With each new Star Wars film that hits theaters, there’s always a whole bevy of things to look forward to: new ships, new battles, new planets, and of course, new droids. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first standalone film set in the Star Wars universe, will also be the first film in the franchise not to include fan favorite droids C-3PO and R2-D2. With that in mind, you know they had to fill the droid void with someone.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens included the adorable BB-8, a droid no one can really hate, but for Rogue One, they went for a completely different direction. Rather than go for cute, Rogue One turned to a droid named K-2SO, played by Alan Tudyk. Unlike the lovable BB-8, Kaytoo isn’t so much a diminutive spitfire, as he is an intimidating iron giant.
Speaking with EW, VFX supervisor John Knoll went on to talk about the design of Kaytoo, what he’s like, and what his origins are.
“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 droid in question is the Imperial Viper droid that Han Solo blew up in the opening 30 minutes of The Empire Strikes Back, pictured at the top of the article alongside Kaytoo. Obviously, there isn’t necessarily a strong one-to-one correlation between Kaytoo’s design and the Viper, but both do have a similar, impassive look in their faces. Given that this is all set within one universe, it’s actually quite rewarding that we can actually draw this similarities between droids, and that they could make sense from a design standpoint.
Will Kaytoo go down in Star Wars history as another memorable droid? We certainly hope so. Rogue One is a film that’s taking some real risks, so we hope it accomplishes everything it sets out to do, as this could be a make or break for Lucasfilm’s approach for all forthcoming standalones. Should this one not perform well enough, they may very well continue to rely on known characters for as long as they keep making these movies.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.