This article features spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
L3-37 is the best character in Solo: A Star Wars Story. She is the first obviously female droid with a major role in a Star Wars film. She is sassy. She has a mind of her own. She has curves (yes, droids can have curves). She speaks her mind. She is also an advocate for droid rights. Did I mention she also built herself? The possibilities for her character within the Star Wars verse are endless. Yet somehow, the creators of Solo didn’t know what to do with her.
In fact, they did the worst thing imaginable to her character, at which point during the film I can assure you I cried. But it gets worse. Sure, L3-37 died in the arms of Lando Calrissian (the human L3 was closest to), but it wasn’t the actual end of L3. The real end happens when she is plugged into the Millennium Falcon to be used for navigation and basically condemned to a lifetime of servitude.
I know what you’re thinking. Maybe they’ll pull her out again in the next film and she can have a bigger, better curvier body? Wrong.
A tweet from the official Star Wars page has pretty much confirmed that L3-37 survives in the Millennium Falcon and makes an ‘appearance’ in The Empire Strikes Back. The tweet shows a picture of C-3PO and the quote: “I don’t know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has the most peculiar dialect.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2018
I mean, there still is a small chance that this indicates the fate of some other droid, but it seems unlikely. Regardless, it goes against everything L3-37 stands for during the film.
We are first introduced to L3-37 (voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) when Solo seeks out Lando in order to acquire a ship. The camera cuts to L3 as she stands at a cage where two droids are being prepared for some sort of droid battle. It’s here she exclaims “stop exploiting droids!” and we immediately get a sense that this is no ordinary droid.
There are several amusing moments with L3 throughout the film including one where she is stuck in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon with Emilia Clarke’s Qi-ra and they talk about the possibility of droids taking human partners. (Believe me, it’s possible!). Another oscene involves her cutting a chain so Lando is able to get to the Millennium Falcon where she tells them not to watch her as she does it. L3-37 is in fact part comic relief throughout the film, and I don’t have a problem with this at all. A droid who stands up for herself, is smart and funny (what a role model!).
However her finest moment is when she cuts a fellow droid free on Kessel. When the droid asks her what to do, she tells it to set other droids free. Glorious chaos ensues. It is truly beautiful. It is also L3’s greatest achievement in the film. Unfortunately, it is short lived for only a little while later she dies in Lando Carlissions arms.
L3 is perhaps one of the most important characters to have been introduced to the Star Wars films since their revival with The Force Awakens. Her personality, her gender and her beliefs are all things which Solo: A Star Wars Story was in sore need of, considering the other main female characters either a) get killed off b) get little screen time c) are problematic.
Unfortunately, none of this was enough for the creators to give L3-37 a better ending. We can only hope that her actions provoke some droid in a future film. Or maybe there is a still slim chance that someday she’ll get her own film (or at the very least one where she stars beside Lando once again). Any of these things would be better than condemning a droid who was against servitude to well… servitude.