Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ralph McQuarrie, Visionary

It's hard to estimate how much power and influence a creator's work has on the world until after they have left us. In the case of Ralph McQuarrie, it hasn't been hard at all. Indeed, his contribution to science fiction has been known and felt for decades, long before we lost him just recently at the age of 82.

First and foremost, of course, Ralph was as much the creative engine behind the original "Star Wars" trilogy as George fact, it can safely be said we have Ralph to thank for those three movies being made. His concept paintings of key scenes in the first film helped George's pitch to convince 20th Century Fox to finance the production costs. The rest, as they say, is sci-fi history. Ralph didn't just go on to envision ships, worlds, settings and more for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi". His concept art was brought to life in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", the original "Battlestar Galactica", and more films from "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to "Cocoon" (for which he won an Academy Award) to "Jurassic Park". And Ralph's influence continues to make an undeniable impact today, esepcially in locales and worlds others have envisioned, including the look and feel of the "Mass Effect" games.

Rest in Peace, Ralph, and thank you for sharing your imagination with us.

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