Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduces many new characters to the Star Wars universe. The acting among many of the movie’s fresh faces is a big part of what makes Rogue One a strong new entry into the Star Wars franchise. One of Rogue One’s biggest breakout characters, however, is neither a human nor an alien, but a droid. Alan Tudyk’s motion-captured turn as the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO is one of the movie’s clear standouts.
K-2SO becomes an instantly memorable character due to his relentless wise-cracking at the expense of the group of rebels at the heart of Rogue One, but he also has a distinctive look alongside other famous Star Wars droids. His long limbs and lanky build certainly add to the character’s charm - though he was not always going to look that way. It turns out that earlier designs for Rogue One had K-2SO looking much more familiar.
Entertainment Weekly has released a fresh batch of Rogue One concept art, continuing its extensive coverage of the first Star Wars spin-off movie and marking the release of the new Lucasfilm-produced book The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The most striking highlight of the newly-revealed Rogue One concept art involves early K-2SO designs, one of which shows the droid closely resembling iconic protocol droid C-3PO. Another design looks at a lineup of various head designs for K-2SO, none of which remotely resemble the droid that ended up in the movie.
One piece of concept art depicts the group of rebels as they were originally intended to look - with the notable addition of two alien characters that never came to be. Artist Christian Alzmann described the alien team to EW as Senna, “a Chewie type,” and Lunka, “something that could skitter into an air duct, almost like a little thief.” K-2SO also looks like an Imperial version of C-3PO in this design. Other early designs show Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) in her Imperial disguises and a drawing of the rebel leader’s ship, both of which ended up looking fairly similar to the final designs for the movie.
Ultimately, the makers of Rogue One deviated sharply from the early K-2SO designs. It was, ostensibly, an effort to create something fresh, as opposed to designing an Imperialized facsimile of a droid that’s already immensely popular within the Star Wars canon. K-2SO’s distinctive look definitely serves Tudyk well in letting the droid’s unique personality shine during Rogue One.
It’s curious as to what led the makers of Rogue One to scrap the idea of an alien duo as part of the rebel team. Perhaps they felt that the combination of an oafish character and a smaller, sly sidekick would too closely resemble Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe they just didn’t want what could be perceived as another Chewbacca. Ultimately, Tudyk carries the non-human torch admirably as K-2SO - and the droid’s more distinct design certainly helped make his performance in Rogue One stand out even more.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018