Solo: A Star Wars Story foreshadowed the L3-37 twist with a cool Easter egg. A very different kind of droid than what's been seen in the movies before, L3 was Lando Calrissian's first mate during his time as captain of the Millennium Falcon. A stout believer in droid rights, L3 finally fulfilled her purpose when she led a robot uprising during the group's mission on Kessel, but she was unfortunately fatally wounded in the ensuing battle. In order to make the Kessel Run, Lando had to upload L3's consciousness to the Falcon's computer.
The Lucasfilm story group actually teased this development months before Solo premiered, with a passage in the Last Jedi novelization suggesting L3 had become one with the Falcon. There was also a very subtle clue in the film that hinted at her ultimate, somewhat tragic, fate.
On the Solo special feature "Becoming A Droid: L3-37" (available on the home media release, supervisor sound editor Matthew Wood revealed the breadcrumbs they laid, which even longtime fans may have missed the first time around:
"We had this idea that the sound effects created for the original Millennium Falcon back in the '70s, I wanted to have used in her and her being. There's a moment when she's starting to calculate something, and Lando's like, 'Are you ready? Let me know when you're ready to jump.' And she hits her head. She is the navicomputer. That is what powers that ship in A New Hope. So we wanted her sound effects to get put in there when he's like, 'She's part of the ship now.' We wanted to have that connective tissue."
It's a neat attention to detail that shows how carefully thought out the new movies are. If L3 is the brains behind the Falcon's navicomputer, it only make sense for the sound effects to be the same. Whether people would have noticed (or cared) if there was a difference is debatable, but it's nice to see the Solo creative team strived to be as authentic as possible. Lucasfilm has done a nice job of trying to maintain continuity with the modern films, especially when it comes to original trilogy references. Many fans wondered why Wedge Antilles was absent from the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One, but the studio wanted to preserve his awed reaction to seeing the Death Star for the first time in A New Hope. With so many areas of canon under the same umbrella, there will be some minor inconsistencies that pop up occasionally, but Lucasfilm doesn't play fast and loose with the rules.
As for L3, it'll be interesting to see if she factors into Episode IX. Billy Dee Williams is returning as Lando in the sequel trilogy finale, where he possibly could fly the Falcon again. That would be quite an emotional and powerful moment, as not only would he be reunited with his old ship after many years, but he'd get to fly with his old friend again. L3 and the Falcon may have merged into something new, but Lando never forgot his droid companion and everything she meant to him. If nothing else, whenever the Falcon is onscreen in Star Wars 9, it'll be hard not to think about L3's arc in Solo.
Source: Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019