Recently I told my FB friends to inbox me their questions. This one is the first I will answer and the only one with this post. I believe it’s such a heavy and meaningful question. Here is question number 1.
Who shot first Han Solo or Greedo?
Such a simple answer Han Solo did. But it gets convoluted and here is why.
In 1977 Star Wars episode IV was released and in it when Greedo tries to take Han in Han shoots first before Greedo has a chance to pull the trigger. This action shows Han Solo for the self centered, money motivated, heartless person he is at the beginning of the Star Wars original trilogy.
1997 George Lucas released the “special edition” of Star Wars and in it he adds a few seconds of so of film to this scene. He adds to the scene showing Greedo shot first and Han dodges then returns fire killing Greedo. When Lucas was asked he said Greedo was always meant to shot first.
George Lucas in that interview said he wanted Han to be seen more human and not as a cold blooded killer. But added film pissed some fans off as it takes away from Han Solo and his incredible transformation from a not caring for anyone but himself to a good guy. It robs the movie of the purity of the message that anyone can be saved and heroes can come from places we least expect them to.
This assertion was made by George Lucas despite the original script never mentioning it and despite all the cuts from that scene never showing Greedo shot first. But we will move on.
In like 2004(ish) with the high definition release the scene was tightened. Lucas to placate the fan based shortened the scene to show both shooting at the same time. This time Han still dodging the blast and Greedo still dies but Lucas missed the point the fans knew Han as the uncaring, cold hearted person. They knew Han Solo would make a turnaround from zero to hero.
In 2011(ish) blue ray was release and this time both versions were released. But Lucas has refused to back off the idea that Han wasn’t a cold blooded in it for me and only me villain. Despite claims by Lucas no evidence has ever been found where Greedo was meant to shot at all.
Not the original script or any of the cut scenes before the actual take.
I stand by the fact Han shot first as this is how it was released in 1977 and with the lack of supporting evidence it’s how it was meant to be all along. Without this scene Star Wars loses some of the any zero can become a hero appeal. It falls short of everyone can be redeemed and frankly loses the understanding that love and purpose can change a mans heart.
I’m disappointed this conversation was even needed but now you know why Han shot first. As well as why this fact is central and vital to the Star Wars story line.