R2-D2’s builder and Star Trek: The Next Generation and Battlestar Galactica VFX artist have passed away
Two industry passings were sadly reported this weekend.
Tony Dyson, who referred to himself as “R2-D2’s Dad”, passed away at the age of 68. While working at his own studio, the White Horse Toy Company, he was commissioned by George Lucas to turn Ralph McQuarrie’s sketches of a plug-shaped mechanical character into an astromech that would become the most loved droid in two galaxies.
On his web site Dyson wrote about the return of R2-D2 in Episode VII, “The love for R2 is universal; no other Star Wars character has been loved over the years the way R2-D2 has, his merchandising has rocketed over the years and his influence in the world of robotics is truly remarkable.”
Emmy-winning visual effect artist Gary Hutzel, who’s career shot starward when he helped define the look of Star Trek: The Next Generation including the infamous Borg Cube, as well as the U.S.S. Defiant design for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, passed away on Thursday at the age of 60.
Hutzel later worked in movies, including Red Planet and Spy Kids, but would return to television for Ronald D. Moore’s reboot of Battlestar Galactica, where he won two of his Emmys.