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Han Never Shot First, Lucas Says

If you’ve held firm to the belief for the past 15 years — heck, the past 35 years! — that Han shot first, George Lucas wants you to know you’re wrong. And maybe a little dense. And filled with bloodlust.

A reference to the scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which Han Solo is confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo, “Han shot first” became a rallying cry for fans upset by the controversial change in the movie’s 1997 re-release: In the original version, Solo stealthily shoots Greedo — okay, George, appears to shoot Greedo — who dies without firing a shot; in the modified edition, the bounty hunter shoots first, but somehow misses, and Han returns fire.

But Lucas, who lately seems to take devilish delight in trolling Star Wars fans, now says Han never shot first. Never!

“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,” Lucas tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

So, there. It’s only because you wanted Harrison Ford’s rakish smuggler to be a murderer that you interpreted the cantina scene the way you did for all of these years. It’s your fault, you blood-thirsty fanboys. And you wonder why Lucas isn’t making any more Star Wars movie. Okay, maybe you don’t — but he definitely isn’t.


  • Bass Guitar Hero

    Lucas just wants to stir fanboys up. I admire that.

    The original script says Han shot first, for what it’s worth. 

  • Guess

    change it once, change it 3 times.

  • Wyatt Samuel K

     I can get behind the reasoning for his antagonistic comments, but if the original script is out in the public’s hands, and it unequivocally states otherwise, this just makes him look foolish to people who are giving him money.  Never a good idea to take too many bites at feeding hands.

  • Jonnyhero

    Makes sense…  I mean, why else would an experienced smuggler with a bitchin ship be hanging out in a shitty joint in a shitty spaceport on a shitty planet controlled by a hutt that wants his money?  Because he is an idiot.

    Even when facing death by blaster he isn’t aware of what’s going on until Greedo actually shoots – it can be assumed Han’s shot was an accidental result of his shock (He’s not a cold-blooded killer).  He then goes to pick up the Falcon, runs into the gangster he owes a bunch of money to, and walks on him…  Of course, special edition or not, he follows that up with an assault on a government-sanctioned killing machine…

    Mystery decoded:  Han Solo is criminally stupid.  Thanks George.

  • Keil

    He’s just screwing with the fans at this point

    You know, the fans who have lined his pockets for the last 30 years

  • sephy

    Lets just ignore that in the original version Greedo doesnt even shoot.

  • RobAD

    He still hasn’t explained how Pac-Man got in the 1997 re-release.  I know Han called him Jabba the Hutt, but it was obviously Pac-Man.

  • Aaronabrowne

    Harrison Ford also said that there were no weapons of mass destruction, too…;-P

  • Aaronabrowne

    …Not! Sooo not… I love expressions from the 00’s… NOT! :-)

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    Hello senility!  You can change your movies but you actually can’t change the past. What an ego.

  • Edward Davis

    Its BS. George is totally full of shit here.
     The Gun under the table is an old convention of Westerns (Rio Lobo is 1 example off the top of my head but there are literally dozens) 
    Thats why it was shot the way it was. Hell , thats why Greedo collapses the way he does. Flat on his face he dropped dead because he didnt expect to be shot. Nice try Lucas …. Your name is already George, leave the revisionist history to Dubya buddy

  • Magnusjragnarok

     I believe you are mistaken. “History is written by the victors,” after all. A generation from now, when the only edition younger people will have seen is the modified version, Greedo shooting first will be cannon. All because Lucas has fallen in sad, sappy, head-over-heels love with his characters as heroes and not characters who actually grow during the series INTO heroic roles. Look how far he bent over backwards to make us sympathetic to Anakin in the prequels.

    I still love Star Wars and always will, but Lucas is demented and should go do something else.

  • Atomic Shop

    So then the very cool scene of a smuggler about to be killed calmly getting the upper hand on his assailant and then apologizing for the mess was NOT clever storytelling and filmmaking, but instead was a mistake and bad shot framing in the scene?  The Writer/Director had intended a much less emotionally powerful scene?

    Now I’ll have to re-evaluate my long-held belief that George Lucas was a storytelling genius and consider the possibility that everything I enjoyed about his work were the mistakes that he made.

  • Keil

    Watch the Plinkett reviews of the prequels if you haven’t already. They reassert your notion about Lucas not being the genius that he gets credit for.

    After all – he created Luke as some sort of cyborg, and Han as a lizard
    man – and only the studio’s pressure made him change it (pressure which
    Lucas resented, and the reason why Lucas had total control on the

  • Tyler

    Lucas just wants to justify making changes to one of the most beloved films ever.  I say boycott the 3-d versions until he breaks out the unchanged version of the film and starts from there.  I don’t mind bringing the effects up to date but don’t change the film just so that it is more Kid friendly….  For the record Han shot first because he was faced with a bounty hunter that would kill him.  It was a preemptive strike not cold blooded….   USA makes preemptive strikes on targets all the time.  

  • Robi Chowdhury

    We’ll open up some-sort of fund for him if he needs the money that badly. but leave the damn films alone!

  • Atomic Kommie Comics

     Actually, Luke was originally a girl.
    The 1977 novelization (which includes lots of background about the Emperor and the fall of the Republic that contradicts the prequel trilogy) based on Lucas’ script and notes, also states Han shot first.

  • Hosstbl1

     There’s a problem with the whole concept that an experienced bounty hunter would miss a shot at a stationary target 4 feet away.  I suppose that’s why Jabba wasn’t that upset that he got killed ;)

  • Lackshmana

    No, Han didn’t shot first.

    Han shot. 


    First would imply that Greedo EVER shot.

    Greedo had a gun on him, and basically said he was gonna kill him, and the Han shot Greedo.

    It isn’t done in close ups, you see Greedo holding his gun and getting shot.

    Its all very clear in the original 77 version.

    If what Lucas is saying was true they wouldn’t have digitally added a laser blast from greedo and a digital edit to make Han dodge the shot.

  • Allen S

    Han didn’t “shoot first.”  He was the only one to fire a shot. The rest (from 1997 to infinity) = the creator’s prerogative to continue tinkering with, revisiting, re-thinking, and examining his work.

    Why? Only he knows.

  • Ryan King

    That’s right, boys & girls: Jabba the Hutt hired a bounty hunter who can’t shoot a guy FOUR FEET IN FRONT OF HIM!

  • Rollo Tomassi

    The court does not acknowledge Señor Lucas’ authority as an expert of StarWarsian lore in these matters and the jury will ignore his remarks.

    So noted.

  • thepowell

    This is better than Capcom and Megaman.

  • WindyCityGamer

    If Han didn’t shoot first, that means he was an idiot.

    “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.” – NO, he’s the kind of guy who saw the situation for what it was, and acted accordingly.

    Looking at the last three (three and a half?) Star Wars movies makes me realize Lucas grew worse the more success he had.

  • WindyCityGamer

    That fish in Jaws? It was actually a barracuda. #OopsYoureWrong

  • Darth_Viagra

    How To Enjoy Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D:
    I am gonna write this in an attempt to dissuade some of the inevitable
    backlash from a release of a Star Wars movie. Lots of us enjoy the Saga
    and want to enjoy the future content without listening to fucktards tell
    us how we shouldn’t. So with that in mind here are some steps to
    enjoying, and more importantly, allowing others to enjoy the upcoming 3D
    movies. 1. Ask yourself “Am I a fan of Star Wars?” Don’t be so
    hasty to answer yes. How many of the 6 films do you enjoy? Less than
    half is probably a sign you are not a big fan, and probably won’t enjoy
    these releases either. For example, if you think all the prequels and
    Return of the Jedi were “ruined” or are “shitty” or are “for kids” you
    probably should stay away and let others enjoy them in peace. 2. Ask yourself “Can I handle small edits and changes to the films?”
    Guess what? Every single time Star Wars has been released there have
    been changes, lots of them too. The VHS edition you love and whine about
    being perfect, is different from somebody else’s VHS edition from the
    80s. And the first VHS edition is different from the theatrical
    releases, which are all different from one another, even as early as
    1978. It’s gonna happen, there will be edits. If that “ruins” the
    film, well…your film was ruined in 1978 and you should just get over
    it and not go, but either way shut the fuck up and let me enjoy it.
    3. Do you understand that these movies are being CONVERTED to 3D and
    likely it won’t look 100% amazingly perfect in every respect? No? Then
    guess what, you’re gonna be a crybaby whiney bitch that ruins it for
    everyone. Go watch something else instead and save yourself a lot of
    tears. But here’s the beauty, that CGI you have been complaining about
    for 15 years? That’s what is gonna allow them to do this as well as they
    will. George Lucas knew 15 years ago what you’re only figuring out now,
    on Facebook. 4. Are you so emotionally invested in Star Wars,
    that The Phantom Menace being not as great as it could have been “raped”
    “ruined” or otherwise was detrimental to your childhood memories? If
    so, please seek professional help and counseling. You have led a life of
    poor choices and a shallow existence. You are in dire need of
    perspective. 5. Do you think these movies will be anything more
    than a fun way to spend a few hours geeking out about cool effects and a
    3D gimmick? If so, again…stop and go see something else. Perhaps you
    would be interested in another science fiction movie that is better than
    Star Wars? I don’t know of very many in the last decade, but I am sure
    you can find one…in February. 6. Do you feel the need
    continually point out what you didn’t like about the movie 13 years ago?
    If so, do you think others are unaware of the problems the movie
    contains? If you answered yes to either question, you should probably
    stay the hell away from me while I enjoy this movie, and the five
    others. There ya go, please feel free to suggest additions to
    this, but I am sure that if you follow these guidelines and stay the
    fuck away from the film if you don’t like it your life, and mine will be
    much more pleasant.

  • ItalianMan

    Good for George. I dont understand why people give him so much hell and then turn around and give him money. Im a star wars fan, but not fanboy. Star wars fan boys are such complete assholes for no reason, good for George to turn the tables on them.

  • Ultraist Studios

    Jar-Jar shot first.

  • whippis

    Yeah, Han only guns down strom troopers (which would ne like shooting Federal Agents) in the performace of their duties, not armed henchmen trying to shake him down.

  • Seanx40

    Lucas is making fun of us. Relax. We all have the original version on VHS. Our eyes do not deceive us.

  • Darth_Viagra

    Does any of it change his character more than the milk sop he became in Return of the Jedi?

    Are there people out there who really give a shit about this? I’m as die hard fan as the next person…I have tattoos and a son with a Star Wars name.

    And I couldn’t care less about whne the blaster goes off. Han still draws on him with the intent to kill him. Greedo still says he’s gonna kill him, so it really doesn’t change anything at all.

    My fellow Star Wars fans are some of the biggest babies I have heard.

  • Darth_Viagra

     Actually in the version I saw Han is slowly drawing his blaster the whole time. They clearly intend to kill each other.

    Not sure which one you saw, but I saw a movie that really wasn’t impacted at all by this change. Return of the Jedi changes his character quite a bit tho.

    Nobody bitches about that tho.

  • Rick Worley

    Alright, seriously, what is with the level of mental illness suffered by Star Wars “fans?”  Lucas doesn’t even have to actually say something for people to find it offensive.  If you click through and read the actual interview clip, Lucas says he was clearing up that Han wasn’t a cold-blooded killer.  He does not say there was another shot fired in the original version.  He was clearing up what, to him, was a moment that made the character darker than necessary.  In the original version, Greedo was about to shoot Han, adding a shot being fired by Greedo just clarifies that Han was acting in self-defense.  He was acting in self-defense in both versions, the version with Greedo getting a shot off just makes it more explicit.  That’s what Lucas is saying, he’s perfectly aware that people saw the original version and that there was only one shot fired then.  The idiot article on this website takes part of Lucas’ quote, and adds something to it in brackets to distort it.  It’s absolutely insane the level of excitement some people have to rip apart everything Lucas says.  It’s mystifying to me how people love to attack somebody who created something they claim to care about.  I think a lot of it is people wanting to take ownership of these movies, and act like they know more about them than the person who made them, because they’ll never do anything in their lives nearly as interesting as what Lucas has done.

  • Darth_Viagra

    Wars fans of the internet, I call on you to rally. Quit whining. Other
    fan bases don’t cry this much. Quit being negative, being a fan is about
    celebrating the media. Engage in positive discussion only. If
    you don’t like an aspect, ignore it, we all know the failings of both
    trilogies. LET’S TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE OUR IMAGE! Stop the complaining, we have been so negative for the last
    15 years, that Lucas has said he won’t make any more films because
    doesn’t need the headache. That’s seriously a whole lot
    of whining. ENJOY STAR WARS! Be positive! Use the Light Side in your posts! Talk about what you LIKE!Allow our kids to enjoy the films without constant whining!Share this if you agree.

  • Darth_Viagra

     THANK YOU!!

    I’m so sick of the whining about these films! Jesus it’s been going on for 15 years! That’s nearly the life of the internet for most people!

    Good God, I love Star Wars more than is healthy and this stuff just doesn’t bother me that much. Is it all perfect? NO!

    But was it ever? God, no.

    Get. Over. It!

  • Darth_Viagra

     So you like only 2 of 6 films?
    So you’re not really a big fan then, huh?

    Yeah, my mom isn’t either, but she doesn’t really spend time posting about it on the internet.

  • Darth_Viagra

     Sounds like a good idea. Stay away from them. Keep your money.

    And you should probably stop posting about it on the internet.

  • Demoncat4

    given how Lucas was the one who filmed the scene in question he would know the real answer of who took the first shot in the cantina and thus proved greedo was a lousy shot .even though the original script says Han fired first. but Lucas is going to say what to he says is  the truth about his creation

  • William P

    There needs to be a restriction on George Lucas as a subject of conversation.
     If he’s doing a new project that’s not yet another retread of his past cinema, then maybe, MAYBE post it.
     Red Tails barely qualifies.

  • Vynsane

    Like I always say, Leia is the only cold-blooded killer. She shot a Stormtrooper at point-blank range after hearing them all ordered to set their weapons to ‘stun’.

  • Keil

    So you’ve never even seen the original

    Yeah, you’re an expert

  • Keil

    The tattoos and stuff just mean you’re a moron – not necessarily a fan

  • Keil

    “Be positive” – from the dipshit who started off his first post by calling everyone fucktards – lol

  • Sugargl1der

     Where do you want him to post about it?

  • Sugargl1der

     Well said, and how any of that makes Han a “cold blooded killer” as Lucas asserts, is beyond me.

  • Eric Rich

    Who gives a **** what the script says?  In the original version of the FILM, which I, and millions of others have, he sure as **** shoots first, so maybe Lucas needs his eyes checked.  We know he needs his brained checked because he’s not produced anything worth a damn in decades.

  • Anonymous


  • Keil

    rich people don’t need to be creative. He’s too busy worrying about who’s manicuring his lawn properly and whatnot

    Or as somebody else put it – he’s too busy watching the original films and studying the size of the rocks in each scene – lol

  • Lord Prong

    The scene he’s referring to where Han slowly draws his blaster is in the original film cut so I guess he is an “expert” smart guy. 
    The problem with the Han Solo character is how inconsistently he was written in the first Star Wars.  Initially he’s a hard-ass totally composed after killing Greedo, then he a fucking moron running around the Death Star shooting the shit out of everything in sight without a clue as to what he’s doing or where he’s going.

    In Empire he seems to be written a lot more consistently, but in ROTJ he’s a complete whining, Nancy-boy tool – “Oh you love Luke, boo hoo!”  No wonder Harrison Ford wanted to kill off the character.

    And I agree – Lucas is just fucking with all of you to get you to keep talking about SW and see his new 3D version. 

  • Lord Prong

    Like Keil

  • Andy E. Nystrom

    Well, I think if he announced that he was finally releasing the Star Wars Holiday Special on DVD, I think talking about him would be okay even though it’s an old project. Special circumstances.

  • Phlegmbot

     I have a theory on that (which I’ve posted elsewhere, but here we go):

    I should state up front, I am not really a
    fan of the Star Wars movies. But a good friend is.

    And I said to him a few years ago, “The
    reason Lucas changed the Greedo scene is that Lucas doesn’t understand
    subtlety. He was forced by writers and the stars of his film to change
    parts of the script — which Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have discussed in several interviews — b/c his script was too simplistic and the characters didn’t act realistically. So, while anyone
    with ANY understanding of human emotion and human subtlety understands
    that Han shot first b/c he KNEW he was in imminent danger, Lucas doesn’t
    get that.”

    My belief is that Lucas did NOT write the scene we all saw in the original. And he never understood it. So here we are, with Lucas proving my point. No one EVER
    thought Han was a cold-blooded killer; Han realizes he’s going to be
    taken away dead or alive…his choice was to remain alive — and stay
    where he is. The only way out was to shoot first. So he did. 

    Again, Lucas simply doesn’t have the capacity to understand it.

  • Phlegmbot

    Also, funny that Lucas doesn’t seem to mind that Leia kills Jabba when SHE wasn’t in imminent danger either. She was enslaved, and we’ve no reason to believe she was forced to do anything but wear the sexy outfit (did Jabba rape her?), so why is she choking Jabba to death when it would’ve been just as easy to stand to the side and wait for Luke to come grab her, as eventually does anyway.

    Oh, and then Luke ruthlessly kills everyone on Jabba’s ship — doesn’t he turn the cannons so the ship gets destroyed? It’s been years since I’ve actually seen these. 

    So when will Lucas “fix” these problems?

  • He Ain’t That Bad

    Not to state the f*ckin’ obvious but Luke was also responsible for killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people on the first Death Star at the end of Star Wars. 

    The fact that he was not haunted by this act (righteous or not) shows just how simplistic, childlike, and shallow the whole Star Wars mythos is (and according to Lucas, was meant to be.)  The franchise is a B -grade Saturday morning Radio serial as Lucas intended it to be, so seriously who gives a shit if Solo shot first or not.  His best friend’s a mass murderer who more interested in getting a medal at the end of Star Wars and hitting Princess Leia’s ass than being remorseful about being the worst mass murderer since Grand Moff Tarkin.

    Shit – Luke’s killed more poor bastards than Schwarzennegger in Commando and Stallone in Rambo 3!!!!  Sick bastard!!!

  • CB

    I think he’s kidding.

  • Raveen Sharma

    Lucas’ own words in the film’s script:

    GREEDO: That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to killing you for a long time.HAN: Yes, I’ll bet you have.Suddenly the slimy alien disappears in a blinding flash of light. Han pulls his smoking gun from beneath the table as the other patron look on in bemused amazement. Han gets up and starts out of the cantina, flipping the bartender some coins as he leaves.HAN: Sorry about the mess.

  • William P

     But if he did release the S.W. Holiday special, he’d ticker with it.
     You’d better off getting a bootleg. Or watching it on U Tube.

  • Le1gh

    It’s not so much about who did what first to whom and more to do with the fact that he inserted not only an additional laser-shot but if you look really closely, he has Han’s head jerk slightly to the right, effectively “dodging” Greedo’s shot with ninja-like reflexes. Or, to put it another way, it’s to do with the fact that he went back and changed stuff in a 30-year old movie to bring it up to date. Something only an insane idiot would do.

  • Ejnr2002

    The actor who played Greedo says Han shot first as HE WAS THERE

  • Chrisait

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • knivesinwest11

    as Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez once said “when you gotta shoot, shoot. don’t talk.”

  • Lorrie

    I’d say that George is just messing with fans, but considering the lengths he went to when he re-edited the original films, I doubt it.  George must be someone who sees the world in black and white and can’t deal with shades of grey.  

    Han shot first because Han wasn’t an idiot.  He knew Greedo was planning to kill him, so he shot him.  Killing his would-be murderer doesn’t make him a “cold-blooded killer,” it makes him smart and alive, instead of stupid and dead.  

  • Jameslucop

    George Lucas will be the next to be found naked in a Hotel Room, a victim of excessive hairspray inhillation. The original copy of Star Wars: A New Hope unspooled on the bathroom floor, spliced with the Muppet Show…

  • He Aint that Bad

    Lucas says Han Never Shot First.  However, does admit Luke slipped Leia the finger when she sleeping in the Millenium Falcon.

  • Anonymous

    oh bull shit.

  • Silver Bullet71

    Han shot first. And Greedo is a punk. 

  • WindyCityGamer

    I saw a great comment on this, it simply stated HAN SHOT.

    Because it wasn’t that Han shot FIRST… it’s that Han was the ONLY shooter.  There was one laser blast in the scene, and it came from Han’s weapon.