Droids are a key aspect of any Star Wars film. Franchise icons R2-D2 and C-3PO had major roles to play in the first six installments, kicking off the saga as we know it in A New Hope. Last year's The Force Awakens introduced audiences to the lovable and adorable BB-8, who quickly became a fan-favorite (and marketing giant) thanks to his various antics, such as a well-timed thumbs up. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is going to be a different kind of experience when compared to its predecessors, but it too will honor the series tradition by bringing new robot K-2SO into the fold.
Portrayed by Alan Tudyk in motion-capture, K-2SO is a former Imperial droid who is retooled to aid the Rebel Alliance. As is par for the course with Star Wars, Lucasfilm is keeping "Kaytoo" mostly under wraps until the film premieres this December. But now, Tudyk has opened up about the droid's personality to explain how the character is unlike anything we've seen in the franchise before.
As part of EW's coverage leading up to the second Rogue One trailer (which also included revelations on the planet Jedha and new pilot Bodhi Rook), Tudyk discussed what sets K-2SO apart from droids of Star Wars past:
“He has no filter. There was an old line, it’s not in there anymore…. I don’t think I can say it… I can’t say what I want to say, but Kaytoo can say what he wants. He can say insulting things very casually if he thinks they’re true.”
During Star Wars Celebration 2016, the actor said that Kaytoo would remind viewers of any old people they know, just saying whatever comes to mind. From the sound of it, this droid is the antithesis of C-3PO, who became rather infamous for his bumbling, neurotic nature. As Tudyk says, Kaytoo is "not an overly emotional guy" and would fall under the "unflappable category." It's nice to see that director Gareth Edwards is exploring new material with Kaytoo, which will ideally help the spinoff stand out and become memorable. After all, Star Wars does have a long history of great supporting characters.
Each droid in the movies so far has had at least one human they're closest to. Artoo and Threepio are forever loyal to Luke Skywalker, while BB-8 is best buds with Poe Dameron and also made a great friend in Rey. In K-2SO's case, his companion is Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the Rebel captain who wiped out his old Empire programming. Tudyk touched upon the relationship Kaytoo has with Cassian and the strength of their bond:
“They’ve been around. They’ve been together for a while, a couple years. He wants what Cassian wants. He loves Cassian, because he freed him. It’s also more paternal in that [Cassian] gave him life and took away the bonds of his programming.”
While Kaytoo's personality is the polar opposite of Threepio, there is one similarity between the two. Apparently, Kaytoo is going to speak "basic" (as our language is called in the Star Wars universe). Tudyk told EW how he came up with the voice for K-2SO, citing the original trilogy's penchant for the villains having British accents:
“I have an English accent. I feel like a lot of the Imperial characters are English, and the Rebels tended to be like Han Solo, you think of the Americans. And because he was a droid, it made sense that it would be more of a proper accent.”
Fans have yet to hear Kaytoo speak, but perhaps the droid will have a line or two of dialogue in the upcoming trailer. Regardless, he sounds like a very interesting character that could be a scene-stealer in his own way, injecting Rogue One with humor and heart to help balance out the grim war tone. It's early yet, but with the fan-favorite Tudyk bringing Kaytoo to life, chances are viewers become quite fond of him when Rogue One premieres.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.