|Star Wars character|
K-2SO in Rogue One
|First appearance||Rogue One (2016)|
|Created by||John Knoll|
|Portrayed by||Alan Tudyk|
|Voiced by||Alan Tudyk|
|Occupation||Imperial security droid|
K-2SO (also referred to as K2 or Kay-Tuesso) is a droid character in the Star Wars franchise, first appearing in the 2016 film Rogue One. He is a CGI character voiced and performed through motion capture by Alan Tudyk. In the film, K-2SO is a KX-series security droid originally created by the Empire.
The character and Tudyk's performance have received highly positive reactions from critics and fans. On the official Star Wars website, K2 was voted the second best character in Rogue One, only under Donnie Yen's Chirrut Îmwe. Tudyk is set to reprise his role in a currently untitled Disney+ prequel centered around Cassian Andor.
K-2SO was part of the initial line-up of spies in John Knoll's pitch for Rogue One, as an Imperial protocol droid. Designs for the character's look focused on giving him both a unique silhouette as well as keeping him in tune with the Imperial aesthetic from A New Hope. References of Imperial designs were used, and the character's chest plate draws on the armor of an AT-AT commander in The Empire Strikes Back. Unused designs by Ralph McQuarrie for droids and stormtrooper helmets would influence his eventual headshape. Originally designed as a "black protocol droid", further story development and drafts that "accentuated" his ties to the Empire turned K-2SO into an Imperial security droid. His laid back personality became a "visually amusing" contrast to his "towering, monolithic form". Director Gareth Edwards wanted K-2SO to be "appealing" despite his figure, and designs continued to reflect elements of his personality with his form; his stoop is one example, showing his "casual kind of personality".
K-2SO is voiced and portrayed via motion capture by Alan Tudyk. Tudyk initially turned down the role as he felt he would be busy with Con Man, a webseries he had crowdfunded. The droid's height meant Tudyk had to wear 1 ft 1 in (0.33m) tall stilts to perform the character, which he had difficulty taking off and thus would take to the bathroom. Tudyk called the stiltwalking the most challenging part of playing the droid, finding further difficulty in walking over things like sand and running. K-2, when rendered, had a slightly hunched over look. So, in order to prevent his own slouch from being added to the character, Tudyl had to force himself to stand up straight. With K-2SO having an inanimate face, Tudyk tried to keep "emotion" in his body and his movement. The actor worked with a mask teacher, Orlando Pabotoy.
Tudyk auditioned with three different accents: an American accent, a mid-Atlantic accent, and an English accent. The English accent was chosen due to the character's Imperial roots, and as he was a droid Tudyk gave him a more formal "proper" accent. Tudyk improvised or altered many of K-2SO's lines. However, he was concerned about making the character an "outlier in his own movie", similar to Jar Jar Binks, hoping to keep K-2SO feeling like "part of the world".
K-2SO is an Imperial security droid who has been reprogrammed by the Rebel Alliance. He is co-pilot and "sidekick" to the rebel pilot Cassian Andor, and lends comic relief to the film. Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post noted K-2SO's "angular, spidery limbed" appearance, calling him "snippily sarcastic". IGN's Eric Goldman described the droid as "C-3PO's dark, amped up counterpoint. Like Threepio, he has a knack for giving troubling statistics, but instead of speaking with a worried attitude, K-2SO ... has more of a resigned and often amusingly cruel and blunt approach." Similarly, Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly called the character "C3PO’s more sarcastic, less fey cousin." Todd McCarthy described K-2SO as "a more useful, resourceful and sarcastic version of C-3PO" in The Hollywood Reporter. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian compared the character to the titular robot from Ted Hughes' novel The Iron Man, writing:
K-2SO is hulking and dark, more like Ted Hughes's Iron Man in miniature, but with a droll way of objecting to orders; his style in backtalk involves a nicely timed deferred punchline. The arms are long, resulting in an almost knuckle-dragging, simian way of walking. In his taciturn way, K-2SO could almost be a quasi-Chewie presence.
K-2SO, portrayed by Tudyk, appears in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was released in December 2016. K-2SO also appears in the novelization of that film by Alexander Freed. Tudyk also reprises the role in the short film "The Good Stuff!" during the first episode of LEGO Star Wars: All Stars.
A one-shot comic book, Star Wars: Rogue One: Cassian and K-2SO, was released in August 2017. Set some time before the events of Rogue One, it tells the story of how Cassian Andor and K-2SO first met. K-2SO also appears in Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a virtual reality experience produced by ILMxLAB and The VOID for Disneyland Resort; Alan Tudyk reprises his role as K-2SO, who accompanies the player throughout the experience. He is also a major character in the junior novel The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!
Tudyk has been widely praised in the role. Recounting fan reaction on Twitter, Megan McCluskey wrote for Time that "there seems to be one aspect of the standalone Star Wars story that the majority of viewers have agreed on: the excellence of K-2SO." Justin Chang of Los Angeles Times dubbed the character "the requisite scene stealer" of the film, and A. O. Scott of The New York Times praised "the dry, sarcastic tones of the indispensable Alan Tudyk." The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy called K-2SO the film's "most entertaining" character, complimenting his design and Tudyk's "droll wit and exquisite timing". IGN's Eric Goldman praised the cast of the film but noted, "it's Tudyk's K-2SO who's often the standout", adding that the actor's performance gives the character "a sympathetic 'soul' (if such a word is appropriate for a droid)". Goldman also wrote that "K-2SO looks so good, it's easy to forget he's a CGI character". The Washington Post's Michael Cavna praised K-2SO, calling him "a droid for social-media times ... freshly armed with comedic snark." Ann Hornaday, also of The Washington Post, wrote that the character "provides precious comic relief in a film that is otherwise grim and unsmiling". Richard Brody of The New Yorker described the droid as "the one character with any inner identity ... and the only performance with any flair at all". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and IndieWire's David Ehrlich dubbed K-2SO the best of the film's new characters, with Travers calling the robot "hilarious" and Ehrlich describing him as "a droll bot with killer comic timing, he's as delightful and alive as any animated character you could find in a Disney film".
- Kushins 2016, p. 68.
- Kushins 2016, p. 76.
- Breznican, Anthony (November 15, 2016). "Star Wars: Rogue One droid K-2SO inspired by Imperial Viper scout". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Truitt, Brian (March 20, 2017). "See how a Star Wars droid came to life in exclusive Rogue One videos". USA Today. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Kushins 2016, p. 69.
- Tudyk, Alan (December 16, 2016). "The Man Who Gave an Android His Best Lines in the Star Wars Film Rogue One". The New York Times. Interview with Mekado Murphy. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Tudyk, Alan (December 29, 2016). "Rogue One's Alan Tudyk on Playing K-2SO, Writing His Own Lines, and Peeing in Stilts". Interview with Ian Servantes. Vulture.com. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Tudyk, Alan (December 14, 2016). "Rogue One star Alan Tudyk talks finding the voice for K-2SO". Interview with Ned Ehrbar. CBS News. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Breznican, Anthony (August 10, 2016). "Rogue One: Alan Tudyk reveals the accent and origin story of K-2SO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Mallenbaum, Carly (December 18, 2016). "Alan Tudyk's Rogue One droid K-2SO gets C-3PO's approval". USA Today. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Alexander, Julia (March 1, 2017). "Star Wars: Rogue One's best character was rendered in real time, a cinema first". Polygon. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Goldman, Eric (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review". IGN. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Barsanti, Chris (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Shows There's Life in Star Wars Yet... Barely". PopMatters. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- Hornaday, Ann (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One doesn't offer much joy, but Star Wars fans will enjoy it anyway". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
- Nashawaty, Chris (December 19, 2016). "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- McCarthy, Todd (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- Bradshaw, Peter (December 15, 2016). "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review – a sleek addition to the fleet". The Guardian. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
- Osborn, Alex (December 20, 2016). Star Wars: Rogue One Novel Features New Scenes. IGN. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- Adams, Tim (May 19, 2017). "Marvel's Star Wars: Rogue One Prequel Reveals How Cassian Met K-2SO". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
- Shanley, Patrick (January 5, 2018). "What the Star Wars VR Experience at Downtown Disney Is Really Like". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- results, search (2018-05-25). Star Wars The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear. Andie Tong. Disney Lucasfilm Press. ISBN 9781368016292.
- McCluskey, Megan (December 19, 2016). "Rogue One Droid K-2SO Is Taking the Star Wars World By Storm". Time. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Chang, Justin (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One adds an uneven but thrilling wrinkle to the mythology of Star Wars". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- Scott, A. O. (December 13, 2016). "Review: Rogue One Leaves Star Wars Fans Wanting More and Less". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
- Cavna, Michael (December 16, 2016). "Why Rogue Ones' sassy new K-2SO is the droid we've been looking for". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- Brody, Richard (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One Reviewed: Is it Time to Abandon the Star Wars Franchise?". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- Travers, Peter (December 13, 2016). "Peter Travers: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Ehrlich, David (December 13, 2016). "Rogue One Review: The First Star Wars Spinoff Is a Scrappy Space Adventure That Plays Things Painfully Safe". IndieWire. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
- Kushins, Josh (2016). The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. New York: Abrams. ISBN 978-1-4197-2225-7.