Wait, What?! George Lucas Asserts That Greedo Always Shot First?
by Ethan Anderton
February 9, 2012
It's been a point of contention amongst fanboys since 1997 when Star Wars (again, I will not call it A New Hope) returned to theaters in Special Edition form complete with new special effects, creatures and remastered sound and picture. However, one of the biggest changes to the film came in the form of an extra split second of footage in the Mos Eisley cantina in which Han Solo is confronted by Greedo. Now in the original film, Solo blasts Greedo without a second thought, but in the Special Edition, galactic history is rewritten to have Greedo taking the first shot. However, George Lucas never saw it that way. More below!
In an interview with THR (via SlashFilm) Lucas claims that it's always been Greedo that shot first, but the limited coverage that was shot during production back in the 70's allowed only for a sloppy edit that never allowed viewers to see the whole picture. For those who need a refresher, here's the same scene from both the original theatrical cut in 1977 (top video) and the Special Edition release in 1997 (bottom):
Speaking on this debacle, George Lucas says:
"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."
First of all, let me just say, that I don't think Han Solo taking the first shot makes him a cold-blooded killer. It's clear that Greedo is going to either take him in or just shoot Solo himself, so in that matter it's just simple self-defense and survival of the fittest. Second of all, while the practical explanation does allow for the fact that Greedo shot first, why is it that we never hear that shot in the original cut? And if that is indeed how the scene always went down, then why wasn't this brought up over ten years ago when there was a huge uproar about it? Were fanboys crying so hard that we couldn't hear Lucas yelling over the Tusken Raider screams of Star Wars fans all over the world. I'm sorry, but I don't think so.
At this point, I don't trust Lucas with anything from the Star Wars universe anymore. You're talking about a guy who named Obi-Wan Kenobi's home planet after Jon Stewart just for shits and giggles. Nowadays, Lucas just makes things up off the top of his head, and since he's the creator of the Star Wars canon, it's accepted as word from God himself. Rightly so, the creator of any given property should have final say over his creations, but when that creator just can't stop meddling with different elements and constantly tweaks what should be a finished product, it seems a little obsessive compulsive.
I guess I can't really say that Lucas is flat out lying, hell, he probably believes half the stuff he's saying, but this just smells like true Bantha fodder all around. If anything, it's just good publicity to get you thinking about seeing The Phantom Menace in 3D this weekend. Maybe this time Liam Neeson cuts off Darth Maul's horns first to make him less evil when he kills the Jedi Master. What do you think?