"Greedo shot first" - What is this argument all about?

What is the origin of this argument, and what’s it all about? II(vaguely)RC there was a scene in the original SW where Han (apparently acting pre-emptively) shot Greedo under a table in the Star Wars bar.

What’s the argument about?

I think the argument is that Han couldn’t possibly have fired first because he’s a Good Guy.

Before replying to this thread, I put the laser disc in. Greedo says Jabba may only take his ship. Han says ‘Over my dead body!’ Greedo says, ‘That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.’ Han shoots him.

Han Solo was being threatened at gunpoint, and justifyably – and unequivolcally – fired first.

As you say, in the original movie Han shot Greedo first. It was a character building moment for Han Solo. It was intended to show that he was a tough guy, slightly underhanded when he needed to be, and not the sort that would allow a bad guy to get the upper hand on him. Clever, resourceful, etc.

In the ‘special edition’ that Lucas made in the 1990’s, he used CGI to change the scene so that Han only shot Greedo after Greedo shot at Han first - and missed. This made Han more ‘moral’ in Lucas’s little brain, I suppose, but to many of us it was a needless change to a character who was already well established as a rogue. Not only that, it made no sense. Who in their right mind would let some one else shoot first, from two feet away?. The whole scene became pointless. Rather than showing anything about Han’s character, it became ‘shootout at the bar table’, signifying nothing. The outrage comes from the fact that a film was modified long after the fact to make it more politically correct by changing the essential nature of a beloved character.

And of course, it made no sense that a trained bounty hunter like Greedo would shoot and miss someone two feet away. The whole thing was ham-fisted and stupid, just like everything else Lucas touched since then.

In the original movie Greedo has Han at gunpoint. Han unholsters his blaster under the table and shoots Greedo, who dies.

In the later versions, Greedo shoots first, manages to miss an fully grown adult human sitting at the opposite side of a small table after aiming at said human for a protracted period of time, and is then shot.

Us Star Wars fans find the latter version silly and the change pointless.

I think that part of the outrage derives from the fact that the CGI used to make Han move is badly executed. It doesn’t look smooth. It looks more like the jerky movements you see in really old movies, actually.

To be fair, it was fixed again on the DVD releases-Greedo and Han shoot at the SAME time, but Greedo’s just a hair too slow.

It wasn’t fixed enough, it still looks stupid. Until they manage to digitize the scene and recreate it with 3D actors it will continue to look stupid. And that’s what makes it an inarguably boneheaded decision. Say what you will about motives and the like, it looks dumb the way it’s presented.

In the latest, latest rerelease, Greedo fires first and Han quickly reaches for his blaster, only to find that it has become a walkie-talkie. So he bludgeons Greedo to death with it.

That’s a non-fix that’s as bad, if not worse, than the earlier version.

  1. It makes no sense. If Greedo got a shot in at all, then they both should’ve ended up dead.

  2. It makes Greedo incompetent. Before, he was an all-talk loser, but a genuine threat. This scene shows that he can be sitting a couple feet away from you and still miss, making him the chumpiest bounty hunter ever. And Han Solo knew him from before, and he must’ve heard what a lousy shot Greedo was, which means that he killed somebody who was no threat to him in cold blood.

  3. It turns Han Solo from a rogue space pirate into a total pussy. So the only “moral” thing to do would’ve been to kill in self-defense? That means that Obi-Wan is now more of a bad-ass than Han Solo, because he cut down the guys in the bar just for threatening Luke; IIRC they didn’t even have their guns drawn. And Princess Leia is the most bad-ass rogue in the galaxy, because she strangled Jabba the Hutt to death for doing nothing more than being fat and gross and putting her in a skimpy outfit. If that’s grounds for killing someone, then Carrie Fisher should’ve had just cause for strangling George Lucas.

  4. It throws off the whole morality of the Star Wars universe. Greedo was a bad guy, and a clear threat. He basically told Han Solo that he was about to kill him. He had his gun drawn. They were in a bar where the audience had already warned was a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” And even with all that, the only justification for shooting Greedo would’ve been in immediate self-defense?

And frankly, I don’t appreciate George Lucas of all people telling me what’s “moral.”

Next to the midochlorians, changing that scene is the most offensive thing Lucas did to the Star Wars movies. Yes, even worse than Jar Jar and Ewoks.

Well, Hell!

The whole moral trip bugged me, but not as badly as Han Solo sitting their smirking while a blaster shot explodes around an inch from his friggin ear. How in the heck could anyone involved in the production watch that sequence and think it looks good?

Hooo… I hear what your saying, but worse than Jar Jar? That might be too close to call. I agree with everything you said about Greedo shooting first, but Jar Jar was nothing but an horribly animated horribly voiced grab at the kiddies who would then demand Jar Jar lunchboxes, pillow cases,and whatever other truckloads of garbage they stamped the Star Wars logo on. He was distracting in every single scene he was in.

If I ever learn to use Windows Movie Maker I’m going to make my own version* where I’ll mash Ep’s 1 and 2 into one movie, taking out every pointless time filling scene “action” scene and any mentions of midichlorians, any shots of Jar Jar or that truly wretched Dexter Jettster character. It should run about 35 minutes when I’m done.
*for my own personal use! I think there’s a Lucas lawyer at my door already!

Lucas threatened to shoot them and then make it look like they shot first.

The changes ruined more than the characterisation: watch the unaltered version, and the whole cantina scene is a model of intelligent, economical film-making.

Obi-Wan and Luke enter the cantina looking for a way off-planet - suddenly we step out of Dune and into Casablanca, with a bit of Western thrown in. Drunk picks a fight with Luke: Ob–Wan tries to placate him, then cuts his arm off. OK, now we’ve seen this this mysterious old man in action: nice guy, but don’t mess. Character is neatly developed.

Next we meet a mercenary smuggler: seems handy, but a bit of braggart. They bargain for passsage: a bit of bickering, and they reach a deal. They’re off - but can Han he be trusted? Greedo shows up and threatens Han: Blam! OK, a very neat bit of mirroring there: now we’ve seen that this mysterious stranger may be a blowhard and a rascal, but don’t mess. Character is introduced, and then nicely expanded.

And there you have it: previous characters are fleshed out, new ones are introduced and neatly counterpointed, the plot is moved along, old movies get a tip of the hat, and it all takes place in this brilliantly realised alien dive which just hints at the breadth of this universe. And all this in a couple of minutes, with no “plot exposition” dialogue: show, don’t tell.

Now compare this with the “getting off Tatooine” plot in Phantom: our spaceship’s broken and we need a new bit but the nasty scrap merchant won’t sell it to us but there’s this cute little kid we can enter in a a race and he’s a slave so we can rescue him but not his mum and Obi-Wan even though you’re supposed to be a hothead you stay in the ship and tell everyone not to do anything until I get back which will take a third of the movie but it’s OK because there’s some really cool special effects in the race…

Jesus, George, what the fuck happened to you? How did you get from Star Wars to Phantom Menace?

It’s been done (sort of) for Episode 1

Of course, I think they need to restore the original, but at least we don’t get to see Greedo miss that stupid ass shot.

Um, hello? Wrongful imprisonment? Kidnapping? Sexual battery? C’mon, you’re smarter than that. Clearly it was a case of justifiable ummm…xenocide?

“I’m smarter than that?” Where’d that come from? And “kidnapping?” She broke in first. “Sexual battery?” 1) How, exactly? and 2) Gross.

I wasn’t expressing genuine outrage that Jabba was an innocent victim; I was pointing out that, especially in a movie about spaceships and Wookiees and lightsabers, it’s okay for somebody to kill a bad guy without having to have the bad guy actually shooting first.

Besides, my way let me make fun of George Lucas, too, for being fat and gross. Which he is. Look at the dude’s neck, for god’s sake.

No, she didn’t break in. She walked right in the front door. Granted, it was under false pretenses, but my point stands.

Ok, I looked it up. Wrong term; my bad.

I know this. I’m just having fun with you, ya big goof. Just because I don’t pepper my posts with smilies doesn’t mean I should be taken seriously at all times.

And you’re right. George Lucas is a big, fat idiot.

The sheer unnecessary-ness of it irritates me. It adds nothing to the story, it doesn’t solve any problems that Lucas couldn’t deal with in 1977 (i.e. an appearance by Jabba, though even that was unnecessary) and it doesn’t even look good.

When the “enhanced” version was released in the nineties, I was sufficiently appalled by this scene alone that I refused to see what Lucas had done to Eps 5 and 6.