21 Star Wars legends who are also accomplished authors

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book "The Princess Diarist" at Waterstones, Piccadilly, on December 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book "The Princess Diarist" at Waterstones, Piccadilly, on December 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images) /
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Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie Product Bundle – September 27, 2016by Ralph McQuarrie. Photo via Amazon.com.
Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie Product Bundle – September 27, 2016by Ralph McQuarrie. Photo via Amazon.com. /

21. Ralph McQuarrie

The late, great, Ralph McQuarrie was Star Wars’ original visionary artist that helped to establish the ideas swirling around George Lucas’ imagination into a coherent vision from which all other artists followed. While not all of his concepts were readily used in the first Star Wars films, such as his original take on Chewbacca, they were later recycled on Star Wars Rebels and other properties.

McQuarrie’s illustrations were integral in adding depth to films backdrops, visualizing the aliens, the planets, and helping make Star Wars into the pop culture phenom that it is. Among his many contributions, one of the most recognizable of his skills as a conceptual artist is Darth Vader. McQuarrie’s interpretation of the Dark Lord showed his ability to take the influences that inspired George Lucas — such as Japanese cinema and space serials like Flash Gordon — and distill it into the menacing vision of a bug-eyed, cyborg in samurai armor.

Fans looking to take full appreciation of McQuarrie’s many, many contributions to Star Wars and other properties he was a part of can do so by getting a copy of one of his art books, including this collection called Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie.

Next. Star Wars books: A fan's reading list to help you through any time. dark

For more, keep up with the Books category on Dork Side of the Force.