Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cocoon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Jurassic Park, died at his home on Saturday at the age of 82.
Star Wars wouldn’t have been half the film it was without this guy. The visual style of everything in the Star Wars universe was based on Ralph McQuarrie’s art. The Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, the X-wing, lightsabers, Darth Vader, Cloud City, R2-D2 and C-3PO – all of these were taken directly from his concept illustrations.
Not a bad legacy.
Never heard of this guy? Consider yourself lucky. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh were more of a rabid semi-fascist ideologue instead of just an ignorant loudmouth, and you have some idea what sort of character Breitbart was. He ran several liberal-bashing right-wing news sites – although the word “news” is here used in the loosest possible sense of the term. His work was meant to be journalism, but the ideological slant of the news articles and opinion essays he published was so strong that the content he published was nothing more than propaganda.
Viscous partisanship, lies, slander, character assassination, fear mongering, vitriol, rancor, bigotry – this is the sad, vile legacy of Andrew Brietbart. His life’s work was to rally right wingers around an ideology of paranoia and hate and to demonize anyone who disagreed with him.
His death is like bin Laden’s: I honestly can’t take any joy in it, no matter how utterly evil the man was, but his kicking the bucket is a decidedly positive development for the human race.