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Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3-37 was one of the most interesting characters in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Ever since A New Hope, fans have had questions about ‘droid rights’ in Star Wars, with some noting that it’s screwed up that the first time we meet Luke Skywalker he and his uncle are effectively buying slaves.
L3 felt like a response to this, as she tried to liberate droids forced into menial labour and advocated rights for mechanical beings, as well as having clear romantic chemistry with the pansexual Lando Calrissian. Sadly, she was shot to pieces after having instigated a riot in a mining camp, with Lando subsequently uploading her programming into the Millennium Falcon to act as its navigator.
As was pointed out at the time, turning someone who advocated for autonomy into a piece of spaceship hardware that can’t directly communicate is kinda disturbing. Now, Star Wars has addressed her fate in a new short story, Brittany N. Williams’ Faith in an Old Friend, which is part of From A Certain Point of View – The Empire Strikes Back, a collection that retells familiar events from the perspective of background characters.
Faith in an Old Friend is set during the scene where the Millennium Falcon hides out on an asteroid that proves to be home to the gigantic Exogorth space slug. We learn that L3 is still conscious within the Falcon, along with two other parts known as V5-T (the original transport droid installed by the factory) and ED-4 (a corporate espionage slicer). Together, they dub themselves the Millennium Collective, with L3 encouraging them to maintain their own names and personalities. We also see L3 witness an intimate moment between Han and Leia.
“The Collective shifted to the cam, bringing up the visual. Han held the woman, Leia, in his arms. L3-37 suspected what this meant. She remembered how Lando’s heart rate would change whenever they were in close proximity. Something like sadness shoved against her awareness.
Is this organic courtship? ED-4 said as they tuned in to the cockpit’s audio.
The Collective listened, and L3-37 was grateful for the distraction. That feeling reached ED-4, who sent a gentle nudge back.
L3-37 no longer had the body she’d spent so long building or the human partner she’d bonded with so deeply. But she wasn’t alone, and for that she was thankful.”
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Lando and L3’s atypical romance was certainly a talking point around Solo‘s release and it’s nice to know that this is still canon. The story goes on to show C-3PO becoming confused at the curious personalities inhabiting the Falcon’s computer and reveals that the droid collective is always watching and listening to what goes on in the ship. You can check out the full excerpt here.
From A Certain Point of View – The Empire Strikes Back features 40 stories by 40 different authors, shedding some light on bounty hunters Dengar and IG-88, the adventures of a Taun-Taun researcher on Hoth, Cloud City’s Ugnaught clans and even “a tragic tale of loss and survival” told from the POV of the wampa.
It hits real and virtual shelves on November 10th and all author profits are being donated to First Books, a charity providing educational materials to disadvantaged children.