George Lucas has made a lot of changes to the Star Wars movies that people don’t really like, but the one that almost everyone agrees is completely heinous is Han Shot First.
In the original version of A New Hope Han Solo is confronted by a bounty hunter named Greedo in the Mos Eisely Cantina and, before Greedo can get off a shot, Han stone cold shoots him dead. In the re-released versions (and the only versions Lucas will let people see now) that scene happens differently. Now it’s been re-edited to make Han seem more family friendly. Greedo shoots first, and he’s so incompetent that even though his gun is less than a foot from Han Solo’s head he misses. Then Han fires back and kills him.
Except George Lucas now claims he didn’t change anything. In another one of his lame attempts to rewrite history the way he wants us to remember it, instead of the way it actually was, he now says that Han never shot first in the original version of A New Hope and you just dreamed it all up.
Here’s what he said to THR today…
The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
Here’s the scene as it originally appeared in A New Hope…
It’s pretty clear what’s going on there. Even George Lucas’s own published version of the Star Wars script disagrees with what he’s saying. The official January 15, 1976 version of the script for Star Wars describes the above scene this way:
GREEDO: That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to killing you for a long time.
HAN: Yes, I’ll bet you have.
Suddenly the slimy alien disappears in a blinding flash of light. Han pulls his smoking gun from beneath the table as the other patron look on in bemused amazement. Han gets up and starts out of the cantina, flipping the bartender some coins as he leaves.
HAN: Sorry about the mess.
I only see two possiblities. George Lucas is either stupid or a liar. He’s either lying about it to make himself look smarter (he’s done this before) or he’s so stupid that he no longer actually remembers anything about his own movie.
The worst thing here is that this horrible tactic will work. Now fanboys will claim that Han never shot first and slowly, bit by bit the real history of Star Wars will be replaced by the inferior, more kid-friendly fakery Lucas has been peddling since the nineties.