A new excerpt from the Solo: A Star Wars Story novelization reveals L3-37 resisted joining the Millennium Falcon’s system after her death on Kessel. Portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge via motion-capture, L3 was Lando Calrissian’s trusted co-pilot and definitely one of the more unique droids the Star Wars films have seen. She was an outspoken supporter of droid rights, even upstaging a small rebellion of sorts in the mines, fulfilling her purpose. Unfortunately, in the ensuing battle, she was damaged beyond repair, dying in Lando’s arms.
Despite that, L3 had a role to play in the story. During the now-famous Kessel Run sequence, it was her top notch navigational systems that provided Han Solo with his escape route. L3’s consciousness was uploaded to the Falcon’s computer system, which is something fans theorized would happen even months before Solo was released. While this is a fun wrinkle that adds to the ever-growing mystique of the Falcon, there’s also an element of tragedy. L3 was none too pleased about her ultimate fate.
StarWars.com released a trio of new excerpts from the Solo novelization, and one of them details L3’s thoughts immediately after Kessel. In the passage, she realizes that she no longer has a body and has a conversation with the Falcon. The ship tells L3 that she has a choice – one that will determine what happens to everyone else onboard. If L3 chooses to permanently die, the rest (including her friend Lando) go with her. Here’s a snippet:
If you refuse, you die. He dies. The others on the ship, they all die. If you join with us, we all can live. The choice is simple. L3 realized where the voice was coming from: The reboot was almost done.
You tricked me.
We couldn’t have joined without you consenting to it. You made your decision a while ago. You just couldn’t admit it.
We are something different, now. Not just the Falcon. Not just L3.
We are new.
L3, who was vehemently against the captivity of droids, obviously did not like the sound of being “a slave inside a ship forever.” Being a part of the Falcon means L3 no longer has any control of her life and will go “exactly where your pilot tells you.” Of course, Lando and the others did what they had to do to survive, but a case can be made their methods were a bit problematic. Instead of letting L3, proud droid liberator, die in peace as a free being, they confined her to an existence she never would have chosen against her will. This information probably won’t sit well with some fans, even though the L3/Falcon connection was confirmed long ago. Seeing the scene play out from L3’s point of view makes the sequence come across as highly upsetting and recontexualizes everything. In the movie, the system reboot was a moment of triumph for our heroes, but now it’s much more murkier from an ethics standpoint.
Much like the Last Jedi novelization, the book of Solo is being billed as an “Expanded Edition,” meaning it should have plenty of new bits the film didn’t feature. Solo has the infamous distinction of being the first Star Wars movie to be considered a box office failure, but it has its fair share of fans who are looking forward to experiencing the story again when it comes out on home media next month. In addition to rewatching the film, some viewers will also be interested in the book to see what else it reveals about the larger Star Wars universe.