It’s almost time for millions of people to travel together to a galaxy far, far, away to experience another story in the world of Star Wars. This winter, Disney will release the first Star Wars film that won’t take place within the confines of the Skywalker lineage and is destined to be one of the year’s biggest movies.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the first spinoff in the Star Wars universe and director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is hoping to deliver a hard-hitting war film set within the lived-in universe. One character that has the looks of a fan-favorite is security robot K-2SO, brought to life via performance capture by actor Alan Tudyk (Zootopia). The droid, also known as Kaytoo, and is an Imperial droid that’s been reprogrammed to assist the Rebels in their attempts to steal the plans to the Death Star.
Ranging from R2-D2 to BB-8, there is a long history with robotic sidekicks in Star Wars lore. Visual effects supervisor John Knoll has a lifetime of experience in the world and is credited with creating the story for Rogue One. In a recent interview with EW, he explains what sets Kaytoo apart from his predecessors and went into depth about the newest droid to join the Star Wars universe:
“He’s tall, to intimidate people around him… He’s sort of anthropomorphic, in that he’s got two arms, two legs and a head, you know, et cetera… But then Kaytoo has a little bit more sinister aspect in his original design because he starts off as an Imperial enforcer droid.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen an Imperial droid…There’s the Imperial probe droid and the sort of interrogation droid that have these black shells and a kind of sinister, evil-looking character to them.”
The Imperial droids that Knoll is alluding to are the Viper droids from Empire Strikes Back that were surveying the snowy planet Hoth, in search of the insurgent Rebels. Rogue One takes place years before those events, so it makes sense within the canon how the Viper’s design could be an extension of the simpler K-2SO design.
Rogue One is assured to be a hit and a large part of that is attributed to familiarity of the production design. Aside from having the lovable charm of the Iron Giant, Kaytoo immediately feels like at home in the Star Wars universe. The same could be said of several characters such as Maz Kanata, BB-8, and Kylo Ren, before the release of The Force Awakens last year, which is a good omen for the upcoming spinoff.
While he isn’t he expected to rival R2-D2 or BB-8’s popularity, Kaytoo fits into a similar mold. However, what sets him apart is his duplicitous beginnings, whereas the other droids’ loyalties were never in question. Could his hard drive be reset? Does he have sub-directives that will complicate the mission? Regardless, the character’s presence is certain to add a layer of complexity and humor that should make for another memorable December.