Who Shot First? Han Shot First and Now There’s Proof

Han shot first

Harrison Ford in Star Wars

Photo: 20th Century Fox / Lucasfilm

“I’ll tell you one thing, right now… Based on the script, I can tell you 100 per cent, Han shot first.”

That quote comes from a story at CBC.ca reporting on the discovery of a first draft of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope at the University of New Brunswick’s library in Saint John where Kristian Brown, a librarian, has been sifting through the library’s extensive science fiction collection.

Bound in blue paper, Brown came across what appears to be an original shooting script for Star Wars with the original name for Luke Skywalker’s character, Luke Starkiller, and the film referred to as “Saga I” rather than “Episode IV” as it has now come to be known. However, the biggest thing most people have instantly glommed onto is the fact it appears to dispute a claim writer/director George Lucas has stuck to as recently as 2012 when discussing what has become a bit of a controversy with Star Wars fans, that being the question of who shot first in the Mos Eisley cantina scene, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) or Greedo.

In the 1997 “special edition” version of the film, Lucas changed the scene to make it explicitly clear Greedo in fact shot first, eliminating the idea Han is any kind of cold-blooded killer. Lucas has always suggested this was the original intent, even saying so in a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter:

“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 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.”

However, the script Brown uncovered suggests otherwise as he says, “Based on the script, I can tell you 100 per cent, Han shot first.”

There were rumors with the recently released digital editions of Star Wars that this had been changed back to how it appeared originally when released in 1977, with Han shooting first, but alas, it still remains the choppily edited version of Greedo going pew-pew, before Han puts an end to the bounty hunter. Maybe one day we’ll get the original films on Blu-ray, until then we’ll just have the facts on our side. Sorry George.

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