Posted by Jay on April 22, 2015 at 08:07 PM CST
Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art
Fri. April 17| 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM | Behind–The–Scenes Stage
Lucasfilm executive editor J.W. Rinzler, Abrams senior editor Eric Klopfer and authors Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose discuss the seminal Star Wars artist and the upcoming book on his work. The new Abrams publication, set for release in Spring 2016, will be the most comprehensive volume of Ralph McQuarrie’s extensive Star Wars work ever assembled. McQuarrie’s long history with Lucasfilm will be covered in the discussion, from his early days working directly with George Lucas through the publications he worked on in the mid-90s. The team will talk about the process of creating the coffee-table book and show many highlight artworks in this exclusive preview.
This panel was quite a surprise. Not because of the book being created but what has happened to bring it to the fans. Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie will be the sixth book in the Star Wars Art series, after Visions, Comics, Illustrations, Concept and Posters. JW Rinzler said that there would be at least one more title in the Star Wars Art series, but he's not sure when or what it might be. For now, Art: McQuarrie will be available later in 2016, presumably October (even thought the panel write-up indicates Spring) as with the other volumes.

Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose (Eric Klopfer was not in attendance) discussed putting the book together and showed some images from the title including the cover, which is comprised of Ralph's original cover for the Star Wars paperback edition. The talked about their research at the Lucasfilm archives, and some of the special pieces they uncovered. But what was most interesting is the amazing process they went thru with the art they found.

For each piece of art, and some have been previously published in the Ralph McQuarrie Portfolios, and other places, they rescanned them at a higher resolution using modern techniques. Side by side comparisons of the previous version to the new versions shows enhanced resolution and sharpness, color where none had existed before, and in some cases an increased view - uncovering unseen titles or notes from Ralph himself. The team is really working to make a definitive collection of Ralph's Star Wars art.

When asked if there would be multiple editions (a standard and limited edition) the panelists could not answer, as none of them worked for Abrams. Rinzler did say he would prefer a single volume, but later mentioned that a dual volume might still be the best process.

Whatever they choose, this book will be an amazing archive of Ralph's work. The work that continues to inspire Star Wars, whether in Rebels or The Force Awakens. Stay tuned for more information about Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie as it develops!
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