Star Wars ABCs is a fun 26-part series that partners Star Wars with your ABCs to introduce you to characters, droids, places, and creatures from every era of the franchise, including the newest venture into a galaxy far, far away — The High Republic.
L is for L3-37
L3-37, known more commonly as L3 or Elthree, was a feminine one-of-a-kind piloting droid that was active during the reign of the Galactic Empire. She served as co-pilot to the smuggler, gambler, and card player Lando Calrissian before his days as a general in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. It was often hinted that L3 and Calrissian had a romantic relationship, but it was never outright confirmed. She described her relationship with the card shark as “complicated.”
L3 was assembled from numerous other droids, and as time passed she continued to improve herself with parts from other droids, ensuring that she was the only droid of her kind. Her torso was pieced together with parts from an old astromech, and her brain module was from an R3-series astromech droid, including data from espionage and protocol droids. But what made the one-of-a-kind droid truly unique was her skills as a navigator — she was known to have some of the best navigational data in the galaxy.
Prior to joining forces with Lando Calrissian, L3 belonged to another master, and one night he left her restraining bolt off after cleaning her in his workshop. With dreams of freedom fueling her, the daring droid began to use the her master’s tools to modify her body, making it larger and more capable. Eventually she created a humanoid size bipedal form, downloaded all of her master’s data on droid freedom causes, as well as his navigational data, and made her escape to freedom.
Together, Elthree and Lando went on many adventures around the galaxy together, including rescuing the Millennium Falcon from an Imperial impound yard and fighting off smugglers and Stormtroopers. On the snowy planet of Vandor, L3 and Lando were at the saloon known as the Lodge, where Calrissian was competing in a high stakes game of sabacc. It was here that the pair met Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, and the outlaw Tobias Beckett.
Beckett and his crew hired Elthree and Lando Calrissian to fly them to the spice mines of Kessel to retrieve coaxium. It was here that L3 attempted to free the droid slaves of the Pyke Syndicate, a dangerous group of criminals known to rival the Hutts and Black Sun. At first Elthree’s slave droid rebellion was successful, with the droids setting off a chain reaction of chaos and panic within the mine as more and more of them were freed. Unfortunately, the Pyke guards began fighting back and while trying to escape, the droid freedom fighter was severely damaged.
Lando retrieved L3 before she was completely destroyed by the Pykes, but he was unable to salvage her horribly damaged body. After mourning the loss of his co-pilot and close friend, Lando removed her neural core and integrated her data with the Falcon. Elthree’s data merged with that of the Falcon’s existing droid brains and gave the ship one of the best sets of navigation data in the galaxy, along with what C-3PO would later describe as “the most peculiar dialect.”
You can follow L3 on her adventures in the Solo: A Star Wars Story on Disney+.
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