LE-37 from Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo's LE-37 is a million times cooler when you see how VFX brought her to life

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Nov 14, 2018, 9:26 AM EST

Lando’s sidekick LE-37 was the unexpected star of Solo — what robot is badass enough to ignite a slave rebellion? You could argue this self-modified droid has more brains than some humans, but Hybride Technologies’ newly revealed vid of her VFX evolution just seriously upped her cred.

If you think LE-37 was completely digital like so many of the things in Star Wars you could swear were real, or an actor in a droid suit like her distant brethren R2-D2 and C-3PO, she’s neither — and both. Voice actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge didn’t just voice what could be the most woke droid that exists in that galaxy far, far away or anywhere else. She literally became LE-37 in a suit that morphed her from flesh to metal before the post-production digital magic happened.

Waller-Bridge wore a custom droid suit on set, much as Anthony Daniels did on the set of the original trilogy and six more live-action Star Wars movies. What leveled up this droid (and would probably make Threepio jealous) is how she was built. The actress suited up in a green leotard worn inside the suit that allowed her to physically define the character’s movements and mannerisms in a way that only a human can do. Hybride further merged those movements with digital effects that further enhanced her droid-ness.

Never mind that it’s also so much easier for the other actors to interact with a corporeal droid instead of constantly having to pretend they’re talking to some ghost character that will come into being digitally and appear onscreen later. When you see what looks like three LE-37s being layered on top of each other, that’s really the digital version merging with the human droid.

The video also shows how battles and explosions are not what they seem. No fog machine needed when you can layer in smoke digitally. All those lightsaber blasts, falling hunks of debris, and random explosions are totally safe because those are also made of pixels. You didn’t think Lando would risk getting his fab wardrobe ruined by running through flames, did you?

Watch and be amazed at how your new favorite droid transforms.

(via io9)