Blu-rays for the Weekend: Ralph McQuarrie movies

With the sad news that legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie has passed away, we’re taking a look at some of the iconic films he worked on, which to this day remain some of cinema’s most fascinating experiences. So if you’re stuck for ideas this weekend or just want to be inspired, why not try out one of the following on Blu-ray:

Star Wars: The Complete Collection

McQuarrie began working on concepts for Star Wars long before 20th Century Fox got a first glimpse, providing designs for the likes of Chewbacca and Darth Vader as well as ideas for the sets and ships. Star Wars: The Complete Collection released in autumn last year includes 40 hours of extra footage with never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives as well as a plethora of deleted, extended and alternate scenes. Insights into McQuarrie’s contributions are included alongside extensive audio commentaries, interviews with cast and crew and a whole list of features hosted by none other than C-3PO, R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Power repairman Roy (Richard Dreyfuss) experiences something out of this world and his close encounter sets into action a chain of events that lead to contact with aliens and a world changed forever. The newly released 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition includes just about everything you could want to know about the film including a look at the concept art McQuarrie developed for the alien vessels. A special introduction and interview with director Steven Spielberg kick off the Blu-ray where the impact of the film on his whole career is highlighted, alongside an extensive interactive storyboard feature giving fans a taste of the visual development of the project. A documentary about the making of the film and deleted scenes are just some of the additional features in a release which hail the most comprehensive version ever released.

Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy

Digitally re-mastered picture and audio quality extend throughout the monster collection which was released on Blu-ray last year. Comprising all three movies in the franchise, the box set follows the adventures of scientists, children and dinosaurs on a set remote tropical islands. Special features exclusive to the new BDs include Return to Jurassic Park, a six-part documentary with interviews from Spielberg and many cast members from all three films looking at the trilogy’s legacy. Other stand out bonus content includes shorts Dawn of a New Era, Finding The Lost World and The Third Adventure as well as multiple Making Of documentaries which touch on McQuarrie’s contributions to the set design, photo galleries and deleted scenes. Fans are also treated to a look at the special effects, make up and animatronics involved in bringing the colossal stories and mammoth monsters to life.

So what do you think of our choices? Hit the comments to tell us what you think or let us know what else you’ll be looking forward to watching on Blu-ray this weekend.

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