R2-D2's 'Dad' Dies at 68
Inventor Tony Dyson was found dead at his home in Malta
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Dyson and his "baby," R2-D2.   (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207932952498373&set=p.10207932952498373&type=3&theater)

(Newser) – The man who created Star Wars' most famous droid has died. Tony Dyson, the British inventor who built R2-D2, was found dead at his home in Malta, on the island of Gozo, the Guardian reports. He was 68. "A neighbor realized the front door was open and called the police," a police spokesman says. "Officers entered the apartment and he was found dead." Foul play is not suspected and an autopsy will be conducted.

Gizmodo and the Telegraph note that R2-D2 was brought to life through a collaborative effort that included a designer, special effects and sound effects crew, and actor Kenny Baker, who donned the R2 costume. But it was Dyson who actually built the droid and "brought the blue and white astromech into beeping, whirring existence," per the Telegraph. (Check out the original R2-D2 blueprint Dyson tweeted out a couple of years ago.)