Tony Dyson, the British special effects artist and robotics professor responsible for bringing R2-D2 to life in ‘Star Wars’, has died aged 68.
Dyson was found by police at his home in Malta after friends contacted them concerned about his wellbeing.
The Emmy-nominated SFX supervisor worked on ‘Superman 2′, ‘Moonraker’, and ‘Dragonslayer’, but he’ll best be remembered for his pioneering work on bringing R2-D2 to life in the ‘Star Wars’ films.
Dyson built the original Artoo units for the first film based on designs by Ralph McQuarrie. He built eight versions of the droid for the film, including the ones Kenny Baker sat inside, all serving different functions on the set.
As well as his pioneering work on ‘Star Wars’, Dyson also built robots for Philips, Toshiba, and Sony and was recently working on building search-and-rescue drones.
He was a regular guest on the sci-fi convention circuit and had appearances booked throughout 2016.
Thanks for the joy you brought to so many of us in a short, squat, cylindrical package, Tony. 🙁