Droids have a history of being fan-favorites in the Star Wars universe, and also of playing crucial roles. From teh onset of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, R2-D2 and C-3PO instantly wormed their way into the hearts and minds of fans. Despite Artoo only speaking in beeps and whistles, he became the heart of the franchise, inspiring future Astromechs like Chopper on Star Wars Rebels and even the killer astromech BT-1 in the pages of Marvel Comics' Darth Vader.
So a new droid is always big news, especially when it's a main character at the heart of the story. K-2SO will be a major part of the team in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a reprogrammed Imperial Security Droid that will be essential to the team of rebels trying to steal the plans to the first Death Star. Played by Alan Tudyk in both motion capture and voice acting, the character will also provide some comic relief in the very serious war film.
“Alan had to wear this rather silly-looking outfit with dots on it while we were filming, and he always felt like the uncool guy on the set surrounded by actors in super cool costumes," Director Gareth Edwards said in a recent interview with Disney Rewards. The director promised the actor that it would pay off in the end. "I would tell him, ‘Alan, don’t worry. You’re going to steal every scene you’re in.’ And I was right. Once we put the robot overlay in, he was fantastic. He brings a lot of humor to the film.”
Tudyk is a veteran voice actor - especially with Disney, Lucasfilm's parent company, where he's voiced multiple characters in Pixar films. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story takes him the next step, however. The actor had to wear stilts on set to keep K-2SO's massive frame in view for the other actors, among his other costuming challenges. It sounds like it works out for him, though.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue Onetells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.