Han shot first

Han shot first

In Star Wars fandom, the phrase "Han shot first" refers to the changes made to a scene in "", involving the characters Han Solo and Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina. The bounty hunter Greedo has come at the behest of Jabba the Hutt, to whom Solo owes a large debt for a failed smuggling run. Apparently, the bounty on Solo's head is of the "dead-or-alive" variety, as Greedo tells him he will enjoy killing him.

During this entire exchange, Greedo keeps his blaster aimed at Solo, as Solo craftily works his hand down to his own blaster.

In the original version, Solo shoots Greedo under the table after uttering the line "Yes, I'll bet you have." In the 1997 Special Edition version, Greedo shoots at Solo from point blank range and misses. Han shoots him in retaliation afterwards. Thus, the phrase "Han shot first" is a retort to director George Lucas' explicit assertion that "Greedo shot first." In the original release of "", only one shot was fired, and it was fired by Han Solo.


George Lucas explained the change by stating that he wanted to make clear to children that Han had "no choice" but to shoot Greedo. This justification was unsatisfactory to many long-time and adult fans of the series. The ire of some fans led to an online petition demanding that the changes be retracted. [cite web|url = http://www.hanshootsfirst.org/|title = Han Shoots First|accessdate = 2006-12-03|work = hanshootsfirst.org] The primary objection to the revision is that it waters down Han's initially morally ambiguous character, thereby making his later transition from anti-hero to hero less meaningful. The plausibility of Greedo missing from such a short distance is also considered questionable, and criticized as being depicted in awkwardly facile manner.

Since the Special Editions, there have been two DVD releases. In the 2004 DVD release, the disputed scene was altered again to have Solo and Greedo shooting at almost the same time (though Greedo still shoots first); Greedo still misses from point-blank range, but the same release also altered the scene to where Han "dodges" the shot by digitally leaning him to the side.

The 2006 DVD had two versions — the 2004 changes and the original theatrical version. The theatrical version features no changes, including Han Solo shooting without Greedo firing a shot. When announcing the dual-version DVDs, Lucasfilm made note of the fact that the scene was included by saying: "...and yes, [viewers] see Han Solo shoot first." [cite web|url = http://www.starwars.com/episode-iv/release/video/news20060503.html|title = This September: Original Unaltered Trilogy on DVD|accessdate = 2006-12-03|date = 2006-05-03|work = starwars.com]


In July 2007, Lucas was observed wearing a T-shirt with the words "Han shot first" on the set of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" [ [http://www.hellblazer.net/2007/07/23/recursion-shot-first/ Stop Motion Verbosity » Blog Archive » Recursion shot first! ] ] [http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-05/39347923.jpgGeorge Lucas wearing "Han shot first" T-Shirt] and other events [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
] . In Aaron Allston's 2006 "" novel "Betrayal", Leia says the line, "He's fine. Han shot first." [Allston, Aaron. "Betrayal". Del Rey, 2006.] Coincidentally, long before the Special Edition edit and the ensuing controversy, Han himself said "I happen to like to shoot first" in Brian Daley's 1979 novel "Han Solo at Stars' End", following the line up with "As opposed to shooting second." [Daley, Brian. "Han Solo at Stars' End". Del Rey, 1979.]

ee also

* List of changes in Star Wars re-releases


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