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

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

?

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. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Actually, that's Threepio. What Han does is disguise himself as an Imperial officer- also technically a war crime.
  2. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    I was thinking of the event where he puts his hands up, tells Leia he loves her, and then Leia shoots the stormtroopers. But yeah 3PO commits perfidy too—as does Obi-Wan in TCW.
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Maybe in the SW universe, while there is such a thing as war crimes, there's no concept of perfidy as wrong?
  4. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Well, yeah.

    BTW, Han and Luke engaging in combat while wearing a stormtrooper uniform (in ANH) is a war crime as well :D
  5. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Strictly at this point neither Han nor Luke have joined the Rebellion formally at all.
  6. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    First of all, I have to say that the way the poll question is posed is a little confusing. Was Lucas right-- Yes, Han shot first? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    Anyway. I prefer the original version of the scene, but it isn't based on any kind of moral difference between Han or Greedo shooting first. In either scene, it's a clear cut case of self defense. Greedo's pointing a gun at Han and bragging about how he's going to blast him and collect a bounty from Jabba (or, if Han plays along, deliver him into Jabba's hands, and then presumably into the waiting digestive system of the Rancor or Sarlacc). Han's not a badass, cold-hearted murdering scumbag for shooting first. If anything, he does all he can to disuade Greedo from collecting the bounty, while buying time to unholster his gun. It doesn't change his character arc to fire a split-second after Greedo. He was still shooting for the same reason-- to keep from getting shot. Doesn't really make a difference who pulled the trigger first.

    You want to see a real example of a protagonist killing somebody in cold blood? James Bond, Dr. No, "That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six".

    No, the reason I object to the change is purely in the way it's done on aesthetic grounds. It's the way that Lucas inserts a long-shot into the sequence of quickly cut close-ups in order to explicitly show who's firing and when. The ironic thing is that the very way the scene worked originally demonstrates perfectly why the change, and all the hyperbolic reaction to it from the fanboy collective, is irrelevant. In the original vesion, it all happens so quickly and so closely that at first you can't really tell who's firing, and who got shot. It could've been either of them. For a few split seconds, even on repeated viewings, the primitive lizard-brain in our heads still processes it on a gut level, and we still have that minute part of us that thinks Han might've been shot. Because Greedo isn't some innocent victim here-- he's the real scumbag.
    J_Girl likes this.
  7. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    My answer is simple, he does have the right to do what he likes with his own work

    But we have the right as consumers to judge him on the decisions that he makes, and to judge the product both pre and post change.

    In this example, that change was terrible. And as far as I'm concerned, Han shot first. Lucas doesn't get to tell me which version I will go by.
    J_Girl likes this.
  8. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    Han didn't shoot first. Han was the only person that shot. Han killed Greedo because Greedo was trying to shake Han down. Greedo didn't get off a shot.

    GL got behind the "Han Shot First" concept because it got people on board with the concept that the two characters were shooting at each other. It was a way to manipulate public opinion. "Han Shot First" did half of the job of re-writing Star Wars history for him.
  9. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I would say that is the more accurate description
  10. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    More like, Han killed Greedo because Greedo was threatening him with a gun. Best case scenario, Greedo was going to walk him over to Jabba's with the gun at his back and make an appointment for a fate worse than death. Worst case, Greedo was going to blast him right then and there and collect the bounty on his corpse. Yeah, he could've been bribed, but since Han didn't have any money with him, he wasn't going to leave that table a free man, dead or alive, unless he shot his way out.

    Again. That's a gun Greedo's pointing at Han. Not a wallet or a bag of Skittles. As such, it's a good shooting, pure self defense. To change it and have Greedo fire first is redundant and bad aesthetics, but morally it's a zero sum difference.
    J_Girl likes this.
  11. Poor Greedo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2012
    star 2
    Han shot me first :cool:
    Last edited by Poor Greedo, Feb 16, 2013
  12. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Sorry, dude, but you had it coming.
    Poor Greedo likes this.
  13. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Not morally scummy...he was just trying to be realistic about their chances of success. If he and Luke didn't have that level 22 plot armor, going in to rescue Leia would have certainly been a suicide mission :cool:
  14. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Han shot the sheriff, but he did not shoot the deputy
  15. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    I think the original question is not so much "who shot first" (mod edit: keep it nice), and more of a "does the director/wtiter have the creative control to change things. And to that, the answer is: ABSOLUTELY!
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Feb 21, 2013
  16. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    I took a moment to watch the original version of the scene on YouTube, and then out of curiosity, the Adywan version from the "Star Wars Revisited" fan-edit that keeps being talked about as an example of how the movies "should be". What's sad is that it appears that Adywan isn't presenting the original version of the Greedo scene, either-- he splices in a few frames of Greedo sitting at the table just before he explodes in Han's blast, using footage from earlier in the scene. In the original version of the scene, as far as I an tell, there's only one or two frames of Greedo just before the explosion-- not enough for the viewer to even notice it subliminally, and with a very off-model Greedo puppet that doesn't even look right, at first glance.

    The extra frames of recognizable footage he adds into the scene are just enough for you to see who's being shot before the explosion occurs, which pretty much ruins the effect I mentioned in the original version of the scene, where it all goes by so quick you can't tell who's shooting first, thus allowing the scene to play out with genuine suspense. What makes the SE version of the scene inferior is the long-shot that shows the two of them firing. The Adywan scene is just as bad, though subtler, and in fact kind of worse for how it can pass notice by anyone other than the ultra-obsessive.

    Should an artist be able to change their work after releasing it? Who knows. But clowns like Adywan sure as hell shouldn't.
    Vthuil and _Catherine_ like this.
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