In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Star Wars creator George Lucas talked about his view on making changes to his fan favorite films, and goes so far as to say that “it’s just a movie.”
The filmmaker, who is the mastermind behind the Star Wars mega-franchise, which includes six big-screen live-action movies, has come under fire for decades now due to his propensity to make changes to the films, much to fans’ dismay. In the interview, Lucas said while other movies gets revisions over time without backlash, when he makes “the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”
One of the most controversial alterations Lucas made was having Greedo the bounty hunter shoot first in his confrontation with the smuggling space pilot Han Solo in the first Star Wars film (Episode IV: A New Hope). Now, Lucas is saying that it was always Greedo who shot first, we just didn’t see it.
Here’s where I say, don’t even get me started.
Ok, I’m started. First of all: “just a movie.”
Changes are not unusual — I mean, most movies when they release them they make changes. But somehow, when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world…
Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie.
Yes, it’s true, it’s just a movie, I understand that. But when you’ve made billions of dollars on this [just a] movie and gained crazy, devoted fans that have made those billions for you, it’s pretty condescending to say that it’s “just a movie.” But whatever, I won’t harp that on.
How about what Lucas said about the backlash whenever he makes the “slightest change” to his movies. Really, SLIGHT? That’s what you call slight? But, I won’t even harp on that, because it’s obvious that Lucas is delusional.
Here’s what I will harp on: His ridiculous statement that Han never actually shot first and that his revisions were made to just “clear up the confusion.”
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 we go:
— In the original film, it is clear that Han shoots first. There is no movement from Greedo, no special effects sounds, no nothing. Greedo is still and it’s clear he’s busy running his mouth off about what he’s going to do, so he doesn’t get the shot off first.
— Ok, let’s make believe Greedo DID shoot first (but we know damn well he didn’t). Lucas expects us to believe that Han’s reaction to being shot at is to NOT MOVE? He doesn’t even flinch. If Han was shot at, he’d at least react in some way, yet he doesn’t at all. He maintains his claim, nonchalant disposition. You know why? Because he had a gun pointed at Greedo under the table and didn’t want to alert the bounty hunter to it!
— Also, another issue with Lucas’s Greedo Shot First edict: You’re telling me that a bounty hunter sitting three feet across from his non-moving bounty would shoot and MISS? Really? What is he the worst fucking bounty hunter ever? Seriously, Han is practically lying down, how could Greedo miss???!!! There were no distractions, nothing that would have made him miss, how did he miss?
— But, in the special editions, Greedo is shown shooting first and missing, and that’s when Han takes his shot and kills Greedo. Lucas has said that the fans who were upset with the change are so because they want Han “to be a cold-blooded killer,” and Lucas maintains that Han is not, in fact, a cold-blooded killer. I’m going to take a poll right now:
Who here ever thought after seeing Han shoot Greedo in the original unaltered version of Star Wars that Han was a cold-blooded killer?
::: crickets chirping:::
Exactly: NO ONE!!!!!
— Why do fans think that it’s acceptable that Han Solo shot Greedo first? Umm, because it was self-defense! There’s a reason why Lucas didn’t change the scene to show Han getting his walkie-talkie ready under the table (although, don’t be surprised when that happens one day) — Han was secretly getting his blaster ready under the table because he knew that the odds were high that he wouldn’t be walking away from that confrontation. Do you think someone like Han would WAIT to be shot at first before taking a shot? (And let us not forget, the bounty hunter pointing a gun at him less than three feet away!) The entire conversation between Han and Greedo is Han trying to get out of 1) being killed and 2) being taken back to Jabba. “This time I’ve got the money,” he tells Greedo, but the bounty hunter tells him it’s too late for that. It’s clear that Greedo is there to kill Han.
— Lucas says that Han never shot first, but then why did he change the scene yet AGAIN for the release of the Special Editions on DVD to make it so Han and Greedo shoot at the same time?
— If Lucas didn’t want Han to come off as a cold-blooded killer, then why would he have made Han just nonchalantly walk away from the table and flip a coin to the bartender “for the mess” like it was no big deal? He wasn’t even shook up about having just killed someone and this is a guy who wouldn’t shoot first at someone who was pointing a gun at him with the sole intention of killing him?
— While talking over the issue of Han shooting first with fellow Star Wars fanatic and Geeks of Doom contributor Greg Davies (cGt2099), he said:
Han Solo at this point of his history is not a very nice man. He is smuggling, working for the Hutts, and has no morals except for business and profit. Chewbacca is his moral voice, and this moral voice is also literal in the form of the character, but symbolically as well. It is through Chewbacca’s encouragement that Han comes to the decision to come back and help Luke during the run on the Death Star.
This is also why Han shoots first in the originals: it’s a character development thing. We WANT to see Han go from being douchebag antihero smuggler gunning down degenerate fuckwads in Mos Eisley to making the moral choice to save the day, help his friend, and blow up a weapon that is so big that it’s easy to see Palpatine was compensating for something.
Damn, I love Greg. Ok, I think I’ve ranted enough. Here’s where I turn to you, the readers, and say “What do you think? Was it really Greedo who shot first? Is Star Wars actually, in fact, just a movie?”
Check out the video here below that has a side-by-side comparison of the Han/Greedo shooting portion of the scene.