February 10, 2012

A (pretend) Conversation to George Lucas: Why Han Should Shoot First

As I’m sure most Star Wars fans have heard, George Lucas did an interview that tried to clarify why he made Greedo shoot first in the Special Edition of Star Wars. In short, he never intended it to look like Han shot first. It was always supposed to be Greedo. He went on to say that he didn’t understand why people wanted Han to be a cold blooded killer.

George- may I call you that? George, it’s really quite simple. Nobody thought that Han was a cold-blooded killer. But Han shooting first was an important step in establishing the world at large.

It reinforces that it’s a dangerous part of space. Han knows that unless he shoots Greedo, Greedo will kill him. Which as we later see, isn’t exactly something you want to happen. It’s completely justifiable- he’s doing it to survive.

He’s a survivor, plain and simple. Leia proclaims him to be quite the mercenary, when really, Han Solo is just a guy who’s trying to do what he enjoys and not die- which at the moment involves paying Jabba a lot of money. And frankly, it adds a bit of mystery to Han’s actions. Will he stay with the Rebel Alliance and do the right thing? Or will he cut and run? Being unsure of who Han is in the beginning is why it’s such a victory when Han comes back at the end and saves the day- he’s becoming the guy we always hoped he was deep down.

If it’s really that Han shoots Greedo after Greedo shoots him, then it takes a bit of the bite out of who he is.

Frankly, Han being Han is an important part of getting the audience into the story. Luke sees the world as black and wide and is the most naive kid you will ever meet. Honestly, he’s lived Tatooine on his entire life and Owen never told him how to act if he meets an unsavory crowd? Crazy. Leia is all about doing the right thing. But she’s also wealthy- and as TheBoy said when I was discussing this with him, when you’re wealthy, you can afford to have morals. Han obviously lives a life filled with shades of gray. While this is Luke’s story, Han’s the one we relate to.

Ignoring how this affects Han, but it makes Greedo just another bad guy in Star Wars who can’t shoot- because frankly, I thought the reason his shot went wide was because Han shot him. Seriously, George. Stormtroopers have lousy aim. Paragons of the Empire, and they can’t shoot a cluster of beings in an empty docking bay. But they’re at least a distance away from them. Greedo was right across the table and couldn’t hit Han? Jeez.

I think this was a good talk, George. Maybe next time you can tell me why you like to kill off interesting characters.

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