The Star Wars Concept Art of Ralph McQuarrie

For this week’s Show and Tell, Norm gushes over the new Star Wars concept art book featuring all of the work of legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie. We chat with Brandon Alinger, who co-wrote the book and dug into the LucasFilm archives to find and rescan this artwork.

Comments (9)

9 thoughts on “The Star Wars Concept Art of Ralph McQuarrie

  1. Waaaaannnt!

    I’ve been low on cash for a couple of years. I have so much cool stuff like this to catch up on once I’m solvent again.

  2. I loved the “Art of…” books when they came out for Star Wars. I’m not aware of another film that predates Star Wars that had a book dedicated to the pre-production art of a film.

    While the above book certainly appears to be definitive, I think I have a particular fondness for the dozen or so pieces McQuarrie initially did to help sell Star Wars to the studio. These are pieces that appeared in the initial McQuarrie “Folio” that was published back in the 70’s.

    Those initial pieces got a lot “wrong” and that is part of their appeal. His Millennium Falcon looked (apparently) too much like the Eagle from Space 1999 (and morphed into the Rebel Blockade Runner). Female Luke Skywalker, etc. It shows an idea for a film still very much in flux — not wholly formed yet.

    The later art, for The Empire Strikes Back and on are less interesting to me. I think because it seems McQuarrie was no longer in the driver’s seat on concept design. At the time he painted the AT-AT “walkers” and “Snow-Speeders” the designed were already fully conceived.

  3. when i saw frank heft the book around on a creaturegeek video feed recently, i just went ahead and ordered it immediately. zero regrets, what a book! (i have an art book buying problem)

    it’s amazing how much time and phases of work, and phases of life it spans (, you’re right – a lot of a new hope work is general look-finding for star wars, whereas the general tone of the universe was already established by the time of empire and jedi, so naturally there’s less room for flux), but it’s also a really remarkably beautiful book, period. you can see how big it is in the video, and it’s got a surprising amount of weight even for a book its size. the paper feels good, the binding is a joy, they really went for a packaging apt for what they undertook with the content.

    expensive, but very much worth it!

  4. Love seeing this. This was excellent and I def want to add this my collection.

    However, is nobody going to talk about the dragon in the room? Who shot the video and decided to leave the dragon in the screen. I love it, as it adds more unspoken narrative to the authenticity of the shot, but would love to hear more about the reasoning to shoot at that angle. If this would have been me shooting the video, I would have changed my camera angle to exclude it. Just very curious on the reasoning.

  5. I really had to chuckle at Draco nodding in agreement to all that was said. I didn’t know he was also a Star Wars buff and a fan of McQuarrie! 😛

  6. I preordered this as soon as it was available!

    It is immersive, gorgeous and a total time waster- you can easily spend hours looking at it and lose track of time- I haven’t enjoyed a Star Wars book so much in a long time. I’d highly recommend the other McQuarrie books available from Dreams And Visions Press.

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