Tony Dyson, Who Built the Beloved 'Star Wars' Droid R2-D2, Dies at 68


R2-D2 has lost his maker.

Tony Dyson, who built the original R2-D2 droid for the Star Wars film franchise, died Friday at age 68, the BBC reports.

The British technician is thought to have died of natural causes on the Maltese island of Gozo, after a neighbor notified police that his door was left open.

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The beloved Star Wars robot was conceived by Ralph McQuarrie and co-developed by John Stears, but it was Dyson -- who ran a U.K. studio called The White Horse Toy Company -- who constructed C-3PO's companion for the original series.


Dyson's love of R2-D2 lasted his whole life, and he continued to share nostalgic photos of his creation on his Facebook page. In 2013, he tweeted an image of the droid's original blueprint.

This past July, while anticipation for The Force Awakens was building, Dyson posted a moving photo with the robot, writing, "Talking about old times with a dear friend."


In addition to Star Wars, Dyson contributed robotics work to several films in the late '70s and early '80s, such as, Superman II, Moonraker and Dragonslayer.

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