Throughout the Star Wars films, droids have been an integral part in establishing characters, bringing levity to a scene, or simply helping to progress the story. It’s no different with Rogue One, which will see the introduction of a new droid in the form of K-2SO, which is voiced and body-captured by Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”, Tucker and Dale vs Evil).
Bringing a character like this to life is not an easy task. After all, droids are inherently not human, so there’s the “uncanny valley” that needs to tackled. In an interview with THR, Tudyk explains everything that went into putting together his role as well as how he approached being a robot that also needs to connect with the audience on an emotional level.
It’s motion capture. So, you will hear my voice, but I was there for the whole thing. It was a blast. It’s basically acting, but you’re wearing a silly costume and the actual costume comes later in post. But you’re working with the other actors, so the lines change and you’re affected by their performance. You’re part of making the role and making the movie there on set as opposed to animation, which is very different. There’s one animated character that’s a good example of Star Wars animation gone bad, which is Jar Jar Binks. He was 100 percent animated and it didn’t go well. It became cartoonish and I think a lot of that can be attributed to the way that it was done.
Luckily the history of droids in Star Wars movies is really rich in that they’re not just emotionless robots. They’re some of the favorite characters within the franchise, so right from the beginning there’s a lot of leeway. The whole world embraces them as fully formed personalities and characters. We almost don’t question that they have a soul.
He’s very different from the others because he comes from the Empire. He’s a security droid, so he can be an intimidating force and can be enforcing. Some people call him an enforcer droid, which seems appropriate. And he’s a spy and a soldier. Playing a droid also gives you the possibility to pop up in other Star Wars films since they don’t age like the human characters.
Tudyk also hopes that his character will show up in other Star Wars films, although that’s uncertain as Rogue One is meant to be a standalone film. He states, “All these worlds are intertwined. It’s exciting to me what they’re doing with these stand-alones. You can criss-cross those timelines at any point. They’re creating them. They’re giving these backstories to characters and filling in blank spots like ours.”
You can see Tudyk as K-2SO towards the end of the video below, as well as a new poster that features Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso, the father of Jyn, who is played by Felicity Jones.
Rogue One was directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, and James Earl Jones, who will be returning to provide his voice for Darth Vader. It hits theaters on December 16th.
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