Vanity Fair: How The Work of Ralph McQuarrie Influenced The Rise of Skywalker

Vanity Fair wraps up their week of The Rise of Skywalker coverage with a piece that simply must be read by all Star Wars fans. Today’s article focuses on how concept artwork from the late Ralph McQuarrie was used in designing certain elements of Episode IX, a fitting union given how the legendary McQuarrie was there from the very beginning and now comes full circle.

Here’s director J.J. Abrams on incorporating some of McQuarrie’s unused concept designs in The Rise of Skywalker:

“McQuarrie, obviously, is as much the visual architect of Star Wars as anyone. And some of his work still hadn’t been fully realized. Some of his sketches hadn’t been built, some of the sets hadn’t been made. So it was fun to get to take some of that inspiration, and run with it.”

Vanity Fair interviewed David Mandel, one of the authors on Star Wars: Ralph McQuarrie by publisher Abrams Books, about components of McQuarrie’s work being present in the Episode IX marketing material released to date for the film.

The definitive book on his contributions is the two-volume, 800-page, 22-and-a-half pound opus Star Wars: Ralph McQuarrie, by Brandon Alinger, Wade Lageose, and David Mandel.

Vanity Fair went deep with Mandel, the former showrunner of Veep, about elements of McQuarrie’s work that shaped The Rise of Skywalker, based on what he’s seen in the promotional material for the film.

For more of Vanity Fair’s coverage of The Rise of Skywalker, point your browser here.