Why Does It Matter That Han Shot First?

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Question of the Day (QOTD) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a film/TV-related question that we put to you, the reader. The comments section below is like the feedback box at work; except, in this example, we actually read what you write and care about what you have to say.

“Han shot first” is a controversial change made to a scene in the space opera film Star Wars (1977). It’s so controversial that Wikipedia has a whole page dedicated to it. So, yeah, I’m just going to quote the page now when describing what exactly “Han shot first” means to Star Wars fans. Per Wikipedia, in Star Wars, “Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo (Paul Blake) in the Mos Eisley cantina. In the original version of the scene, Han shoots Greedo dead. Later versions are edited so that Greedo attempts to fire at Han first. Director George Lucas altered the scene to give Solo more justification for acting in self-defense. Many fans and commentators oppose the change, feeling it weakens Solo’s character arc.”

So the question I ask today is: does it actually matter if Han did or didn’t shoot first?

No seriously, I want to know. I can understand fans saying that they’d rather watch the original cut of a film and not an edited scene, but to say that one moment completely weakens Solo’s character arc seems a bit extreme. I’m curious to see what the die-hard Star Wars fans have to say about the scene down in the comments below.

So what about you, screenagers? Is “Han shot first” actually important or are fans just complaining for no good reason?

I’ll see you in the trenches.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"