bother me and make me question the value of his earlier "adjustments". The new Indy film, and his continued weakness in his self-professed passion-film Red Tails, and the participation in the current convert-to3D fad all concrete his inability to innovate outside the GCI/FX enhancement realm. Further they suggest what many critics have suggested, that he doesn't value art at all, and would rather keep stringing fans along. I would argue that his largest crime to moviemaking is his obsession with constant "newness" has created the Micheal Bay period of film we are currently stuck in. Looking at movies like THX 1138 and American Graffiti shows a filmmaker who had huge potential early on, but lost to his affliction with the new shiny and need to expand his fortune at the expense of his integrity. Pardon the cliche, but he has become the darkside of today's American cinema.

Re:Why God why!? (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39245419)

Hell no! He's still gotta make the originally-promised episodes 7 thru 9.

And he needs to hurry it up, he's getting old.

I've wanted to see Episodes 7-9 far more than I ever wanted to see eps 1-3. What happens NEXT, not what happened before. (Tho I did want to see the story of the Clone Wars, but he severely botched that compared to my mental vision. Never thought it would be as lame as just hundreds of clones of Jango Fett. I imagined it more as where every warrior had a few clones, and they did the actual fighting rather than the clonee.)

Re:Why God why!? (1)

Vastad (1299101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39252883)

I am OK with this as long as Lucas doesn't write ANY of it. If they could somehow merge the Zahn Trilogy [wikia.com] and Dark Horse's first Expanded Universe comic Dark Empire [wikia.com] into a credible 9-hour long 3 feature film set, I would be a very happy man.

But it's not going to happen.

Re:Why God why!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39248149)

SeropuGrow up.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241217)

I guess this will give Lucas yet another reason for a re-re-release?

I find it funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39241577)

Some of these comments would've got modded down to the ground almost instantly if they were in that article about that "programming prodigy" little girl who died. But if it's some old guy, it's fine.

And people wonder why "for the children" laws get passed so easily...

Re:I find it funny how... (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 2 years ago | (#39241815)

Children are tasty, with the right seasoning...

But in all seriousness, McQuarrie was a great conceptual artist and worked on such a myriad of great things, it's a big hole to fill. But I suspect in the age of CGI and Michael Bay "Writing the script as he goes along".... we won't see McQuarrie's like again. The golden age of Hollywood didn't die with the Studio System. It died when Michael Bay was allowed behind the camera. Talk all you want about Lucas' asinine dialogue and plot holes, but Michael Bay makes Lucas' work look like fucking Shakespeare.

Why hasn't someone dropped a bus on Michael Bay?

Re:I find it funny how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243043)

They tried, but nobody could get an explosion that was big enough...

What the fuck, slashdot?

Slow Down Cowboy!

Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

It's been 8 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

Eight minutes isn't long enough to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment?

Link to concept art images (4, Interesting)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242051)

Hate to be on-topic, but what the hell:
Article on Tor.com [tor.com] with some images from some of his other concept art. I always get a kick out of seeing hand-painted 70s-80s concept art. Cognitive dissonance-- "old fashioned" sci-fi imagery.

RIP (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242063)

I used to think the day Lucas decided he would direct the prequels as the worst day ever in the Star Wars universe.
I was wrong.
 
RIP, good sir. Thanks for everything.

A kind man to a young fan (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242251)

When I was in the midst of my elementary school Star Wars fever I was also a collector of autographs. I made a point of tracking down more obscure people tied to the films, including Mr. McQuarrie. I sent him a letter and a drawing or two and was amazed to get a wonderful handwritten response, with his own little sketches in the margins and offering tips on my artwork. I then wrote back, with more drawings, and got a second response with a similar, personal tone. He seemed genuinely surprised that there was interest in his work. I've never forgotten those kind responses and still have the letters.

I never met him or knew much more about his life (I believe he was a WWII vet), but those responses make me believe he was a kind and thoughtful guy. Thanks, Mr. McQuarrie, for taking the time to inspire a young kid in the midwest.

Shoulda encased hin in carbonite ... (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242731)

.. that way when the next Sith Lord gains enough unnatural abilities of the Dark Side to reverse death he'll be ok.

Re:Shoulda encased hin in carbonite ... (1)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39244743)

Or just a modest funeral, with an R2-D2 casket, perhaps one in excellent condition a real bargain, carried by 6 jawa pallbearers, with some John Williams scored procession music. yea it could work. The eulogy by Yoda could be a fun. Joking aside- Brilliant artist, had his posters in my room as a kid. I imagine that Star Wars would be be a cheesy mess without his art. He added wonder to my childhood, I'll remember his work fondly the rest of my life.

A hand I would love to have shaken... (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242757)

I do visual work for a living. We have a whole library of art we look at for inspiration and Mr. McQuarrie's right at the top of the list. His work not only affected my visual development as a youngin, I mean who at my age didn't see Star Wars, but for the rest of my life his paintings will be studied and, even if indirectly, they'll continue to serve to entertain the world.

I'm exhausted right now. I really wish I had the ability to speak more eloquently about this man. I'm just at a loss for words. I hear this man's name at least once a week and it seems like I'd just have a lot more to say. But I'm tired. I'm just going to leave it at this: I really wish I could have shaken his hand, both for personal and for professional reasons.

Farewell, Mr. McQuarrie. You were fantastic.

http://belovha.blogspot.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242903)

hi ,,,, nice artikel ,, i very like this ...

back link http://belovha.blogspot.com

Rest in peace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243147)

You helped to create one of the most striking stories of our times. May the Lord rest your soul in peace.

A childhood icon (1)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39246417)

Definitely an influential figure in my early years. A wonderful artist and imaginative soul.

Re:A childhood icon (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39247813)

Agreed. I had his "Art of Empire Strikes Back" portfolio pics up on my wall when I was a kid :)

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