Forget the opening crawl. Forget the John Williams score. Forget Jedis and lightsabers and Luke Skywalker. Is a Star Wars movie really a Star Wars movie if there is no scene-stealing robot that everyone falls in love with?
There was R2-D2 and C-3PO in the original trilogy and The Force Awakens introduced us to BB-8. Now, with the release of Rogue One, we meet K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial Droid who says exactly what he's thinking at all times and is voiced by Alan Tudyk.
"I believe this is going to be the breakout character," Tudyk's bestie, Nathan Fillion, told ET on the red carpet ahead of the Rogue One premiere. "I think K-2SO is going to be Chewbacca for a new generation. You take everything cool about Boba Fett and you put him in C-3PO."
Indeed, K-2 is sort of like the Chewbacca to Diego Luna's Cassian. We first meet the Rebel droid when he decks Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she is attempting to escape Imperial custody and deadpans, "Congratulations. You are being rescued. Please do not resist." Basically, K-2SO is the bluntest, sassiest droid in the galaxy.
"He's somewhere between [a grumpy old man] and a child. A 7-foot 1-inch tall child," Tudyk said to ET's Ashley Crossan at this summer's Star Wars Celebration. When asked to describe the droid in one word, he laughed, "Um...genuine-good-guy. That was one word. I failed English a lot. I mean, again and again and again."
Tudyk, who sci-fi fans will recognize from another space opera, Firefly, landed the role after villainous turns in Wreck-It Ralph (he voiced the nefarious King Candy) and Frozen (the nefarious Duke of Weselton). Having become something of a good luck charm for Disney, it's no surprise that he was asked to strap on a "spandex-y, body thing" to join the cast of their first Star Wars Story.
"I didn't have to wear any special head gear or any reflective balls," Turdyk explained of the technology used to bring his alter ego to life. "I wore a suit that was kind of a body panty, and I was on stilts. The drawbacks, I guess, would be, like, if I got to a restaurant and I'm like, 'I know you don't have any tables, but I'm K-2SO.' And they're like, 'That's close, but get out.' I guess that would be the one drawback."
As for how his standout and soon-to-be-beloved droid differs from those robots that came before him, Tudyk isn't afraid to throw the lot of them under the bus in defending K-2SO.
"R2-D2 cusses like a sailor, that's why he's always being beeped out," he exclaimed. "People are like, 'Oh, that's how he talks.' No! He's like a mariner!"