R2-D2 creator Tony Dyson found dead in Malta

Star Wars droids (from left) BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO perform at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Feb 28, 2016.
Star Wars droids (from left) BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO perform at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Feb 28, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

VALLETTA (AFP) - Professor Tony Dyson, the British creator of the Star Wars droid R2-D2, has been found dead at his home on the Maltese island of Gozo, police said on Friday.

Neighbours raised the alert on Thursday after noticing that the front door of the 68-year-old's apartment in Triq Zirzieb had been left open.

Police said they had opened an inquiry into the cause of death but that foul play had been ruled out.

Dyson, who had lived in Malta since the early 1990s, also worked on a number of other Hollywood films including Superman 2 and Moonraker.

He was nominated for an Emmy for his film special effects supervision.

Built by Dyson based on art work by Ralph McQuarrie of Cocoon and E.T., the Extra-terrestrial fame, the R2-DT character appeared in all the Star Wars films.