Saga [University Study] "Han Shot First" - Role of the Author

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by JamesDunn, Jan 22, 2013.

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Was Lucas Right?

Yes - Han Shot First 16 vote(s) 72.7%
No = It was Greedo 6 vote(s) 27.3%
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  1. JamesDunn Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Hello all, my name is James Dunn a second year student in Liverpool John Moores University. Currently I'm studying the topic of 'Authorship Control' - the idea of does the author have power over the story to every minute detail or if he/she just merely creates a world for fans to embrace :) We are looking to gather a 'pool of opinions' from a wide selection of perspectives

    One of the topics I want to look at is 'Solo Shot First'. We would like some opinions from you, as fans of the series, on Lucas' editorial decision to change this story element. Did you think you it was right to do this, how much of an effect it had on the story element, and how much power did Lucas have/had over the Star Wars world?

    Hope you reply and look forward to your response!
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    It does make Han slightly less ruthless in the sense that he won't out and out murder somebody. He's still an amoral scumbag for most of ANH, though-he makes it quite clear that he does not care that Leia is about to be executed, and gladly leaves the Rebellion to probably all get killed when he could help them. He does do a reversal at the end, but ANH Han is not a very nice person. Leia spells it out for us quite well-"if money is all you care about, then that's what you'll receive," and "your friend is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he cares about anything, or anybody."

    In any case-yes, George was well within his rights to change his film if he desired to do so. He bet his livelihood and career on this film in a way very few filmmakers ever have, and also created a wholly unique construct in entertainment. Not to mention that a film, barring the studio taking over like with Alien 3 for example, belongs to that director regardless of what the fans think. It's not ours; it's his.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I don't think it's at all fair to call him a "scumbag", just because he doesn't particularly want to put his life on the line for a complete stranger. He's just looking out for himself, but in a pragmatic way rather than a truly amoral one. There's got to be a middle ground between "scumbag" and "virtuous white knight".
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Feel free to show me where Han does anything that doesn't directly benefit himself in ANH, then.
  5. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    :confused:
    I just don't think that is what "scumbag" should mean. Or at least, if I use the term, I use it to describe those whose behavior deliberately causes some level of harm to the innocent.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Feb 2, 2013
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Except by him not acting, Leia is literally going to die. It's not 'just looking out for himself'; he knows she's about to be murdered and just shrugs when he's in a position to do something about it. Illegal? No; it's certainly morally scummy, though.
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Diving in to attack Vader & his wingmen? No direct benefit (other than the gratitude of the Rebellion) and a big potential risk (getting Imperials after him in future as well as bounty hunters).
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Feb 2, 2013
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, at the end of the film. It's the semi-end of his character arc; the rest of the film the other characters mainly blast him for only being self-interested, which he is.
  9. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    True. The EU's tended to show a slightly more altruistic streak (Han Solo Adventures, Han Solo Trilogy) but only slight. After Bria's con of him in Rebel Dawn, he was soured a bit on the Rebellion.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  10. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    It is within Lucas' rights but it makes very little logical or physical sense when you considered how he dodged the blaster shot. On top of that I always thought he shot first in self defense. Lucas' worry about how the audience would perceive him for allegedly shooting first existed within his own mind and nowhere else.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Certain early EU sources also made comments which take on a certain irony in the wake of the Special Edition change.

    Han Solo At Star's End (published 1979)

    Rekkon: "Kindly put your weapons up, Captain. That is Torm, one of my group. Even if it weren't, wouldn't it have been wiser to find out what was happening before preparing to shoot?"
    Han: "I happen to like to shoot first, Rekkon. As opposed to shooting second."
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Feb 2, 2013
  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    That's why I used the word causes. Han didn't put Leia in her predicament. He didn't cause that to happen. He just happened to unintentionally end up at the general location of her imprisonment. And at that point he somehow became morally obligated to save her?

    Don't worry, we'll get there.

    Hardly. He's ostensibly facing getting gunned down by clumps of stormtroopers. He's not obligated to risk death just because someone else is facing it.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  13. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I really didn't care. To be honest, I think many people were against the change because it made Han look less cool. I found his reluctance to save Leia from execution aboard the Death Star a lot more cold-blooded and morally low. Mind you, Han was not obligated to save her. But I found his attitude and "better her than me" comment rather crappy.
    Last edited by DRush76, Feb 2, 2013
  14. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    In my opinion, Lucas should not have changed the cantina scene.
    Han had every right to shoot Greedo. His life was in danger.

    Lucas probably changed the scene because heroes are supposed to be heroes.
    They do not shoot first.
    Although, I do not agree with that vision.
    In real life, the police can shoot agressors when they feel they are in danger (I mean real danger), so why can this not happen in the movies?

    So many movies are so steriotypical. Bad vs evil.
    In my opinion, there should be more 'grey'. That is why I liked Anakin.
    Everyone can become a murderer in some situations.
    Look at the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment.
    Everyone is shaped by the events that happen in one's life.

    And then again, the whole bad guy thing all depends on whose side you are on.
    One person's terrorist in another person's freedom fighter.
    It all depends on which side wins in the end.
    If the nazi's had won the war, they would have been the good guys.
    It all depends on propaganda and what you have been through.

    Lucas should make his mind up and not change the scene over and over again.
    Last edited by General Immodet, Feb 3, 2013
  15. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I think Han has been burned too many times, some probably due to caring too much about other people. He has become cynical and has learned that if he doesn't look after himself, no one else will. I don't think that makes him a scumbag.

    As far as the scene, I never understood why it mattered who fired first. Greedo wasn't exactly there to sell Girl Scout cookies. It was self-defense regardless.
  16. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    It's funny but Han's actions in ANH shooting first are more morally justified than in ESB which Lucas does not seem too have problem with.

    In ANH where Greedo not only has a gun on him but also makes plain he plans to kill him "over my dead body" "yes that's the idea, Iv been looking forward to this for a long time"

    In ESB the second he see's Vader the gun is out and he is shooting. Now it's fair to assume he was probably not aware that Vader could block shots with his bare hands, so the intention was obviously to kill an unarmed man.

    A man lets not forget who had just politely risen from the table to welcome him in and even after the discourtesy of an attempted murder at the dinner table, still welcomes him in "we would be honoured if you would join us" and as it's his daughters boyfriend like one of the family, that's true manners that is :p
    Darth_Articulate likes this.
  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    To be honest, I don't quite see what the purpose is in polling us here. What I mean is, you're obviously going to get a very skewed response and you can't really draw any conclusions due to the fact that it's a very biased sample, such as being self-selecting, for instance. So only people who have a strong opinion on the matter are going to answer. I don't know...it just seems very easy to manipulate the results to get what you want. Depending on where you post this poll, for instance, you will get different results.

    As for me, I think Lucas can (and should) do whatever he wants.
    Star Wars is his creation. I'm a big believer that an artists' work is his own and that, as the public, our choice is either to purchase/view it or not.

    It's not just Lucas, though, either. One of my favorite manga artists, Naoki Urasawa, released a deluxe edition of his manga Monster wherein he had made alterations to a lot of the art. For example:

    Original:
    [IMG]

    Deluxe Edition:
    [IMG]

    The retouching here is obviously to make the emotion more stark, but sometimes retouching is simply done for continuity in art, as the following example demonstrates:

    Original:
    [IMG]

    Deluxe Edition:
    [IMG]

    Considering the original comic is also out of print in a lot of areas, it's a similar situation to Star Wars. Regardless, I feel that Urasawa has the right to make these changes even if (in some instances), I prefer the original panels. Manga, like film, is also a collaborative process and many authors have a number of assistants to aid in detail work, which is necessary considering the pace of release in Japan.
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    He's seen Vader kill Obi-Wan with his lightsaber in Star Wars. And Vader's pretty much the fist of the Empire- wouldn't be that implausible for a Rebel (or Rebel ally) to shoot him on sight.
  19. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    It's war.
  20. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Not much effect on the "story element," but the change did make the scene more evocative of a shootout from a classic Western movie. Which I believe was the idea. Works for me.


    I'm not sure I understand the question. They're his movies; he created them and owns them, so he can do what he wants with them. But obviously you weren't asking a legal question.
    Last edited by Count Yubnub, Feb 3, 2013
  21. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Your right, this is a war crime then ;)
    Last edited by fett 4, Feb 4, 2013
  22. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Your right and I agree with you but the point I was making is that Shooting Greedo is no worse or morally wrong (which is Lucas argument) than this
  23. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    As another forum member said on another thread, in SW the Jedi almost every time activate their lightsaber before their opponent does.
  24. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Not unambiguously, AFAIK. For instance, killing an unarmed Osama Bin Laden was (apparently) legal.

    That doesn't mean Han is innocent of committing war crimes though. For instance, it is a war crime to engage in combat operations without wearing a uniform. It is also a war crime to pretend to surrender under false pretenses (perfidy), which Han does in ROTJ. :D

    Also, were the stormtroopers and other imperial personnel captured at the end of ROTJ treated humanely in their POW camps? Considering those celebrating Ewoks, their multitude of campfires, and their tendency to roast people alive, I doubt it! ;)
  25. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    In the RoTJ novel we see the prisoners shipped out to the Rebel Fleet.
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