Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to introduce audiences to a young Han Solo. A Han Solo who hasn’t defeated the Empire, who hasn’t met Luke Skywalker, who doesn’t make smuggling runs with the Millennium Falcon, yet. The film will also introduce a young Lando Calrissian, a Lando who isn’t running Cloud City, yet, either. While Han will meet his best friend and co-pilot Chewbacca in this film, Lando will be flying with his co-pilot, L3-37. L3 is a unique droid in the Star Wars franchise because she’s voiced by and portrayed by a female actress — a first for any leading droids in the film series.
A History of Droids
Every Star Wars movie ever made has featured droids. R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8, K-2SO — these droids are an integral part of the Star Wars universe. BB-8 and R2-D2 are astromech droids, they help Poe Dameron and Luke Skywalker fly their X-Wings. C-3PO is a communications expert, he came in handy when Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca were kidnapped by Ewoks. K-2S0 is a security droid. He helped Jyn and Cassian hack into the data drives on Scarif.
All of these droids, though not human in nature, have been voiced, played by, or performance captured by male actors. Anthony Daniels wears C-3pO’s gold armor and voices him, Kenny Baker wears R2-D2’s armor, numerous actors contribute to BB-8’s “happy beeps”, and Alan Tudyk performance captured and voiced K-2SO in Rogue One.
So what about the ladies? Well, surprisingly Solo: A Star Wars Story will introduce a new female droid to the franchise. Her call sign is L3-37 and she is Lando’s co-pilot. L3 is voiced by and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Like Anthony Daniels before her, Waller-Bridge wore L3’s armor during the shooting of Solo.
It’s important to note that there have been female droids in the Star Wars franchise before, like TC-14, just not prominent ones. In fact, keen-eyed Star Wars fans have assembled a full-list of female droids in a great thread here. In addition to being a female droid, L3 is also not an astromech or a communications droid. According to the recently released book Last Shot, L3 is a collection of other droids, hence being “self-made”. According to her, she has been augmenting herself for years, salvaging old droid parts to build and repair her body.
L3’s main parts and programming, however, are that of a protocol droid, like 3PO. Specifically a navigation protocol droid, which explains why she’s a great co-pilot for Lando. While the Last Shot book does provide more information on her backstory, we’re sure to see her in action in Solo.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25, 2018.