Around March of 1975, Ralph McQuarrie was asked to illustrate an unlikely screenplay entitled “Adventures of Luke Starkiller, As Taken from the Journals of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars.”
The title was later shortened to "The Star Wars" and later just "Star Wars." McQuarrie's initial conceptions of the character Chewbacca show a hulking short-haired figure with big eyes and pointy ears.
McQuarrie was doing “concept art” before the term existed, dreaming up the look of Darth Vader, C3PO, and R2D2.
The original pencil drawings and gouache paintings of McQuarrie’s Star Wars images were recently exhibited at the the CTN animation expo in Burbank, California.
McQuarrie later said, “I didn’t think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn’t be enough of an audience. It’s just too complicated. But George knew a lot of things that I didn’t know.”
The new book Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
has just been released. Spectrum founders Cathy and Arnie Fenner announced in the book that Ralph McQuarrie has won the Grand Master Award.
Congratulations, Mr. McQuarrie! You are an inspiration to us all.
LINKS and CREDITS
Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
The Illustrated Star Wars Universe (Star Wars)
Art © and TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. All rights reserved.