Doing the press rounds for the 3D re-release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, director/hate figure George Lucas has confessed to The Hollywood Reporter his side of the story regarding the much debated Greedo/Han Solo ‘Who Shot First’ controversy that has stemmed ever since the remastered editions of the original Star Wars movie.
In an revealing comment, Lucas claims that it was never his attention back in the 70′s to depict Solo as ‘a cold-blooded killer’ but that his poor editing/direction and the audiences desire to see Han as a bad boy figure simply confused audiences to think that way.
Here’s what he said;
“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. 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.”
For the first twenty years since it’s release in theaters and on home video it was presumed Han Solo shot first but in 1997, Lucas removed this depiction and went out of his way to show that we had got it wrong for twenty years. In other words, the master stroke decision fans credited Lucas for in 1977 was an accident, no, a mistake that he never originally intended. Han never sot Greedo first in Lucas’s eyes and he was so pissed at this fan assumption that he had to tell us we got it wrong.
You can check out the fascinating interview with The Hollywood Reporter for yourselves as Lucas talks about his Star Wars re-releases and more.
The clips in question. For twenty years this is what we lived with;
Then in 1997, that galaxy far far away was changed and suddenly didn’t quite feel as cool;