Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tony Dyson, Creator of R2-D2, Dies.

Some sad news for fans of "Star Wars." Tony Dyson, the man who designed and built R2-D2 of "Star Wars," one of the most familiar robots of science-fiction, passed away yesterday in his home in Malta. He was 68.

Longtime readers may remember Dyson appeared in Second Life some years ago under the name Azar Shelman. In November 2008, I interviewed him for Second Life Newspaper about his plans for a "Discovery Center" here in the Grid where students could take advantage of virtual reality to interact and learn.

Dyson/Azar was impressed with what people had done and built in Second Life, "I’ve never met so much talent. ... people can socialize when they normally can’t. ... It has so many positive things going for it."

While his plans for the Discovery Center never really did come to pass, he would make a few more appearances in Second Life, notably his appearance at "Tonight Live," of which after the show he met up with a number of fans in clonetrooper avatars. He also appeared at a fundraiser for Cypress Rosewood to help the musician in real life after his house was damaged by a flood.

Dyson also worked on the special effects of a number of other movies, such as Superman 2, Moonraker, and Dragonslayer. He would live long enough to see the franchise his best known creation was a part of launch another movie three decades after "Return of the Jedi," though was not known to have worked in the movie.

Top image from BBC

Bixyl Shuftan

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