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Did Han shoot first?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Jaxxon, Mar 20, 2019.

?

Who shot first?

  1. Han should shoot first

    32 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. Greedo should shoot first

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Who cares? *old man grumbling*

    8 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    Let's settle this. It's been a controversy since '97.

    Which works better? The original Han shoots first? Or the special edition Greedo shoots first? Or do you take the Harrison Ford stance--who even cares?

    Obviously Greedo-shoots-first is canon, but I think Han should shoot first, and I think it does matter. Shooting first to avoid paying Jabba paints Han as a truer scoundrel. It makes the story less safe. The change feels like an effort on Lucas' part to retroactively establish the OT as "children's films," as he envisions Star Wars to be.

    But that's me. What about you?
     
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  2. Choose Light

    Choose Light Jedi General

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    I think Han shot first is a better option because yes, it does establish Han as more of a scoundrel, but it also tells us how he's learned to survive on the edges of the underworld. It kind of gives the impression that he's nobody's fool, not easily taken in by (for example) bounty hunters, Force mumbo jumbo, or tales of a rich princess in need of rescuing. (Plus there's that whole thing from the movie Solo that gives us a precedent.)

    But on the other hand, I understand why George might have changed it up--maybe so we'd recognize the heart of gold inside our crusty smuggler.

    I'm not going to lose sleep over it, because at the end of the day I can choose which I want to believe and can watch either scenario any time I want. ;)
     
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  3. Angelman

    Angelman Jedi Commander

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    Han shooting first makes for a stronger story, a much edgier character, and it actually gives Han's joke a punchline. His, "Yeah, I'll bet you have!" makes no sense without Han wasting Greedo immediately thereafter. From a storyteller point of view, Han definitely shot first.
     
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  4. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Han shot first.
    Anyone who says otherwise is a cop.
     
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  5. Apollus08

    Apollus08 Clone Commander

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    I think it tells a lot about Han's character if he shoots first.

    But more importantly!

    How does a professional bounty hunter miss a shot across a table... by a lot? hahahahahha that's embarrassing!
     
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  6. Get In Gear

    Get In Gear Rebel Official

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    The scene is edited to show Han unclasping and arming his blaster under the table - it intentionally cuts away to make us aware of him doing this.
    So you have to ask yourself - was Han pulling out his weapon in the hope that Greedo would miss if he tried to kill him so that he could return fire, or was he getting ready to fry Greedo before he did the same to him?
    Only one option makes sense, and altering the movie so that Greedo actually gets a shot away before Han does absolutely nothing to change Han's character, because the shot of him releasing his blaster is still there, so Han is still the guy who pointed a blaster at Greedo underneath the table intending to murder him.
    What Greedo does has no impact on Solo's intent.

    So

    1) The shooting script and published fourth drafts make no reference to Greedo firing.
    2) Han would have to be an idiot if his intent was to "let Greedo shoot first".
    3) Altering the scene does not achieve it's intended goal - making Han "worthy of marrying the princess, rather than a cold-blooded killer" - it either changes nothing about Han's intent or makes him (and Greedo for that matter) seem like a complete imbecile.
    4) As pointed out above, Han's "Yes, I'll bet you have" quip makes no sense in any context other than Han is about to waste him.
    5) Han's flinch looks awful.

    Han shot first.
     
    #6 Get In Gear, Mar 21, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  7. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Force Sensitive

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    The way I see it is that the only people who truly know who shot first is Han and Greedo, and unfortunately neither of them are around anymore to share the truth.
     
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  8. TheDarkTight

    TheDarkTight Clone Commander

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    Yes.
     
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  9. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    [​IMG]

    I know it's sort of a meta perspective, since the film versions both depict the events clearly (if differently) but I really like the ambiguity of it all.

    It's right after we meet Han, so the scene establishes that he's a pretty good shot and kind of a badass.

    But is he totally ruthless, or just fast on the draw? Can Han be trusted? Is there a bit of a really dark side deep down in him?

    The film definitely plays with these concepts of Han's identity and ultimate redemption already, so having it be unclear here actually makes a lot of sense.
     
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  10. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    It's better for Han to have shot first in ANH because Han's character growth in ANH is one which starts out self-serving and has blocked himself off from compassion and ends with being interested in helping others because he is open to compassion.

    It's basically the opposite character arc of Solo.

    Switching it around to where Han shoots second is a hindsight narrative fix that Lucas did 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."​

    Which...you know...
    [​IMG]

    But the problem I have with this is that Han wasn't written as a "John Wayne" when ANH was written, so shoehorning that in after the fact doesn't actually fit.
    You could make that work, but you would need to re-write the entire arc for Han to focus on a different topic than being a self-serving donkyhole gunslinger who BECOMES a John Wayne.

    And THAT is my main issue with the idea. Lucas wasn't wrong to think of Han as a John Wayne hero, but the difference with Han is that he doesn't START as one - the John Wayne style of compassionate gunslinger hero is what Han has to learn to BECOME.

    Switching him into being that right at the beginning kneecaps his entire arc so that now he's just a compassionate gunslinger hero who, for some reason, is a giant jerkface to just these 3 people (Luke, Ben, Leia).

    That makes him very odd.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  11. Obi5Kenobi

    Obi5Kenobi Clone Trooper

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    Not only is this change one of the worst changes to the OT, but it's the worst kind of change. This wasn't a special effects clean up or improvement, or a fix for a technical mistake or even a harmless addition to a scene like the ronto or the flying droids following the storm troopers. The changes to those scenes make no difference to the characters. This one does. Also, the event is now changed. Add some CG and some backup singers to Jabba's palace musical scene and events still unfold the same way. Change the order and the number of people shooting each other and now you have conflicting events. The fans are now in a crappy position because you have to choose which version of events they want to believe. Nobody is going to argue over whether or not flying droids actually followed some storm troopers around.
     
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  12. Messi

    Messi Force Sensitive

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    Han shot first!
    Forget about the SE from 97 and the horrendous modification of Anakin's force ghost later on.
     
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  13. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    17 votes and in honestly surprised there's not at least one "No it's George's vision and canon that counts!" guy.
     
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  14. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Agreed.
    The ROTJ song and dance number is one of, if not my absolute, least favorite things in the OT and probably of Star Wars in general.
    But it doesn't change anything about the film itself other than bring it to a screeching halt for no good reason. No characters or stories change.
    Han shooting first was Han being Han. I really liked how Solo brought this side of him back.
     
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  15. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Han was literally cornered with a gun pointed in his face by a guy vocally threatening to kill him. Han was always justified in shooting first regardless. Changing the order up was always pretty pointless.

    What paints him as a scoundrel is how casual his demeanor is immediately after killing someone. “Sorry about the mess.” By “mess” he means the very dead person he left smoking in the back there. A ‘child friendly’ premise, that’s not.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    I actually won't watch the OT in any other way than by playing my mp4 copies of the laser disk versions.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. Rogues1138

    Rogues1138 Jedi General

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    Oh, yes he did. George became a dad, so he messed with the films, but for me, Han shot first.
     
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  18. Daddy_Stardust

    Daddy_Stardust Rebelscum

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    Of course he was meant to shoot first, in my opinion the aftermath scene ("sorry about the mess") absolutely proves that.

    Much like how putting Jabba in ANH totally spoils his trilogy-built-up big reveal in ROTJ (but that's for another thread... indeed, it is another thread), George Lucas forgot that before Star Wars became a huge pop culture institution, it was a trilogy of films with a clear narrative structure, with character arcs, reveals, red herrings and other classic story telling devices - many of his changes go "you all know Star Wars inside and out - introductions don't matter any more, so here it is all spelt out from the beginning!".

    No matter how many times we've all seen Star Wars, no matter how things like "I am your father" are known beyond the movies to even non-fans, the films should still be viewable as if the story is unfolding for the first time to a new viewer with mysteries left to unfold.

    Therefore when we meet Han and Chewie at the cantina, we're not meant to know them and we're not meant to trust them. We establish he's a smuggler but is willing to help for an extortionate price. Our heroes ultimately agree and wander off happy they've got a ship. After they've left, the viewer discovers not only is Han wanted by bounty hunters working for a crime lord, but apparently he can't even be trusted as a smuggler.

    Han then shoots the bounty hunter before he can kill him.

    He then gets up, stoic and cool. The band's music is still subdued, there's a sinister drone to the sound design, he makes no eye contact with anyone but the barman, flips him a coin and says "sorry about the mess" - implication: he's done this before, is obviously high on a wanted list and not to be messed with as he leaves.

    What the viewer is meant to take away from this is a sense of worry for our heroes as to who they've now hired to travel with - will he betray them? Shoot them? Eject them into space like his cargo?

    Yes after 40+ years we all know Han is a lovable rogue but by that point in the movie for an all-new audience, it's meant to place doubt on Han's head and give us a sense of worry for Luke, Ben and the droids. Then the arc happens and we discover he does have a heart after all.

    Having them shoot at the same time, for me, undermines all that.
     
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  19. Obi5Kenobi

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    I completely agree, but it's actually a little bit worse than that. Check it out:

    Greedo: You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship.
    Han Solo: Over my dead body!
    Greedo: That's the idea. I've been looking forward to this for a long time.

    Greedo doesn't just threaten to kill Han like, "I'll kill you unless......" I believe his statement makes it clear that he IS going to kill him right then and there. Only a fool or someone who doesn't care if he lives or not would sit there until the person who just said those words, who is also pointing a blaster directly at you, fires a shot.
     
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  20. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    What I love most about that exchange is how Han’s demeanor doesn’t turn aggressive until Greedo threatens his ship. So much subtle character building there. Bully the man all you want. Talk about the Falcon though and you’re toast :)
     
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