While Star Wars movies used to streak across the sky about as frequently as shooting stars, we've now entered the asteroid belt phase of Star Wars fandom navigation, and the films seem to be arriving as quickly as that ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. And if you like bragging about the Millennium Falcon as much as we do, and Han Solo does, you too may believe that the debut of the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story somehow led to the Super Bowl's outcome of underdog redemption. (Granted, this writer knows more about dejarik than football.)
Still, more cool Solo news was to come this week as the crew behind the film revealed an exciting new turn in the world of Star Wars droids to Entertainment Weekly. Meet L3-37, the absolute latest and badassest droid to rock the galaxy, and, duh, of course, she rides with Lando Calrissian.
The most epic thing about her? She built herself.
As screenwriter Jon Kasdan told EW, "She's a self-modified droid." Kasdan, who co-wrote the script with his father Lawrence Kasdan, who you might remember as helping write, oh, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, continued, "The idea is that she's sort of a mutt, if you will, of various parts of different kinds of droids who has improved upon herself."
The folks over at EW and CBR have already pointed out that this mismash is apparent in her design, with her BB-8-like head and her R2/Astromech-like body. And the coolness keeps on coming with two more features of L3-37. First off, clever watchers have noticed her name is spelled out in an apparent reference to the internet practice of substituting numbers for letters, in which case "L337" becomes "leet," or slang for "elite." And second, and maybe the grandest thing about the character, she's truly the first independent droid, self-made and owned by no one.
Kasdan elaborated on this to EW: "We wanted to have it be a completely different kind of droid than you've ever seen in the movies. And we definitely wanted it to be female. We thought it was more than time for that."
Voiced and played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the playwright, screenwriter, and actress behind such popular BBC comedies as Crashing and Fleabag (the latter of which has hopped the pond on Amazon), we expect the Donald Glover/Lando and Waller-Bridge/L3-37 scenes to be real show stealers. And director Ron Howard told EW they gave Waller-Bridge plenty to work with, "Her AI is way up there in terms of IQ," said Howard. "And Phoebe is hilarious and brilliant and really helped bring that character to life in ways that are funny and surprising."
A self-made droid who is her own boss for the first time in galaxy recorded history? That's some "gr8t" gray goo we can actually get behind.