Tony Dyson, my personal memorial tribute.

In memory of Anthony John Dyson (1947 – 2016)
Best known for being R2-D2s ‘Dad’.

BBC Archives (1984) showing THIS

His website is gone, but archived here.
His facebook page.

Tony was honoured at the BAFTA 2017 ceremony.  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave credits to the man that created R2D2 for Star Wars, and one of my own photographs was used for this. (with permission, of course!). Aired on BBC television on February 12, 2017. He would have loved this!

In memory of Tony Dyson


Special Effects Designer
13 April 1947 to 3 March 2016

A British special effects designer and expert in robotics, Dyson’s first film job came designing the jetpacks for Moonraker (1979). He was best known for the R2-D2 robots for Star Wars (1977), which included remote control versions, stunt versions, and models that could seat performer Kenny Baker.

I worked with Tony since 2011, we met online in Second Life, and he agreed to be head of jury for the 48 Hour Film Project Machinima. We soon started creating machinima together, which he called ‘real time animation’. In 2013 we met in Malta, and I quit my day-job to work full-time on producing animated shorts and e-books with Tony. We met again in Finland for the Robotics conference, and later in Gozo, Xlendi, where we rented an office together.

Tony was more than a tutor, he was my inspiration and best friend. There are plenty of stories to tell about him, and our projects, but today I will share a personal memory.

Today, March 7th, 2016 – just 6 days before his 69th birthday – his ashes will be spread in Gozo.

To honor Tony, and the bond we had, I am sharing the only photograph that shows both of us together (I took hundreds of photo’s of Tony) and a poem he wrote for me, years ago.



Dawn has gone
Dusk is upon us once again
Swallows are resting
Bats are hunting
The Night Angels prepare our spirits for flight

Only our soul knows the true journey ahead
Only our soul knows our deepest desires
So listen to my voice and see my dreams unfold
For I will be heard above life’s din
I am mortal of flesh and bone and will have my time before I die
To see the colors of the rainbow up high

Touch me not with gold so bright,
Touch me not with ebony so dark
Touch me not with marble so cold
Touch me not with hands so eager
But touch my heart with love and truth and I will be yours for ever, Chantal.






5 thoughts on “Tony Dyson, my personal memorial tribute.

  1. I was lucky enough to meet Tony last year while sitting out front of the Deca hotel in seattle just before xmas last. we talked and smoked and he told me what he did and why he was there ( U of W ) I was blown away. He was so happy , He was excited about the new film..what a wonderful gent, we could had joked and talked all night, but he was going to meet up with some friends, he invited me along, but I had a early thirty morning appointment, the news of this kool kats passing was so sad and our chance meeting, I was blessed..what a good kat he was, I can not imagine the hurt in his friends hearts at the loss of him. Rest in peace. I am so sorry I didn’t hang with you that night ,after hearing you were gone..thanks for the chat.


  2. Hi Chantal – I just read your lovely tribute to our mutual acquaintance Tony Dyson. I learned of his death through The Daily Telegraph obituary in the UK and was saddened by his passing. I didn’t know Tony well, our paths crossed like yours and mine following a talk he gave in our SL Eden Estate (for which you created a video at the estate’s opening 6 years ago) a few years ago – we were to collaborate on a few projects after Lizzo Dreamscape brought us together but it all became a little too serious and we just drifted apart. Suffice to say in the short time we were associated we got on well and I found him fun to talk to and I will remember him with some affection. I now of course regret not taking him up on his invitation to visit him on Gozo which I could easily have done as my wife and I (and family when they were younger) spent our younger years on Malta where our parents were serving in the Army and Navy there. Sadly passed too early but really rather fondly remembered all the same.


  3. Dear Chantal,
    So sorry to read this. I had no idea. It might seem a long time to you now. I know that Robustus and myself greatly sorrow at hearing this news. He was a wonderful virtual human to me. Always kind and always helpful and approachable. A person to be cherished. I am so very sorry for your loss Chantal. Take care,


  4. Today is Sunday the 18th July here in Adelaide, Australia, and I have only just learned of Tony’s passing via this Memorial Tribute which I thank Chantal Harvey for posting. It was beautiful. So sad to read that he has passed.

    I never met Tony in person but ‘connected’ during the early days of Twitter when Twitter was devoid of actors, actresses, pop stars, etc. They were the good old days when everyone actually interacted and had a great time. He was so proud of his work on and with R2D2 and brought it up in conversation often in his Tweets. “Hey! I’m the guy who built R2D2” was his catch-cry and I felt ‘special’ that he would take the time to chat with me. I still tell people today of the ‘connection’ we had.

    May you R.I.P Tony and may you be remembered for your awesome contribution to the Star Wars franchise with R2D2 throughout its long history. It would be very fitting.

    Aussie John


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