In anticipation of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting blu ray on April 4th ILM invited us to come and talk to a bunch of the amazing people who have helped bring the worlds we so love to life. We were treated with the opportunity to speak to Hal T. Hickel who wa the Animation Supervisor on the film and one of the most important driving forces behind bringing the latest greatest droid – K-2SO – to life. Rogue One wasn’t Hickel’s first foray into the Star Wars franchise, he served as Animation Supervisor on both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones , both of which introduced legions of new droids to fans all over the world as well. Appearing alongside Hal was the one, the only, K-2SO himself and king of the geek fandoms, actor Alan Tudyk (Con Man, Firefly), to speak to his singular experience bringing one of the taller droids to life.
My chat with Hickel and Tudyk was augmented by a live demonstration of how K-2SO goes from being an actor walking around in a grey motion capture suit covered in tiny balls to a quick render of the droid himself. It provided insight into what Tudyk would have had to work with in preparation for being on set, while simultaneously illustrating how far Hickel’s team’s work can go to providing real time quick renders in the room. There was so much work and care that went into the sarcastic K-2SO.
It is obvious that the marriage of production and performance soared to new heights in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story . Star Wars is a franchise famous for innovative filmmaking and if this is where we stand today then things are only going to get more exciting! Plus, who didn’t love the levity K-2SO was able to bring to the movie?