Professor Tony Dyson, who built the original Star Wars R2-D2 droid, has died on the Maltese island of Gozo.
The 68-year-old Briton was found by police after a neighbour called them, concerned his door was open.
He is thought to have died of natural causes. A post-mortem is being carried out to determine cause of death.
Dyson was commissioned to make eight R2-D2 robots for the film series. He said working on it was “one of the most exciting periods of my life”.
The look of R2-D2 was created by the conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie who also created Darth Vader, Chewbacca and C-3PO.
Prof Dyson, who owned The White Horse Toy Company, was commissioned to make eight models plus the master moulds and an additional head.
He made four remote control units – two units for the actor Kenny Baker to sit in with a seat fitted inside and two throw away units to be used in a bog scene in Empire Strikes Back where a monster spits out the droid onto dry land, from the middle of the swamp.
So from all of us at UTB Geek, thank you Tony for one of, if not THE greatest little droid ever!