Ralph McQuarrie, from The Mos Eisley Cantina Pop-up Book (1996)
I find it fascinating how McQuarrie's later work, as expressed especially in the paintings he created for this odd book, portrayed all subjects as if spaced out in some sort of silent, lonely reflection. Like the Star Wars version of Edward Hopper's _Nighthawks_. The Douglas Sirk lighting only enhanced the effect of a moment frozen in time.
"To really know the lake, though, you’ve got to get in it over your head. You enter across a bed of sharp rocks — an imperfection that illuminates the perfection of the whole. The water is very clear and very cold. As you go under, the air leaves your body. Unless it’s August or September, when the water temperature climbs into the low 80s, your skin takes on a bluish tint. You swim out, not as buoyant as in a salt sea, but energized."
Photo by Robert Rausch for +The New York Times
From the article A Tour of Lake Michigan, My Inland Sea by Rich Cohen: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/travel/lake-michigan-tour.html
I didn't have an iPod, I had a Play-Yan. For my money, this Nintendo oddity was the coolest dedicated media player ever. Difficult to procure outside Japan, but so very worth it. I recently stumbled upon some blurry photos I'd taken years ago of the P-Y Micro running on my Famicom Edition GB Micro—a one-two punch that traveled with me everywhere.
Star Wars: Episode I concept painting by +Doug Chiang. I don't believe an uncropped image of this piece has ever been published, which is a real shame, as it's one of my favorites. This is the best I've ever found. There's a higher-res version floating around, but it's severely cropped. Chiang had some great traditional concept paintings from Episodes I & II that are very difficult to track down. Most of the modern-era digital concept work is so boring.
That feeling when your friends are going on about how awesome this big movie is and how many times they've already seen it, then you kindly break the sad news that in reality it's an utterly pathetic piece of uninspired garbage, and they end up with this empty look on their faces staring off into the abyss.
Yeah, a few months from now people are going to start realizing en masse that The Force Awakens is in fact the worst Star Wars film ever made. By a mile. Pathetic. Regurgitated tripe.
And the worst part is that the first hour comes this close to being great. Then Finn becomes a carbon copy of Han from ANH, and suddenly the fridge is nuked. I've never seen a film become so bad so quickly.
And that's precisely what TFA is--the Crystal Skull of Star Wars. Unnecessary, forced, and completely out of ideas. The prequels may have been poorly executed, but they were boldly original, and they told a story that truly deserved to be told. TFA is a film without a reason to exist. Contrived garbage that seeks to duplicate the magic of the OT without understanding where that magic came from.
George Lucas's very first draft of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) began, "This is the story of Mace Windu, a revered Jedi-bendu of Opuchi who was related to Usby C.J. Thape, a padawan learner of the famed Jedi." Both the character of Mace Windu and the concept of padawan learners make their first appearance in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120915/trivia
Finally beat Star Fox 64 3D and all I've got to show for it is this lousy photo. Took me a month+ to figure out how to beat the Andross brain; I'd never even made it to Venom as a kid. The solo piano over the end credits is classic and completely +Nintendo, love the final send-off pictured here. +Dylan Cuthbert absolutely wonderful re-imagining, now I want to get the DS out and play Command again. Maybe next time I wake up at 4AM and can't sleep.
Started my Saturday morning with a random and completely gut-busting conversation about Star Fox with a 20-year old. All characters imitated, all bases covered. What a weird IP. I love that Slippy's cry for help can connect generations, and that the +Nintendo +The Jim Henson Company puppet skit has already become part of the legend. It's a beautiful thing.
I've always loved how Doug Chiang depicted the Jedi his way in the concept art he produced for Episodes I & II, even after their look had been established as something much more tame.
Though I've never seen this painting labeled, my understanding is that the figure in the foreground is Obi-wan, and the figure in the background is either Dooku or Anakin. I like to think it's the latter, decked out in a black jumpsuit that foreshadows Luke's outfit in ROTJ. The remaining combatant is cropped out to the right.