It is an objective truth that Rogue One is a sad movie. Telling the story of the previously unnamed “rebel spies” mentioned in A New Hope’s opening scroll, this was a story about characters we knew wouldn’t survive. Are you in a good mood now? Can we talk about the funny bits?
Look, all this is true, but is not to say Rogue One doesn’t have its moments of perfect hilarity! From the get-go we knew that Alan Tudyk’s K2SO was going to be a banger of a droid. We didn’t realize how literal that would be, though, until a moment when Cassian, Jyn, and K2 are caught on Jedha by Imperial forces. Like a committed soldier and a hard worker, K2 — a former Imperial droid himself — takes initiative. He walks Cassian and Jyn into the fray and pretends that he’s escorting prisoners, all part of the plan. But K2 knew he had to go even further to sell the story.
When Cassian starts speaking, K2 does what any other horrible Imperial foot soldier might do, and he smacks the crap out of him*. “And there’s a fresh one, if you mouth off again.” K2 adds.
K2, the best improv partner you could hope for, because while he might be just the smallest bit awkward on stage, you know he’s not going to worry about looking stupid. He’ll go all in on the absurdest bits, and you’ll all come off looking better for it.
Until everyone realizes that all the commitment in the world can’t necessarily make you a great actor and so the Imperial soldiers see right through your ruse and everything goes to sh*t.
*It’s one of the few moments that we almost see an actor break in the midst of a scene, because just as Cassian lifts his hand to cover his face, you see just the hint of a smile of Luna’s face.