For more than 40 years, the Star Wars saga has utilized some of the most ambitious visual effects imaginable, with filmmakers going to great lengths to convey the necessary visuals for the sci-fi stories. Another key component of the series has been its variety of droid characters, which have come to life through a variety of different effects. For Solo: A Star Wars Story, actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge wore a costume for her robotic character L3-37 to help her co-stars interact with her on set.
A shout out to all involved in making this costume come to life... That’s right folks, the excellent Phoebe Walker Bridge wasn’t wearing just a mocap suit, she was wearing what you see here and the excellent VFX team led by @rbredow ‘removed’ her and replaced her, in post, with the skeleton and ‘guts’ that the excellent @supergoose23 assembled... in real life (not in a computer). @rbredow @s_adc1 @ellynmei @robmatthews90 @aristotles.lantern @tshan71 #TeamL3 #Teamwork #L337 #PhoebeWallerBridge #Droid #Droids #Solo #TheHanSoloMovie #StarWars #Disney #Lucasfilm #costume #costumedepartment #costumedesign #costumedesigner #conceptart #conceptartist #glyndillon #davecrossman #cocostumedesign
Costume designer Glyn Dillon took to Instagram to share photos of the finished product, adding the caption, "A shout out to all involved in making this costume come to life... That’s right folks, the excellent Phoebe Walker Bridge [sic] wasn’t wearing just a mocap suit, she was wearing what you see here and the excellent VFX team led by @rbredow ‘removed’ her and replaced her, in post, with the skeleton and ‘guts’ that the excellent @supergoose23 assembled... in real life (not in a computer)."
The original trilogy of films relied on actors Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker residing inside C-3PO and R2-D2 outfits, respectively, as this practical approach was the most efficient at the time.
On the recent Rogue One, actor Alan Tudyk wore a motion-capture suit on set, in addition to standing on stilts, to help convey the presence of K-2SO.
The complicated nature of L3-37's appearance makes it impossible for Waller-Bridge to physically enter the droid's costume, but rather utilized a similar approach to filming the character that was used for C-3PO in The Phantom Menace.
With the droid appearing in a much more rudimentary form in the prequel film, Daniels would often wear a green suit and wear the costume in front of him, serving as more of a puppeteer for the character. The green outfit then allowed the visual effects team to erase the actor, making it appear as though C-3PO moved on his own accord.
Seeing the filmmakers embrace a more practical approach to the character surely led to more organic interactions on set, in addition to giving the film a more authentic look.
You can see Waller-Bridge as L3-37 when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25th.3comments
Does the practical performance of the droid make you more interested in the film? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!