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Monday, 30 July 2012

AFICIONADO REVIEW: 'REMEMBERING RALPH McQUARRIE: DREAMER AND VISIONARY'

His life and work live on. REMEMBERING RALPH McQUARRIE. A new book coming soon from DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS. 

REMEMBERING RALPH McQUARRIE: DREAMER AND VISIONARY

Published by DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS

Reviewed by Scott Weller


The recent passing of STAR WARS legendary visual founder, that humble man of such incredible talent, Ralph McQuarrie, is still being keenly felt within the worldwide fan community of George Lucas's beloved space fantasy series, but his friends and devoted partners at the DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS company have produced a wonderful and beautifully nostalgic tribute to the kind- hearted, dedicated and stunningly inventive man- a true pioneer whose brushstrokes changed the face of the film and TV industry forever, and cast such a positive, enchanting- thoroughly spellbinding- visual potion on all us-and proving himself as a true Wizard of Oz in the process!- in creating such stuff that once only dreams were made of. A man whose rich abilities let the child inside all of us finally escape and soar to new heights of artistic wonder and enjoyment, within a time of beauty, fantasy and imagination now fully restored to us through a universe set "A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away..."

REMEMBERING RALPH McQUARRIE: DREAMER AND VISIONARY is a lovely work. A 48 page treasure trove taking us into the wonderfully rich life and career of this much admired and loved man, in an overview with numerous and often very touching contributions from his family, friends and work colleagues (including such greats as Phil Tippett, Harrison Ellenshaw, and, in a personal highlight, a contribution from George Lucas himself), as well as the artists whose lives were indelibly changed forever by his talents (like Prequel Trilogy veteran Doug Chiang). It's all finely crafted against a backdrop of some of the rarest of McQuarrie's pieces, including lots of material never before published in DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS's prior and ambitious celebratory book projects, alongside some new discoveries, too. STAR WARS fans will be delighted with the selection of rare materials here, including conceptual work and storyboards on the films and material linked to spin-offs, alongside behind the scenes photos, that have been beautifully gathered and laid out. Lovers of all of the late artists work in general will be equally satisfied, including rare book cover art and film projects that sadly never got off the ground. (Like the stunning work he did for EMPIRE director Irvin Kershner's aborted, but very bold, re-make plans for the classic sci-fi movie FORBIDDEN PLANET in the early 90's.) There's also a look back to McQuarrie's pre-WARS work that would influence George Lucas into hiring him in 1975, like his lovely and equally important cells and paint work for CBS in their world-changing coverage of the 1969 Apollo 7 moon landing, and the Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins unmade and fascinating STAR DANCING sci-fi project. Beyond the fantasy and reality of space, McQuarrie's love of aviation, technology and humanity in general also shine through in a charming and evocative way.


Making its debut at the upcoming STAR WARS: CELEBRATION VI convention in Florida this August 24th, REMEMBERING RALPH McQUARRIE is a true celebration and dedication to the much missed man and his talent, and a warm and emotional tribute. It's a beautifully assembled endeavour that no STAR WARS fan should be without.


AFICIONADO RATING: 10 out of 10

For more on the book, and how to get it, head over to the DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS site: Dreams and Visions Press and their FACEBOOK page: Dreams and Visions Press

With thanks to John Scoleri at DREAMS AND VISIONS PRESS


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