For decades before and after the creation of social media, the world has had a huge debate going on that will not have a meeting in the middle. Who shot first: Han or Greedo? The Star Wars guru himself, George Lucas, has once again come out and said that not only did Greedo shoot first, but he defended the edits in the 1997 version of A New Hope.
One would think that the final word would be when Lucas says something, but too many fans still disagree with him. It’s been almost 20 years since the re-released “special edition” of Star Wars: A New Hope, and the world is getting ready for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the debate continues.
Lucas spoke with the Washington Post and talked about all sorts of things such as his life, home, and how things have been since selling Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney three years ago for $4 billion. He has no connection to The Force Awakens, but the case of Han Solo and Greedo is still all on him.
With that, Lucas explained and defended his edit in the 1997 special edition of Star Wars.
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
For those not aware, the scene takes place at the Mos Eisley Cantina where Han Solo is confronted by the lizard-like Greedo. The alien corners Han and, at gunpoint, forces the hero to sit down in a chair. Han states he has the money to pay Jabba the Hutt, Greedo’s employer, who he works for as a bounty hunter.
Greedo says he will “forget” he even saw Solo if he gets the money, and he’ll just take it for himself.
Solo says he doesn’t currently have the money on him, at which point Greedo says that his patience has run thin. Right in the middle of that exchange, the camera focuses on Han grabbing his gun, but then Greedo says he looks forward to killing him.
Han Solo says, “I’ll bet you have.”
From that point, the 1977 and 1997 versions of the film are different.
Ever since 1997, any version of Star Wars shows Greedo’s gun missing Solo’s head with his shot first and then Solo returning fire. George Lucas has always insisted that Greedo shot first, but it was not seen clearly by the way he framed and edited the original shot.
Hence, the special edition re-release.
CNET brings up the point that no matter how much explaining there is or even who does the explanation, it’s not going to make anyone change their mind. Fans are mostly of the mindset that Han Solo was so cool that he wouldn’t dare wait for Greedo to shoot him first.
Lucas even said that he’s avoided the internet almost entirely since 2000. He doesn’t have email, and he’s had no interaction on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other kind of social media out there. He’s simply not going to do it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just a couple of weeks away from release, yet a huge discussion is ongoing about a scene from a film that is now almost 40-years-old. Star Wars: A New Hope will always have those that believe Han shot first, even if George Lucas himself says that Greedo shot first.
[Image via Lucasfilm]