R2-D2 sculptor Tony Dyson found dead in Gozo

Professor Tony Dyson was found dead at his private residence in Gozo • Malta Comic Con organisers salute the "icon" who was "one of the friendliest guests we ever had"

Tony Dyson, creator of R2D2
Tony Dyson, creator of R2D2

A full investigation is underway after professor Tony Dyson was found dead at his private residence in Gozo. The police however do not suspect foul play.

Dyson, more known as the man who helped build the iconic Star Wars robot R2-D2 back in 1977, was found dead on Thursday morning by the police.

It is understood that anxious neighbours contacted the police reporting that the front door to his house had been left open.

A magisterial inquiry has been opened and a police investigation launched.

Dyson was one of the guests at this year's edition of Malta Comic Con, where he welcomed fans and signed autographs. Taking place right before the premiere of the new Star Wars movie, 'The Force Awakens', the organisers of the Con – which took place on December 5, 6 at the Magazino Hall, Valletta – thought it apt to invite the VFX artist to the convention. 

"We knew he lived in Gozo, so we knew we had to invite him over to the Con sooner rather than later," one of the organisers of the Con, Christopher Muscat, told MaltaToday. "But to our surprise, this year he contacted us himself."

Recalling him as "one of the friendliest guests we've ever had," Muscat described how "When we actually met we were all surprised by his energy. Joking and smiling to all. He insisted on taking photos with everyone."

"We lost not only the creator of an Icon but a legend himself," Muscat added. 

Dyson also worked on Superman 2, Moon Raker, Dragon Slayer and The Empire Strikes Back, and designed and built robots for a number of consumer electronics firms, including Sony, Philips and Toshiba.

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