Out of all the bizarre alterations George Lucas made to the original Star Wars trilogy, making Greedo shoot first is arguably the thing that angered fans most. In the original cut of A New Hope, the green-skinned bounty hunter taunts Han Solo after cornering him in the Mos Eisely cantina, which leads to the Corelian smuggler gunning him down and making his escape.
The scene established Solo as a pretty ruthless customer, who wouldn’t hesitate to blast his way out of a situation if he felt there was no other choice – but Lucas felt it made Han seem too cold blooded, and added a brief take of Greedo firing the first shot to his special edition of the film.
The director has attempted to justify this addition in the past, and he elaborated further on it in a new interview with The Washington Post.
Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’” Lucas compared the character to John Wayne and insists that “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.
Fair enough George, but there is the small issue of not making a lick of sense. How would Greedo – presumably having a certain amount of skill with a blaster, being a bounty hunter – miss his target at less than 2 feet away. And, more noble though it may be, why is Han going to let such a man “have the first shot” when it would almost certainly result in his death? He wouldn’t, and he isn’t, and the scene was just better as it was.
But hey, that’s just my take. What do you guys make of this explanation for Greedo shooting first in Star Wars?