“Han Shot First” & the Moment that George Lucas Checked-Out

Today’s post is a critical geek fact, and absolutely essential pop-culture reference.

I am going to assume that you have seen the Star Wars Trilogy, and by that I mean Episodes IV, V, VI, and by that I mean the original three movies.

If you are sitting there thinking, “Well I’ve never seen those…” STOP READING!

Go attain a copy of the Star Wars Trilogy and watch all three. Right now. No, no, no, I don’t care that you are at work. Your job can wait.

Ok. Now that everyone has seen the Trilogy, I will explain the statement, “Han shot first.”

In Episode IV, Han Solo is confronted by a green alien named Greedo in the Cantina Bar on Tatooine. Greedo is a bounty hunter who was hired by Jabba the Hutt to capture or kill Solo. They sit down at a table and banter until Han shoots Greedo under the table, frying him. One shot is fired, and Greedo dies… until George Lucas lost his damn mind.

Many believe George lost it when he created Jar Jar Binks for Episode I. Not true.

George initially misplaced his brain when he decided that Han Solo, the bad-ass anti-hero of Episode IV needed to be more heroic, only killing out of necessity. So, in 1997 during the rerelease of Episode IV, he changed the scene so that Greedo, a highly trained bounty hunter shot first, at point blank range, and missed. All so that Solo could kill the bastard in absolute self-defense.

Greedo - He didn't shoot first
Greedo - He didn't shoot first

Then in response to the backlash from rabid fans, the 2004 DVD release had the two firing at almost exactly the same time (for the record: as bothered as I was about this, I was not one of those fans). This was still unacceptable.

In the most recent release, they include both the original 1977 version and the 2004 version.

So, when a geek says, “Han shot first,” he/she is referring to the George’s attempt to rewrite a key part of many-a-geeks childhood.

Now you can go and buy a “Han Shot First” shirt and wear it with pride.

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