George Lucas isn’t content to tarnish the magic of the original Star Wars by making three boring, witless prequels (not to mention ruining the end of the original trilogy by filling it with Ewoks). Now he has to keep trying to ruin the first movie, too, with his weird insistence that Greedo shot first.
You remember the scene: we meet smuggler Han Solo in a dark bar full of aliens, one of whom, a bounty hunter who looks like the child of a pig and a green blowfish, stops him at blaster-point demanding the money Solo owes to crime boss Jabba the Hut. Solo, who knows Greedo is going to kill him, sneaks his blaster out its holster and shoots first. The scene perfectly establishes Solo as a cool, crafty survivor and a scoundrel.
Since then, Lucas has twice digitally altered the original. For the first rerelease, he made Greedo shoot first, missing wildly, before Han shot him. Since that raised the question, “why would a professional bounty hunter miss at three feet?” the second time Lucas digitally altered the move, he actually moved Solo’s head sideways to make him dodge the blast before shooting back. Why?
“We like to think of [Han Solo] as a murderer because that’s hip — I don’t think that’s a good thing for people. I mean, I don’t see how you could redeem somebody who kills people in cold blood,” said Lucas in one interview, defending the change.
His new line is, Greedo always shot first. Recently he said:
“The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.”
Of course we want to think Han just gunned him down, don’t we?