New details have come to light about L3-37, the droid character portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Solo: A Star Wars Story. One of the franchise's trademark calling cards is placing robots in key supporting roles (often for comic relief), dating back to R2-D2 and C-3PO in the original six films. Lucasfilm made sure to continue the tradition with the new films during the Disney era, as evidenced by fan-favorites BB-8 and K-2SO in the sequel trilogy and Rogue One, respectively. Given how popular Star Wars' droids have been over the decades, it isn't surprising the makers of Solo wanted a fun robot of their own.
Ron Howard's spinoff will be the tenth live-action installment in the series, so it had to mix up the formula a bit to stay fresh. In the previous nine movies, the main droids all had male programming, and that now changes. L3-37 is the franchise's first primary female droid - one who is very close to Lando Calrissian.
As part of EW's continuing coverage during Solo Week, information about L3-37 was brought to light. Co-writer Jon Kasdan described her as a "self-modified" droid who has improved her design over the years by rebuilding herself with parts of other droids. Kasdan also added L3 is "subservient to no one," which should lead to some interesting character dynamics. Lawrence Kasdan explained L3's connection to Lando while expressing enthusiasm for Waller-Bridge's mo-cap performance:
"She has a working relationship with Lando, and it’s very sophisticated and informed by years of working together. And, Phoebe, herself, is hilarious. The effect that she will appear in is amazing, but she comes through very strongly even with this astounding [CGI], both her humor and her physicality. If you meet Phoebe, she’s one of these people you just fall in love with immediately.”
It isn't surprising L3 has an extensive history with Lando, as one of the standout moments from the teaser trailer depicted the two doing a synchronized salute before taking the Millennium Falcon to lightspeed. From the sound of things, L3 is going to be Lando's answer to Chewbacca; the longtime companion who also makes a great co-pilot. Personality wise, she'll be a change-of-pace from some of her predecessors, but L3 will still be a source of comedic relief. Director Ron Howard mentioned L3 is "capable of some pretty interesting conversations" and praised Waller-Bridge for bringing the right amount of heart and humor to the role. There are only brief glimpses of L3-37 in the released footage, but she already seems poised to add to the series' rich legacy of mechanical companions.
Much like femme fatale Qi'ra and Han's mentor Tobias Beckett, L3-37 is a new Solo character audiences never heard of in the prior films. It will be interesting to see how the spinoff handles her fate to avoid pesky continuity problems from popping up. This doesn't necessarily mean she has to "die" like K-2SO before her, but something had to have happened for her not to be by Lando's side on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. No doubt, the Solo braintrust was aware of this and worked diligently to come up with an explanation. If anything, the twists and turns of Solo should make the original trilogy even better.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019