Artist Spotlight: Ralph McQuarrie

Christopher Lee’s recent passing got me thinking about all of the people involved in the making of the Star Wars films who have passed on.  Unfortunately. the original was created long enough ago where even people who were relatively young during its production are now getting up in years and passing on.  Ralph McQuarrie, a concept artist for the original trilogy, passed on in 2012.  There is probably no man more responsible for the look of the original trilogy of films.  It was his artwork that helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund the original film.  His work is incredibly popular among Star Wars fans, and numerous collectibles have been based off of it.  Wookieepedia has a page featuring a lot of his work, and that’s where I’ve taken all of these images from.  Most of this stuff is concept art for the films, but some may be illustrations for works released after the films.

McQ Group Shot

A group shot featuring the characters that would eventually become Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO


Deak Starkiller, who would become Luke Skywalker, facing off against Darth Vader

MCQ R2 3P0

R2-D2 and C-3PO


Tusken Raiders squaring off against at Krayt Dragon

McQ Cantina

A showdown outside the cantina


Docking Bay 94

McQ Stormie

A group of Stormtroopers chasing after the heroes

McQ Falcon

The Millennium Falcon; the ship’s design was changed down the line to avoid resemblance to the Eagle Transports from “Space: 1999.”  The Falcon kept the cockpit, but the rest of the ship was re-purposed as the Rebel Blockade Runner.

Y-Wing Death Star

Y-Wings attacking the Death Star


TIE Fighters attacking an X-Wing


The Imperial Palace


Echo Base

McQ Snowtroopers

Snowtroopers advancing on the shield generator

McQ Rebel Turret

A Rebel turret

AT-AT Concept

AT-ATs attacking a Rebel on a Tauntaun


A group shot of the bounty hunters


The Carbon Freezing Chamber


The duel on Bespin


The Rebel briefing

McQ Endor

Luke being escorted to Darth Vader on the moon of Endor






The Emperor attacking Luke


– I mentioned that collectibles have been made based on McQuarrie’s work.  I figured I’d include some of them.

– In 2007, Hasbro released an action figure based off of McQuarrie’s work in each wave of the 30th Anniversary Collection, along with a few convention exclusive packs.  This picture was taken from’s Facebook page.

Yakface McQ figures

– Gentle Giant has been releasing a bust of McQuarrie’s work as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive bust each year since 2009.   This image of the lot was taken from user MaxWedge

MaxWedge McQ setup

– Kotobukiya released a statue based off of the second image in this gallery.


– EFX has created a replica based off of McQuarrie’s design for Vader’s helmet.


– Both Brian Rood and Tsuneo Sadna have released tribute pieces for McQuarrie, both of which can be purchased along with work done by McQuarrie at Dreams and Visions Press.

– McQuarrie actually cameoed in The Empire Strikes Back, and collectibles have actually been created based off of that.  I’m not going to include them because I doubt you actually care.  If you do, just search eBay for “General McQuarrie.”

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