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?