Stand aside C3-PO. Roll along, R2-D2 and BB-8. Rogue One's K2-SO is officially, if it were up to this geek, Star Wars' best droid. It's a pretty bold declaration for me to make, but Star Wars' first anthology film features a droid that is unlike any of the other ones we've seen so far. Don't get me wrong, I love C3-PO, R2-D2, and BB-8, but there's something special about K2's sarcasm, humor, and general badassery that makes me love him more than the others.
As an Imperial security droid, K2-SO once worked for the bad guys; the Empire. He still bears the Empire's insignia on his arm, but once Cassian Andor got a hold of him he was reprogrammed to help the Rebel Alliance. But even though he's been reprogrammed, K2-SO seems like he's also fighting for the rebellion, as if there's a little bit of a moral compass inside all of that metal, telling him it's the right thing to do.
Then there's the humor. The droids of Star Wars have always been used for comic relief. Through Threepio's nervousness, R2's timely bonks and squirks, or BB-8 just being freaking adorable, the droids are generally there to make us laugh. Kaytoo, though, is the most humorous droid of them all. With his dry wit, intense sarcasm, and amusing desire to make his human companions uncomfortable, he appears more aware of his own hilarity than the others. Threepio is sarcastic for sure, but his one-liners always have a hint of worry-wart to them, whereas Kaytoo's cracks are more intentional. He wants Jyn and Cassian to know he can definitely survive being blown out into space, even though they can't.
A lot of K2-SO's success is the result of the phenomenal performance by Alan Tudyk, who provided his voice and also did on-set stilt work to create the character. Tudyk, as other sci-fi nerds may recall, played Wash in the much-beloved but ill-fated series Firefly and its movie followup Serenity. His vocal talent is perfect for Kaytoo's sarcastic interjections, and he totally nails the character. In fact, Tudyk is on a roll this season with voice work. As the goofy chicken Heihei in Moana, all Tudyk did was squawk, but he helped make the character hilarious. So can we just put him in everything, please?
What makes Kaytoo so great, though, has to do not with his dialogue, but his willingness to go the lengths needed to help the rebellion. Rogue One spoilers ahead! I'm not sure that the other droids of the Star Wars universe would be willing to face off against Storm Troopers (Threepio would totally obey their orders) and die for the cause like Kaytoo does at the end of Rogue One. And once it becomes clear that he wasn't going to make it out alive, his morality is solidified. K2-SO is officially a rebel.
K2-SO is new to the Star Wars realm, and not everyone may take to him, especially when one's love of C3-PO or R2-D2 has developed over decades. But the droid quickly earned a spot in my heart, at least.