StarWars.com talks with the authors behind a stunning two-volume collection hitting stores September 27.
When it comes to visually defining Star Wars, the first artist that comes to mind for many fans is Ralph McQuarrie. His artwork, from developing the original concepts of characters such as Darth Vader and C-3PO to matte paintings and posters, set the standard for the look and feel of the original Star Wars trilogy. Even to this day, McQuarrie’s style and concepts are still used to inspire the visual aesthetic for Star Wars Rebels. Now fans have the opportunity to examine the entirety of McQuarrie’s work for the Star Wars saga with a new collection from Abrams Books. Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, coming September 27, is a luxurious two-volume set that has every piece of McQuarrie Star Wars artwork rescanned and rephotographed, from conceptual paintings and costume designs to storyboards, book covers, and even Lucasfilm holiday cards.
Sharing over 2,000 pieces of McQuarrie’s work, this mammoth collection contains a treasure trove of never-before-seen illustrations, unpublished interviews, and reflections from the people who knew him best. How does one even know where to start documenting the ultimate book of one of cinema’s most influential concept artists? StarWars.com went straight to the source, and interviewed Brandon Alinger, Wade Lageose, and David Mandel, the three authors of Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie by e-mail.
StarWars.com: Ralph McQuarrie is often seen as the first person, besides George Lucas, to see the story of Star Wars, and created many of the saga’s most iconic looks. How did this book, collecting McQuarrie’s complete work on Star Wars, come about?
David Mandel: This is a book that Jonathan Rinzler, former executive editor at Lucasfilm, wanted to do for many years. While working on his Making Of series of books he saw the depth of the McQuarrie holdings in the Skywalker Ranch archive, which are just staggering. Jonathan had previously pulled in long-time Star Wars researcher Brandon Alinger to write Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy.
Brandon Alinger: I knew David and Wade Lageose as longtime McQuarrie artwork collectors and aficionados, so it was a logical partnership.