George Lucas Defends Han Not Shooting First

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bill-swift - December 2, 2015

As a Star Wars fan I was really excited back in the 90's when Lucasfilm announced that it was rereleasing the original films in theatrical release. But when I went to see them I was shocked with all the crap George Lucas had done to alter the films. All the added monsters and robots were annoying enough, (plus that abomination of a musical number in Jedi), but then he did something that fundamentally changed one of the main characters. In the original cantina scene as it was shown in 1977, Han Solo is confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo and he shoots him rather than be taken prisoner to Jabba the Hutt. In the Special Editions, Greedo shoots first and Han simply fires back in the most hackneyed and stupid looking post effect I've ever seen. Fans were outraged. It has become the first of many reasons why Star Wars fans hate George Lucas. Then he made the prequels and the rest is history. As a result of the hatred people feel for him, Lucas claims he's not on social media, doesn't go online, and does not even have an email address.

And yet, he's still defending his decision to have Greedo shoot first. He says that, first of all, they are his movies and he can do whatever he wants to them...which isn't really an argument as to why he did it. He says it all has to do with Princess Leia. He says,

"Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?'. Because I was thinking mythologically – should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.' And when you're John Wayne, you don't shoot people [first] – you let them have the first shot. It's a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to."

First off, Han was totally justified in killing Greedo. He had a gun on him and was going to take him to Jabba. So, killing him even if he shot first was totally self defense. Secondly, I hate to break it to George but all of the characters are murderers. Han later helps Luke straight up slaughter thousands on the Death Star. Princess Leia as one of the leaders of the Rebels orders the death of countless Imperials and Rebels alike. Also, Princess Leia doesn't need to be protected. She's a strong woman and she knows what Han is and loves him any way. In addition, Han changes over the course of the films and he perhaps would have been more cautious in Jedi than he was in New Hope. Without Han shooting first you take away from his character arc. Lucas should have learned that in storytelling 101. 

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