I was saddened to read of the passing of Ralph McQuarrie this evening. There are many remembrances on Facebook and Twitter, as there should be; his artwork helped make Star Wars into what we know and love.
I prized my copies of The Art of Star Wars and The Art of The Empire Strikes Back as a kid — they were my first real chance to see a lot of his concept drawings and paintings. I remember getting the Ballantine portfolio of his art for The Empire Strikes Back — and while I had plastered my room with just about every other Star Wars related piece of artwork (ruining with thumbtacks some posters that are very expensive today), I always kept the prints pristine.
I’m glad that we were able to do a little nod to his Vader/Starkiller painting with the cover to Star Wars: Knight Errant – Aflame #3; it’s my favorite cover of the series, in large measure because of what it’s in tribute to. We owe a lot to Ralph McQuarrie, and he will definitely be missed.
Some more updates to the site hopefully coming tomorrow; I hope to get the notes for the remaining Lost Tribe of the Sith chapters online, in advance of the release of “Secrets” on Monday.