Tony Dyson, the man who helped the create the R2-D2 robot for the “Star Wars” films, has died. He was 68.
According to multiple media reports overseas, police found his body at his home in Gozo, an island in Malta, after being called by concerned neighbors. Police suspect no foul play.
R2-D2, who first appeared in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope,” was designed by Ralph McQuarrie and John Stears. Dyson, however, was the one who created the two physical models for the film, one of which included the one that could be worn by actor Kenny Baker.
But Dyson’s special effects experience extended far beyond a galaxy far, far away. He also worked on films like “Superman 2,” the James Bond film “Moon Raker,” and “Dragon Slayer.”
He also designed robots for commercials for companies like Sony, Toshiba, and Philips. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the Sony commercial, which featured the voice of John Cleese as a robot talking about the benefits of using CDs .
In recent years, Dyson had worked as a motivational speaker, travelling to different robotics and fan conventions and using the story of how he designed R2-D2 to inspire others to pursue their dreams.