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You know what's better than Star Wars?

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John William's score and Ralph McQuarrie's concept art. It's difficult to capture the kind of exotic epic that can be imagined by simply listening to that music and looking at those images. You can truly feel what the young George Lucas was aiming for. I don't know why, but somehow the feelings I get from those two elements feel purer and even better than even my experience of the film(s).

Does anyone agree? Try it. Just put the films out of your head, play a copy of the soundtrack (I'm sure you've all got one) and imagine your own stories for the characters Ralph has rendered or just soak up the atmosphere. Leia's theme is particularly good for this.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_Ralph_McQuarrie

 

What does everyone else think?

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i don't like the mcquarrie images, because they clash with the movies..

 

now if someone reimaged star wars in an animated style like that,

it might be ok..

 

i didn't care for the 'samarai jack' look of the clone wars..

 

later

-1

[no GOUT in CED?-> GOUT CED]

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Negative1, if I may intrude, I don't think that McQuarrie's concept art looked ANYTHING like Clone Wars' animation.  And Odo, that sounds like a very interesting idea.  I'd bet it's fun, provided you've got the originality and imagination for it.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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McQuarrie's concept paintings are what sold 20th Century Fox on Star Wars. Many of his concepts were literally translated onto the screen without much change. He's the guy who thought Vader should wear a mask! Without his work, there might not have been a Star Wars.

I actually think Ralph's vision of Vader is more scary than the final costume, and it should have been what we saw at the end of Episode III. :)

The McQuarrie portfolio was among the first merchandise I ever got from the movie. I loved those paintings when I was a kid. I never dreamed I would be able to buy action figures based on those paintings all these years later.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I have the McQuarrie portfolios too- I just love them.

And Williams' music- what more can be said? It's at least 50% of what made the films so wonderful. 

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negative1 said:

i don't like the mcquarrie images, because they clash with the movies..

 

 

 Really???  What images are you talking about???  The Empire of Dreams Documentary shows loads of images and they are pretty much the same as the movie.  I remember seeing Cloud City, and they matched up to it 100%.

 

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Chewy72 said:
negative1 said:

i don't like the mcquarrie images, because they clash with the movies..

 

 

 Really???  What images are you talking about???  The Empire of Dreams Documentary shows loads of images and they are pretty much the same as the movie.  I remember seeing Cloud City, and they matched up to it 100%.

 

i was only referring to 'star wars'

sorry, i should have made that clearer.

later

-1

 

[no GOUT in CED?-> GOUT CED]

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couldn't we have a post that's a little bit more creative?

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 (Edited)

Don't count on it.

I really don't like baby rabbits. They clash too much with the final product. I mean, if you saw a new born baby rabbit, you would't even have any idea that it was a rabbit. They look nothing like full grown rabbits. 

That said,

I agree very much with the original poster. John Williams score is amazing, and so full of so many things. I love how Ralph's art is fo fantastic and otherworldly. Like that image of the Kryat (sp?) dragon, just looking at that image it could be a story in of itself. I really like looking at his non Stat Wars art aswell. I just love the look of his work, it feels so archaic, yet they are often depicting images and scenes containing technology and advancements beyond what any of us can dream to see in our life times. That used universe look is very present in his work as well, which adds to the feeling that there is a some deep story behind each piece he does.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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 (Edited)
TheoOdo said:

John William's score and Ralph McQuarrie's concept art. It's difficult to capture the kind of exotic epic that can be imagined by simply listening to that music and looking at those images. You can truly feel what the young George Lucas was aiming for. I don't know why, but somehow the feelings I get from those two elements feel purer and even better than even my experience of the film(s).

I wouldn't say that's necessarily better than the original films, but it's definitely close. Those two aspects are also, easily, the best part of what made Star Wars and it's two sequels the great movies they are (George Lucas' brilliant concepts might have failed otherwise). George Lucas relied on the talents of two truly great artists to accomplish what he did. He collaborated with many other fantastic artists as well and yet some people strangely believe that he pulled everything out of nowhere. :)

"Now all Lucas has to do is make a cgi version of himself.  It will be better than the original and fit his original vision." - skyjedi2005

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 (Edited)

I am glad the original trilogy fits Ralph's Designs fairly closely minus small details.

Had the originals been designed by Ryan Church this site would probably not exist.

 

one of the biggest problems of the prequels is it did not follow those original ralph designs and concepts, the used universe.  The prequels looked like a videogame and nothing like the originals.

Doug Chiang style was different but he tried to incorpate ralph's ideas  into his design paintings, he wanted to honor those designs somewhat.  He was not involved in episode II and III to a great detriment to those films.

His art was more art noveau instead of art deco like Ralph's.  Still his porfolio was collectible and sold out.  He made a book called Robotica which he worked on with Ralph i think.

Those who hate Ralphs work also hate real star wars as the prequels are not real star wars movies.  I'm going to buy the book the art of Ralph Mcqaurrie as soon as i have enough money as the trade edition is a 150.00 bucks from a small press.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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 (Edited)

I don't really post much on forums these days, but felt compelled to respond to this.

I think nearly the entire visual success of Star Wars can be SOLELY contributed to Ralph's amazing sketches and paintings and of course imagination. True to form, Lucas never seems to mention these too much. Heck Ralph CREATED the visual look of Star Wars! Imagine Star Wars without many of these iconic images... What with talent like Ralph McQuarrie - who furnished Lucas with astoundingly realised finished visual references which were often copied on screen, John Williams' simply genius score, the guys at ILM, the set dressers and cutome departmens, set builders, Gil Tayler's amazing lighting, and the chemistry between the three main leads, I wonder how much of Star Wars' success was really the work of Mr Lucas... Certainly he came up with the story - and a damned fine one it was to, the way it borrowed from classic fairy tales, mythology, Kurosawa movies and so on.... But.....

With Lucas 100% in charge of everything, well we've seen the results haven't we - lol! I've never seen so much money and talent wasted on a bunch of shallow films.

Yep I often think of Mcquarrie's images when listening to the scores and agree it is a lot purer version of Star Wars. Even more so if you read the original novels, and/or listen to the original Radio Dramas too while looking at the paintings.

Great post :)

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That's so true about the radio dramas, seventiesfilmnut. That's what I love about all radio dramas, the way it engages the visual imagination and gives the audience a certain amount of control.

Plus, the dramas tie in nicely to Star Wars' 1930s sci-fi beginnings considering radio dramas is how many of those stories were told.

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It's an amazing experience to review McQuarrie's concept art...it's like, for a while, you can forget all about Jar Jar and Ewoks and UNNNNNLIMITED POWWWWWERRR! and poodoo and Elan Sleazebagganno and General Grievous and unconvincing acting against bluescreens and shrieking lizards and gigantic grazing ticks and awkward "love stories" and establishing shot theater and Darth Emo and fan rifts and Dexter Jettser and countless lightsabres ruining the unique surprise value of the weapon and the Flying Jedi Brothers and suppression of classic films and confusing space battles and gratuitous fight scenes and every other scene in CGI and Rick McCallum; instead, you look at McQuarrie's art and it's as though it's about 35 years ago and you're in the young George Lucas' inner circle, getting your first glimpse "into a larger world".

Want to book yourself or a guest on THE VFP Show? PM me!

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In short: I'm with TheoOdo and others, who say that J.Williams' musical style and R.McQuarrie's (and Joe Johnston's, Nilo Rhodis-Jamero's etc. as well) visual style is what makes Star Wars - Star Wars. I have, like, 4 albums "art of SW" with visual designs for old trilogy. This is the thing I assimilated as a child, and that is why I complain about current state of SW.

I saw the original theatrical release of the Old Trilogy on the big screen and I'm proud of it...
How did I accomplish that (considering my age) is my secret...
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RRS-1980 said:

In short: I'm with TheoOdo and others, who say that J.Williams' musical style and R.McQuarrie's (and Joe Johnston's, Nilo Rhodis-Jamero's etc. as well) visual style is what makes Star Wars - Star Wars. I have, like, 4 albums "art of SW" with visual designs for old trilogy. This is the thing I assimilated as a child, and that is why I complain about current state of SW.

 

 its all anxiety! learn to adapt! But yes, i agree with you on most of that.

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rcb said:

 its all anxiety! learn to adapt!

 

I'm sorry, but:

where do you get such BS phrases? In those "self-enhancement" books? Are you really so indoctrinated to accept crap in order to "stay in the flow"?

How about: "be individual, have own taste, don't let the spin doctors and marketing wizards put the thoughts inside your mind"?

I shouldn't bash you with such harsh words, but c'mon - if someone throws such stuff in my face I can't help but to reply with painful truth.

I saw the original theatrical release of the Old Trilogy on the big screen and I'm proud of it...
How did I accomplish that (considering my age) is my secret...
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HotRod said:

Whats better than Star Wars??!?!

 

I dunno, having sweet sex with a gorgeous girl!  But I guess not many of you would know about that!!!

LOL!

 

War does not make one great.

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RRS-1980 said:
rcb said:

 its all anxiety! learn to adapt!

 

I'm sorry, but:

where do you get such BS phrases? In those "self-enhancement" books? Are you really so indoctrinated to accept crap in order to "stay in the flow"?

How about: "be individual, have own taste, don't let the spin doctors and marketing wizards put the thoughts inside your mind"?

I shouldn't bash you with such harsh words, but c'mon - if someone throws such stuff in my face I can't help but to reply with painful truth.

i'm srry. i'm not saying don't be your own individual person. i was merely saying that this is how things are and we learn to put up with it.