The Cylons That Weren’t!! Loads Of Concept Art From Ralph McQuarrie For The Original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!!
I am – Hercules!!
Soon after “Star Wars” made a zillion dollars, Glen Larson and ABC hired “Star Wars” concept illustrator Ralph McQuarrie to create a load of designs for the original "Battlestar Galactica."
Somebody posted them as a slideshow on Flickr. Find them here.
Thanks to Scifiwire.com for the heads up!
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Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Dec. 2, 2008, 6:20 a.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 6:24 a.m. CST
Look at your old Starlogs..most of these were in them back in the 80's... Way to keep up with new news!!!
Dec. 2, 2008, 6:38 a.m. CST
by Evil Chicken
I didn’t know that they snagged Ralph McQuarrie for the design. There’s some pretty interesting geek history here. Did you see the design of the Starfighter from Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century? So that was going to be the design for the Viper at one time? How did it migrate over to NBC from ABC? My thoughts to ponder for the day…
Dec. 2, 2008, 6:39 a.m. CST
a great comic with all that art. A good sized graphic novel would be cool. Thus a good reason to be on this site.
Dec. 2, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST
Thank God they went with the ones they did.
Dec. 2, 2008, 7:26 a.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 8 a.m. CST
The original idea for the Viper was the Star Fighter which was later used for Buck Rogers. Here's another one, the amulet used to fight off the space vampire was actually the same one that Adama wore on Galactica.
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST
I seem to remember them from his Oblagon book. I may be wrong.
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST
Or do some of those Cylons looks like Daleks? Mind, I'm not up on my Dr. Who/old school BSG history. That may have been on purpose, so...yeah.
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST
yeah tons o stuff from bsg ended up in buck rogers...space ships. sets. even sound effects <br> thats still great stuff though...ralph mcquaries work has a real amazing quality..im not sure what it is. but just awesome stuff..and waaay better than the art designs from the last star wars films...some good designs there...but they really suffered by not hiring mcquarrie..his style is star wars...no one else gets it
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST
not only was BSG a shameless cash-in after Star Wars, but even McQuarrie was just copying his own work!<br><Br>...but at least it eventually led to the GOOD Battlestar Galactica on SciFi!
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:37 a.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST
by Kentucky Colonel
Didja notice how the one concept drawing of the viper was co-opted by Buck Rogers? That Wilma Deering...hubba hubba! Galactica had the best 70's hair ensemble, though. And a space prostitute! Gotta love that!
Dec. 2, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST
Those are all McQuarrie; like someone said, most of them were in issues of Starlog, Cinefantastique, Omni, etc.
Dec. 2, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST
by porkinz the x-wing instructor
The reason there was so much crossover between the original Battlestar and Buck Rogers is because they were both produced by the same guy, Glen Larson. The network each one was shown on has nothing to do with it.
Dec. 2, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST
by porkinz the x-wing instructor
Interesting that in one of those drawings, the VIPERS are the ones attacking Caprica...
Dec. 2, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST
by Stunt Vocalist 709
I am also old enough to know of the Starlogs you mentioned. Still have them. I'm pretty sure there are images in this link not included in the magazine. And even if they all were, your TB is a bit harsh if you consider that most people probably never saw those issues of Starlog. And of those who did, only a few of us still have the issues to see what's in this post. I'd bet a lot of AICNers are too young to have had a chance to see these. And this link and the format of presentation IS new. Thanks for putting up the link, Herc.
Dec. 2, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST
Pretty sure it was Starlog. Maybe it was Mediascene Prevue. Anyway, McQuarrie's art was always better than the finished product. I'm remember how pumped I was for BG when I saw this stuff. If only...
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:24 p.m. CST
by George Newman
this is probably the 1 000 000th proposal for such a thing, but looking at this art just put a desire in me
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST
...they promised something spectacular which didn't really materialise but I still remember being very exicted about the possibilities.
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST
Man, I loved that magazine. Is it still around?
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST
I'm not the only one that saw Daleks in those designs. Now where's The Doctor?
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
It's still around, but nearly as good as it was in the glory days. I started collecting years ago have them all the way back to #2, and it's sad to see how it began to decline around 1990.
Dec. 2, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
Agreed, those classic issues are still fun to go back and read once and awhile...especially Bjo Trimble's Trek updates and when they first got wind of STAR WARS. Good times :D
Dec. 2, 2008, 4:29 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
One of those ship designs is Buck's Starfighter. Is this a mistake, or was it really an early version of the Viper that Larsen re-used for the Buck Rogers series?
Dec. 2, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
that's what i get for not reading the talkback first.
Dec. 2, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST
... if there's some kind of Ralph McQuarrie omnibus collection? that would have a ton of his Star Wars and late-seventies-early-eighties concept art? collected? in a book? that I could buy? from, say, Amazon? that doesn't cost $500? Anybody? Anybody?
Dec. 2, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST
Likely source: Jim Steranko's 'Comicscene/Mediascene/Preview'. I cant swear to it though, as I had to dispose of my collection. Another possibility would be 'Cinefantastique'.
Dec. 2, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST
by Calico Pete
Well, you see, there's this ancient repository of data called google which has a prophecy bespeaking of an "Art of..." book. It foretells of a site called www.ralphmcquarrie.com
Dec. 2, 2008, 7:49 p.m. CST
Wow to the Galactica art; truly amazing and actually drawn by human hands. I often miss late 1970s craftsmanship; not that I object to digital, just a sentimental appreciation of the form I suppose. Thanks for posting; cool that these Galactica concepts have a rich, graphic novel feel to them. Some of the more technical ones almost look like blueprints or schematics with their attention to detail.
Dec. 2, 2008, 8:15 p.m. CST
Those "concepts" send the shivers to the right places.
Dec. 2, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST
Not only did McQuarry copy his own work from Star Wars for BG, he copied designs he did for BG back into Star Wars! Look at these early incarnations of Cloud City, and all... The Cylons attacking Coruscant! Great stuff though...
Dec. 2, 2008, 9:44 p.m. CST
McQuarrie was given an assignment. "We're making a TV show that has to present a similar look and feel to Star Wars." I'd say he came through. The work is truly stunning. I could look at it all day.
Dec. 3, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST
In my opinion, George Lucas could have REALLY used McQuarrie on the SW Prequels... Some of the design work was OK, but not nearly as interesting as McQuarrie's interpretation could have been.
Dec. 3, 2008, 1:49 a.m. CST
You have a great idea there. An "animated McQuarrie" anything I would die to see.
Dec. 3, 2008, 2:02 a.m. CST
Old School Cylon Raiders - have you ever seen a cooler design for a spaceship - EVER? <p> I don't think you have <p> nope <p> never
Dec. 3, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST
Don't even know what the hell they are. But they too are my little bastards.<p>Just when you think that maybe you're too involved with the Ain't It Cool News you walk into a BSG talkback and realize that you're pretty low on the totem pole... No offense, of course. There will be none taken right, my little bastards?
Dec. 3, 2008, 2:50 a.m. CST
I wish that would've been my original SN. Don't get any ideas, gents!
Dec. 3, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST
...but I find this factoid rather interesting. The original Cylons were lizard like creatures - some are shown in these concept drawings. They were changed to robots because of a combination of large body count and network TV censorship. Apparently killing lots of people and aliens is bad, but you can kill as many machines as you want.
Dec. 3, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST
Let's face it, have you seen anything as interesting since? I remember seeing most of this back in the 80's (yeh, I'm OLD) in Starlog and Starburst. His stuff just looks like it could work off the page. And yeh, that Buck Rogers Starfighter was an original BSG Viper! No use letting a good design die I guess :)
Dec. 3, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST
Tweaky says that the original design for the starfighter was groovy.
Dec. 3, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST
It came out last year, retailed for about $150.00. I bought mine at Star Wars Celebration IV.
Dec. 3, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST
The reason that some of Ralph's early Galactica designs migrated to Buck Rogers is simple, they were produced by the same person, who owned the art--Glen Larson.
Dec. 3, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST
John Dykstra did the special effects for the first several episodes of the original series after working on Star Wars!... Um...those pictures have been around for some time now. I'm very surprised that it's listed here as "news".
Dec. 3, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST
Off topic, but I found this so simple, that it was brilliant. Viper turbo exhaust was actually made with small cans of compressed air, placed upside down, inside each Viper's engine. When it was time to fire off the exhaust trails....cheap, instant, and convincing turbo exhaust effect!
Dec. 3, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST
by Media Messiah
Ralph McQarrie was desparately missing from the Star Wars prequels. I suspect that he refused the job because Lucas has taken his designs and made a fortune with them via toy and model sales, among other ventures, and has failed to share the wealth of those profits? <BR><BR>I had always hoped that the Star Wars prequel ship and fighter designs would be the difference between the look of the World War 1 and World War II, as represented by the original trilogy vs. the prequel timelines, in terms of military evolution, and that of a technology evolution, from one era to another. Sadly however, that evolution, or devolution with regard to the prequels, was not present. The space craft and mecha designs in the prequels looked too modern as compared with the designs of the original trilogy? There should have been some major difference in the tech look between the two eras, but that major difference was nowhere in sight???!!! McQarrie's Galactica designs appear to be closer to the direction, in terms of look, that The Star Wars prequels should have had, but didn't???
Dec. 3, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST
by Media Messiah
Ralph McQarrie was desperately missing from the Star Wars prequels. I suspect that he refused the job because Lucas has taken his designs and made a fortune with them via toy and model sales, among other ventures, and has failed to share the wealth of those profits? I had always hoped that the Star Wars prequel ship and fighter designs would be the difference between the look of the World War 1 and World War II, as represented by the original trilogy vs. the prequel timelines, in terms of military evolution, and that of a technology evolution, from one era to another. Sadly however, that evolution, or devolution with regard to the prequels, was not present. The space craft and mecha designs in the prequels looked too modern as compared with the designs of the original trilogy? There should have been some major difference in the tech look between the two eras, but that major difference was nowhere in sight???!!! McQarrie's Galactica designs appear to be closer to the direction, in terms of look, that The Star Wars prequels should have had, but didn't???
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