Ralph McQuarrie

Generic titles such as "Production Illustrator" or "Conceptual Artist" were frustratingly inadequate when discussing the invaluable contributions to film made by Ralph McQuarrie. Originally an industrial design artist ... Read more »
Born: 06/13/1929 in Gary, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Art Department (4)

Night Breed 1990 (Movie)

Conceptual Artist (Concept Artist)

Cocoon 1985 (Movie)

conceptual artist (Art Department)

Return of the Jedi 1983 (Movie)

conceptual artist (Art Department)

Star Wars 1977 (Movie)

(Production Designer)
Visual Effects & Animation (4)

Night Breed 1990 (Movie)

title designer (Titles)

Batteries Not Included 1987 (Movie)

spaceship designer(ILM) (Visual Effects)

Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 (Movie)

illustrator (Visual Effects)

Battlestar Galactica 1978 (Movie)

effects illustrator design (Visual Effects)
Other (4)

Star Trek IV 1986 (Movie)

visual consultant (Consultant)

The Empire Strikes Back 1980 (Movie)

matte art design consultant (Consultant)

The Empire Strikes Back 1980 (Movie)

conceptual art (Other)

Star Wars 1977 (Movie)

production illustrator (Production)

Biography

Generic titles such as "Production Illustrator" or "Conceptual Artist" were frustratingly inadequate when discussing the invaluable contributions to film made by Ralph McQuarrie. Originally an industrial design artist, McQuarrie's life and career would be forever altered when he was approached by an imaginative and incredibly ambitious young director by the name of George Lucas. As the first design artist hired by Lucas, he proved integral in shaping the very fabric of the universe first seen in "Star Wars" (1977) and its industry-changing sequels. This fruitful collaboration led to important work with other directors like Steven Spielberg on films such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982). McQuarrie was rightfully recognized for his amazing work on the Ron Howard directed science fiction fantasy "Cocoon" (1985) when he won an Academy Award for Visual Effects. He also lent his impressive services to such notable efforts as "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1985), and later proved he was equally adept at working in the genre of horror with his stunning work on Clive Barker's dark fantasy thriller "Night Breed" (1990). As technically accurate as his professional credits may have been, when contemplating the enduring legacy left behind by Ralph McQuarrie, perhaps "visionary" was a more fitting appellation.

Milestones

1991

Worked as a conceptual designer in a short film for "Back to the Future...The Ride"

1990

Final feature film project, Clive Barker's horror fantasy "Nightbreed"; also designed title sequence

1985

Won Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Ron Howard directed "Cocoon"

1983

Created concept art for "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi"; designed Jabba the Hutt’s palace and sail-barge

1982

Designed the title character's spaceship in Spielberg's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

1981

Illustrated the Ark of the Covenant for Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

1980

Reteamed with Lucas for "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back"; created much of the look of the Rebel base on the ice planet Hoth; also cast in film as General McQuarrie

1978

Provided concept illustrations for the ABC sci-fi adventure series "Battlestar Galactica"

1977

Worked with director Steven Spielberg on designs for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

1977

Film debut, as production illustrator and visual effects artist in "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope"; created images of C-3PO and R2-D2, Darth Vader’s costume and helmeted mask, the armored Stormtrooper outfits, and portions of the planet-destroying De

1975

Approached by George Lucas to work on concepts and designs for the film that would become "Star Wars" (1977)

Began career as an industrial design artist for companies such as Boeing

Moved to California to study at the Art Center College of Design in the early 1960s

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