A recently discovered species of catfish has been named after Greedo, the infamous bounty hunter from the original Star Wars, whose brief encounter with Han Solo still sparks a debate among fans of the sci-fi films.
Jonathan Armbruster, a biological sciences professor and curator of fishes at the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, is responsible for the new species’ scientific name, Peckoltia Greedoi, according to Blastr. The catfish shares certain physical traits with the Rodian bounty hunter, not least of which are its widely spaced eyes and distinctive mouth.
— Sam Tanner (@SamTanner) March 18, 2015
“I think it was the whole package that evoked Greedo, but particularly the eyes and the underslung mouth,” Armbruster noted. “As a seven-year-old kid, I watched Star Wars in the theater, and it was a life-changing experience for me… Greedo has always been a personal favorite of mine.”
The unique fish was actually discovered in 1998, according to Comic Book, though it has taken the course of the intervening years for scientists to properly classify the species. The catfish initially fell under Armbruster’s purview in 2005, when he recovered a specimen from a museum in Porto Alegre. Three years later, he labeled it as Peckolita vittata, another known species of catfish, though he attests that he was never comfortable with the designation.
Examining the fish once again this past September along with his colleagues David Werneke, Milton Tan and Chris Hamilton, Armbruster was able to determine that the fish wasn’t Peckolita vittata, but instead a distinct species of its own. Hamilton, Armbruster noted in a statement, was the first to notice the similarity between the fish and its bounty hunter doppelganger.
“Chris looked at the specimen and said ‘that looks like that guy from Star Wars,'” Armbruster recalled. “After a little prodding, I realized he was talking about Greedo. We then knew what the name had to be. The Peckoltia greedoi does bear a striking resemblance to Greedo.”
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Star Wars fans have long debated the changes George Lucas wrought on the beloved trilogy when the Special Edition films were released, though possibly none more so than the addition of a laser blast to the short scene between Greedo and Han Solo, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Longtime fans of the series are quick to point out that Han did indeed shoot first.
In addition to the fish named after Greedo, Armbruster and his colleagues also described two new catfish specimens collected in Brazil and Venezuela.
[Image: Lucasfilm, Ltd./20th Century Fox and Auburn University via Comic Book]