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The Best Time Alan Tudyk Ever Broke Character In Rogue One

While it's a fact that a performer relies on the material they're given to deliver the best performance possible, sometimes it's the little moments that an actor throws into the scene that provide that little bit of extra oomph. Sometimes a bit of on-the-spot improvisation is just what's needed to take an otherwise serviceable scene and turn it into a truly memorable movie moment.

While you might not have recognized him immediately as the towering rebel droid K-2SO in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," Alan Tudyk is no stranger to sci-fi genre greatness. From his work in the legendary space Western "Firefly" to his turn as the villainous Mr. Nobody in "Doom Patrol" and the bizarre alien infiltrator in "Resident Alien," he's a character actor beyond comparison. But it's an improvised moment in "Rogue One" that was completely unplanned that might go down in history as one of the "Star Wars" franchise's funniest scenes. It's a moment that was completely off the cuff — literally.

Some decidedly physical comedy

In "Rogue One," Tudyk plays K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial security droid with a decidedly snarky personality. He completely distrusts Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and directs most of his pointed barbs her way, but his friendship with rebel agent Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is one of vitriolic best buds who care deeply for each other despite their penchant for snarkiness. In one of the movie's more pivotal scenes on the planet of Jedha, Cassian and Jyn find themselves about to be captured by Imperial Stormtroopers after encountering two potential new allies in the form of Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jian Weng). K-2SO impersonates a normal Imperial Security droid and attempts to hurry Jyn and Cassian out of harm's way, but is held up by the stormtroopers. As Cassian attempts to interject, K-2SO backhands him across the face.

It's a moment that wasn't in the script, and eagle-eyed viewers will note how Luna looks like he's about to burst out laughing before he quickly covers his face, allowing Tudyk to finish his improvised lines. It's a rare moment in a piece of art where both the performer and the audience are equally surprised, and it plays out beautifully in the film.

The improv is strong with this saga

The "Star Wars" saga has more than a few moments of improvised gold. Easily the most famous moment comes in "The Empire Strikes Back" when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is about to be frozen in carbonite to be taken away by Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch); at that point, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) says "I love you." In the original script, Ford was meant to say "I love you too," but instead, he simply says "I know." It's one of the most powerful moments in the entirety of the saga, and it's completely the product of Ford's improvisation.

Alan Tudyk's moment of pure improvisational gold leans more toward the humorous than the heartfelt, but it's one of the organic moments a performer provides to a film that makes it feel that much more grounded and alive, even in a galaxy far, far away. If the rumors of Tudyk's return in the upcoming Disney+ series "Andor" are true, this shouldn't be the last we see of his talent for improvised comedy.