I got an e-mail in response to my latest episode of Geek Out Loud in which the writer mentioned that he wasn’t familiar with a version of Star Wars in which Han shot Greedo first. While I was surprised by this, I wasn’t too surprised.
The generation that I grew up in who was introduced to Han being one of the cooler, meaner, badder guys in the galaxy kind of assumes that everyone hates what was done in the Special Editions in the late nineties. The truth is, I was 20 years old when the Special Editions of the Original Trilogy hit theatres, and there were a LOT of kids who had their first exposure to Star Wars in any way in theatres that year.
The first time I was aware that there were people who didn’t know the way things went down in the original versions of the film was once while hanging out with a good friend of mine who is a few years younger than me. (Shout out to Heath, aka Skinner, aka Big Kerm) We were talking about the trailer for Revenge of the Sith and that spiraled into a full on geek out session about Star Wars. I mentioned something about Lucas changing the way the Han/Greedo scene went down and he asked what I was talking about. I proceeded to pull out my old VHS copy of Star Wars and fast forward to the scene. First, I showed Him Greedo shooting a la the Special Edition. Then, I pushed play on the VCR. He just sat there for a second and finally said, “Why did Lucas change that?!?” To this day, that’s the sixty thousand dollar question for me. I understand every other change. I accept Lucas’ explanations and understand where he’s coming from. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard the Greedo shooting first scenario explained.
Anywho, for those of you who may have been unaware…here is the scene as it was originally released…..