Looks like there’s a little bit of droid rivalry in the Star Wars universe.
Alan Tudyk may play the former Imperial droid K-2SO in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but that doesn’t mean he’s not afraid to poke fun at his fellow droids. Taking the main stage at New York Comic Con, he talked a little bit about his upcoming role as K-2SO, the 7-foot-tall security droid who works with the Rebels in Rogue One. While he kept most plot and character details strictly under wraps, he was happy to compare K2 to The Force Awakens’ breakout star BB-8, cracking some jokes about his small, spherical counterpart.
“I saw him in Castaway as Wilson the volleyball, and then he just disappeared,” Tudyk joked. “I don’t know if it was drugs or what.”
But Tudyk’s panel wasn’t just about hating on BB-8. He also reflected on his long career — which includes Firefly and Wreck-It Ralph to the upcoming Moana and his web series Con Man — cracked jokes about Joss Whedon, and handed out signed swag. Here are a few of the highlights from Tudyk’s panel at NYCC:
1. Tudyk has a really great Diego Luna impression.
Tudyk said that he spent most of his time on Rogue One acting opposite Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, mainly because Cassian is K-2SO’s closest friend (and the person who reprogrammed him and freed him from Imperial servitude). Since K2 is computer-generated, Tudyk wore stilts and a motion capture suit for most of his scenes, but at one point, he and Luna were filming near a tall cliff, and the crew wouldn’t let Tudyk wear his stilts near the edge. Instead, he had to strap on a backpack with a tall headpiece, much to Luna’s amusement.
Tudyk recounted what Luna told him in a pitch-perfect impression: “Alan, it’s terrible what happened. Everyone respected you so much before you put that on. For the sake of the movie and for the love of God, take it off.”
2. He still holds a bit of a grudge against Joss Whedon.
It’s been more than a decade since Tudyk’s beloved Firefly character Wash met his end in the movie Serenity, and although Tudyk is still close to creator Joss Whedon (Whedon actually came to Tudyk’s recent wedding), Tudyk couldn’t resist writing him into Con Man: The Game. In Tudyk’s mobile game, users can build their own fan convention — and Whedon is the con’s janitor.
“If you want to get back at him for killing a certain character,” Tudyk explained, “you can get him to take out the trash and clean up the vomit.”
3. He plays “the dumbest rooster on the planet” in Moana.
After lending his voice to Disney hits like Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Zootopia, Tudyk’s next project is the upcoming Moana, which stars Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson and hits theaters Nov. 23. In it, Tudyk voices a rooster named Heihei, and since Heihei doesn’t actually have any lines, Tudyk had to brush up on his chicken noises (which included figuring out what a chicken would sound like underwater). “It’s truly one of the most fun roles I’ve ever played with,” he said.
4. He’s gotten pretty good at playing a robot.
When asked how he got involved with Rogue One, Tudyk theorized that he was brought in to play K-2SO because he played the titular robot Sonny in 2004’s I, Robot. “I was the ‘I’ and ‘Robot,’” Tudyk joked. “I was the comma, as well.”
After sending in an audition tape that he shot on his phone, he met with director Gareth Edwards at Star Wars Celebration, where Edwards filled him in on the story. “Either they’re going to have to kill me or they’re going to have to give me the role because I know too much,” Tudyk recalled. “I’m glad they gave me the role.”
For more from Tudyk, head here to see his exclusive NYCC interview with EW.