12 February, 2012

Lucas says Han NEVER shot first. Really George?


Unless you've been living under a rock (or actually have a life), you probably heard that Uncle George stirred up some controversy last week by stating that Han Solo never shot first. In his mind, Greedo always shot first. My initial reaction was to cry 'Bullshit again George!'. But just to make sure and considering I had nothing better to do with myself, I decided to do a little investigating.

In the interview George states that in the Special Edition he inserted a wider shot to clear up the confusion that it was Greedo who shot first. The original scene which was filmed in close ups was apparently considered too confusing by George because it didn't make it clear as to who was shooting whom first.

Sigh. Let's go to the videotape for the millionth time.



Were you ever confused? Didn't think so. The issue is not that George changed the scene in the SE, but that the original canonical one has now been deemed as never being what we thought it was in the first place. Basically, the badass Han Solo we were introduced to 35 years ago was never what he George intended. According to George, we the fans wanted Solo to be a cold blooded killer, but he actually isn't.

You're fucking with us, right George?

The smell of bovine excrement is getting exponentially stronger, so let's go to the source - the original 1976 novelization written by Lucas himself (well, ghost written by Alan Dean Foster actually, but I digress) to see if we could find some clarity on the issue. The description of the scene reads:

"Light and noise filled the little corner of the cantina, and when it had faded, all that remained of the unctuous alien was a smoking, slimy spot on the stone floor.

Solo brought his hand and the smoking weapon it held out from beneath the table, drawing bemused stares from several of the cantina's patrons and clucking sounds from its more knowledgable ones. They had known the creature had committed its fatal mistake in allowing Solo the chance to get his hands under cover."


To me, this lines up with original scene. There does not appear to be any inference of Greedo shooting first, or at all. Sure, you could argue that the way it's described is vague and the "light and noise" might be mutiple shots but that is a real stretch.

Next up, the original 1977 Marvel comics adaptation which was based on the novelization.



You'd think that if the scene was vaguely described in the original novelization then an adaptation would reflect that right? There isn't anything remotely vague about these panels. Clearly someone shoots first and it's not Greedo.

I could go on and list other sources, like the script itself and so on but what's the use? I think we all know what there's the truth and then there is George's truth. I guess Steve Jobs wasn't the only one with a reality distortion field. Must be the air up in Northern California.

I simply have a hard time believing that George's admitted poor choice of editing and audiences' collective 'inaccurate perception" of Han Solo can justify his new claims. Our perception of the character was based on what was shown to us, we didn't all get it wrong. It's that pure and simple.

You can chalk it up to artistic prerogative, revisionist tinkering or whatever. Unfortunately, I am starting to think it's senility.

What say you?



24 comments:

  1. I just think George, while a very bright guy and clearly a brilliant and creative mind, is something of a pathological liar. He can't see how obvious it is to everyone else that he is full of shit.

    I am not in the habit of taking shots at George, because I think it has become a sport, but when he says shit like this it is difficult to not attack him.

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  2. I hear ya. I wrote this with a heavy heart.

    But this time he has made it impossible for me not to call bullshit on him.

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  3. Here's my question: Why is it NOT ok to shoot when cornered by a drunk alien who is pointing a blaster right at your face, but it IS ok to shoot a guy armed only with a sword standing a good 15 feet away?

    You're screwing with the wrong movie, George.

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    1. Well, for one, Han didn't have the runs the day they shot the scene. Indy did. True fact.

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    2. I won't ask how you know that Han didn't...

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    3. Good point. Maybe that's why Han shot first as well...

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  4. Wait how does shooting somebody who has a gun pointed at you and threatening to sell you to organized crime make you a 'cold blooded killer'? Is he afraid kids are going to learn the terrible lesson that shooting people when they are threatening you with a fire-arm is bad unless you wait for them to shoot at your first or something?

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    1. In George's mind, Han shooting first while being threatened by Greedo equates to murder since he was only provoked and had a gun aimed at him.

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  5. That wizzard's just a crazy old man. Tomorrow take the special editions to Anchorhead and have thier memory erased.

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    1. Will they still be able to read Bocce?

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  6. Even funnier, are we expected to believe Greedo, who is portrayed an assassin working for Jabba the hut so was probably experienced at this, would miss so badly from up close if he shot first? Come on.

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  7. I hear that George is next going to change the scene in the detention facility where Han shoots the communications board and says "Boring conversation anyway."

    Here is an excerpt from a future interview:

    "In the original edit, that no one else remembers, like that Return of the Jedi scene where Luke makes a new lightsaber, I had shot Han accidentally discharging his weapon and then apologize to the device. That made him a kinder, gentler, more empathetic hero. Also, the line was 'Listening to me yammer on all day must have made for a boring conversation anyway' but was edited down by mistake. Just like when we accidentally removed Luke screaming as he fell later in Empire, something no one, especially the editor/sound designer remembers. I am not a pathological liar! I realize you didn't suggest I was."

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  8. Alderaan shot first!!!!

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  9. There is no question as how that scene played out, and there is a reason why it worked so well. Greedo put an extremely dangerous person in a corner and got what he deserved. George changed it for the kids - the 4 to 10 year olds. The fact is, Han is a mixture of light and dark, like most interesting heroes. This is what his character brought to the original trilogy - he's a wise ass and doesn't do things the "correct" way, he is a smuggler and that pretty much means he lives a lifestyle that is ethically questionable. In the end he joins the Alliance, that is his character arc and blowing away Greedo is the other end of the spectrum, his journey. I love his films, but Lucas is dead wrong on this and the fanboys should call him on it.

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    1. Lucas is not just dead wrong, he's full of shit.

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    2. He's full of shit, from a certain point of view...

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  10. Han's voice also sounds different in the special edition and the camera loos like it's in a different angle

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  11. A certain point of view???

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    1. You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

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    2. You lied to me you crazy glowing blue man!

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  12. It all comes down to perception. But in all reality, who the fuck would believe that Greedo actually shot first and missed his target? i could buy tried to fire his weapon but it's not like Han makes a dodge or anything. Han shoots first because otherwise he would be dead. Don't go injecting your reality into my fantasy, OK?

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  13. I saw the original uncut. Han was backed into a corner and Greedo was going to turn him in to Jabba the Hut. Who cares if he shot Greedo first. He's was a smuggler. George is going senile to change the fantasy now. 35 years later. Seriously George ?

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