Well, we’re a couple of weeks away from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” so perhaps there’s no better time to revisit a controversy that has persisted since the release of the movie that started it all, “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” As George Lucas continually tinkered with the movie since 1977, one scene in particular changed in a way that outraged fans. In the original movie, during their tense meeting at the cantina at Mos Eisley, Han Solo shoots the bounty hunter Greedo before the latter draws his blaster. However, Lucas later digitally altered the scene so that Han’s shot comes as a reaction to Greedo firing first. Since 1997, when the altered version of ‘A New Hope,’ was released, it has become one of the many major thorns in the side of “Star Wars” devotees.
Over the years, Lucas has defended his decision. He has said that fans turned the scene into a “religious event” and that he modified the scene to make “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.” Meanwhile, earlier this year, an original script for the film uncovered in a university library reportedly confirms that Han shot first, though Lucas’ insists that the way he initially shot the scene was confusing “about who did what to whom.” And once again, he stands by Greedo shooting first.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Lucas explains the larger thematic underpinnings of why Han Solo can’t fire the first round. “Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’” Lucas said. “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.”
Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, but if you think George Lucas will see your reaction, don’t hold your breath. He tells the paper that he has “assiduously avoided the Internet since 2000 —no Facebook, no Twitter, no e-mail even.” That is some serious Jedi mind control. [via EW]