Star Wars: How Jar-Jar Influenced Rogue One's K-2SO

K-2SO in Star Wars Rogue One

The first Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, promises to bring the sensibilities of a hard-hitting and gritty war drama to the galaxy far, far away, but it won't be overtly serious for its entire running time. Like all of the installments before it, Rogue One attempts to strike a tonal balance to inject humor into the proceedings. No matter how dark things get during the Rebel Alliance's daring mission, a little levity goes a long way. Based on all the marketing materials released thus far, it would appear that new droid K-2SO is going to be the primary source of comic relief, as actor Alan Tudyk's deadpan delivery has generated a few laughs.

Working with a "funnier" character is a tricky proposition for Star Wars filmmakers, since there's always the risk of going too far in a few places and creating something that rubs viewers the wrong way. This is what happened back on The Phantom Menace, when Jar-Jar Binks became the bane of many fans' existences. Following Episode I, the Gungan's role in the films may have been greatly diminished, but more than 10 years since his last big screen appearance, his legacy is still impacting new projects set in the universe - evidenced by Tudyk's latest comments about playing K-2SO.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, the fan-favorite discussed his approach to portraying the droid, and how Jar-Jar lingered in the back of his mind during production. It got to the point where Tudyk had to go over his concerns with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards:

“[Jar Jar] was such an outlier ― not an outlier, an anomaly in the world ― that was backed away from as quickly as they could. I did have it in mind because K-2SO can be very funny in moments, and I talked to Gareth Edwards, saying, I hope I’m not coming across as a character that makes jokes, that he is a sarcastic character or a passive-aggressive character or an honest character that can be funny within a moment, especially these moments of high-stakes life and death, which this movie has a lot of ― you know, it’a a war movie. He told me that I wasn’t, so I trusted him, and I’m really happy with the outcome.”

Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Phantom Menace

It's funny to consider that Tudyk was worried about becoming the next Jar-Jar, and it looks like he was right to trust Edwards' judgment. K-2SO's more humorous moments in the trailers and TV spots have been in line with the expectations Tudyk had for the character: blunt, matter-of-fact sarcastic lines about why he won't kill Jyn Erso and the chances the team fails in their mission. Kaytoo arguably leans closer to dark comedy than anything the Star Wars movies have featured before, which makes him an exciting addition several can't wait to see. Not only have the glimpses in promos been encouraging, K-2SO was shown throughout the 28 minutes of footage screened at the Rogue One press junket, and the reactions to that was widely positive. Granted, only little bits of each character was shown (meaning there's a lot of K-2SO that hasn't been seen yet), but it's still a good sign.

The Star Wars droid legacy is well-known, as C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8 have all gone down as some of the most beloved and popular characters in the entire series. Because of this, there was an added layer of pressure to make Kaytoo stand out and become another memorable figure in the lore. By all accounts, the team was successful in this goal. Tudyk can rest easy, knowing that he may go down as one of the best parts of Rogue One in what should be another entertaining installment.

Source: Huffington Post

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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