Greedo Shot First

The idea that Han Solo didn't shoot first is poorly implemented in the Star War Special Edition. It seems that, in 1997, George Lucas got Han Solo confused with Indiana Jones: Han is a man primarily interested in personal gain who eventually gets his heart softened by the triplet allures of love, justice and deus ex machina; Indy is an adventurer who firmly believes that things belong in museums. Surely Han couldn't do something so dirty as to shoot a dude unprovoked, Lucas must have thought. No, that's not Han at all; the Han I know chills with moon teddy bears and claps around campfires with Billy Dee Williams[1].

This theory doesn't entirely stand up in light of Indy simply shooting the guy who came at him with a scimitar in Raiders, but Lucas has never been known for his consistency, not even in the days when he had credibility as a film maker and story teller.

In light of Lucas' waning, never before have the words "Greedo shot first” been so true, so weird, or so paradoxical: this insane piece from Charlie Jane Anders examines what would have happened in a bizarro world where movies are rendered pointless but also somehow …gooder? (That word is as real as this theory!)

This hypothetical draws so heavily on knowledge of the Star Wars universe and its characters that one wonders how it would have made any sense if it were the original version of events. The best part is that it heavily references the prequel trilogy, which is great for two reasons: it assumes that Lucas had actually thought of any of this stuff at the time he made A New Hope; and, having prepared three movies before A New Hope, Lucas decided to neglect all of that in favour of Greedo killing everyone who got in his way, thereby conquering the galaxy.

Actually, that does kind of make sense. Also worthy of note is the fact that Greedo somehow manages to get directly from being pulled aboard the Death Star to rescuing Leia, which I recall having been at least slightly difficult for a team of two seat-of-the-pants professionals, a farm boy and a pair of droids. But hey, he's Greedo. He makes the trains run on time, he managed to wear a suit that was probably actually integrated into Vader's biometric systems, and he restores peace to a galaxy which apparently has a murderous law of succession.

The real question is "why not?” I have no satisfactory answer. Greedo shot first.

[1] I am forever going to be inexplicably angry that the final shot of the Star Wars saga features Billy Dee Williams clapping with ewoks.

One Response

  1. Melinda August 2, 2009

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