Tag Archives: A New Hope

Greedo Shooting First Makes Sense

By Bruce Gibson

A big controversy within Star Wars fandom is how the Special Edition changed the anti-hero portrayal of Han Solo.  Before George Lucas made his 1997 alterations, Han shot Greedo before the Rodian even pulled the trigger.  In the Special Edition, Greedo shoots Han first, which actually improves Greedo’s characterization as a more ruthless bounty hunter who isn’t hesitant to shoot in public.  But I contend that this scene alteration may also improve both Han and Greedo’s portrayal in “A New Hope” and fits in better with “The Empire Strikes Back.”  You heard me; this scene works for Han.

1

Before we can examine Han, we must first ponder a big change made to Greedo.  He shoots and misses Han.  Now how can anyone possibly miss shooting someone sitting a few feet in front of him?  Was Greedo a former stormtrooper since only they can be “so precise”?  If Greedo is that bad of a shot, he should be thrown out of the “Bounty Hunters Members Only Club,” and Jabba should reevaluate his associates.  Jabba the Hutt would never associate with a bounty hunter who wasn’t worth his salt.

Arguably, I doubt that George Lucas’ intentions were to weaken these two characters in the Special Edition.  So let’s look at this scene with the best of intentions that both Han and Greedo are indeed ruthless scoundrels who are at the top of their game.

2

In the cantina scene, Greedo points his weapon at Han and mentions there is a bounty on his head from Jabba.  He makes idle threats to Han that he will kill him, but Greedo must know that financially Han’s only real value is to be brought to Jabba alive.  The crime lord must want to taunt and torture Han if he can’t collect the monies owed to him.  So, we must conclude that Greedo has no plans to kill Han since his corpse is of no value to Jabba.

HAN
You sent Greedo to blast me.

JABBA
(mock surprise)
Han, why you’re the best smuggler in
the business. You’re too valuable to
fry. He was only relaying my concern
at your delays. He wasn’t going to
blast you.

3

Although Han tells Jabba otherwise, I think he does believe that Greedo would not kill him. Han is a smart cookie and a shrewd scoundrel, so he must know that Jabba would want him alive. He knows that Greedo would never kill him if he wants to be paid handsomely.

4

This theory is also supported in “The Empire Strikes Back” when Boba Fett, working in sync with Darth Vader, is on a quest for that same bounty to capture Han Solo.  Fett tells Vader in Cloud City, “He’s no good to me dead.”  That’s a key phrase in the saga’s continuity because it means Jabba’s price on Han’s head is based on being captured alive.  Yes, Han must be delivered to Jabba as live goods.

In “A New Hope,” Han is cunning and would rather kill Greedo before being captured.  So instead of shooting first, Han slowly pulls out his blaster and waits for the right opportunity to make his move.  Try to understand that Han could be perceived as being more calculating in this film version.  He’s using his keen eyesight to notice that the barrel of Greedo’s gun is not pointed directly at his head.  Look at this scene again, and you’ll see that Greedo’s aim looks a little off within those long fingers.  Han would notice this too.

5

Han Solo slowly reaches for his gun under the table.

GREEDO
You can tell that to Jabba. He may
only take your ship.

HAN
Over my dead body.

GREEDO
That’s the idea. I’ve been looking
forward to killing you for a long
time.

HAN
Yes, I’ll bet you have.

Han knows Greedo is toying with him and will not kill him.  He’s prepared to see Greedo make his dummy shot as a bold threat to get Han to comply.  It’s like in the old westerns when a cowboy shoots at someone’s feet to get them to comply or foolishly dance.  Han will have a justified reason to retaliate in broad daylight thus giving the public perception that his shot was a defensive maneuver.  No questions asked from the peanut gallery.

6

Greedo shoots the wall beside Han’s head.  And, in a blink of an eye, Greedo falls forward dead on the table.  Because of Greedo’s foolish threatening action, Han sentenced him to death and shot him down.  Greedo gave him reason and didn’t see the shot coming from Han’s hidden blaster.

So Han is still a cold-blooded killer in the Special Edition because when he shoots, he knows that if and when Greedo shoots, he is not going to kill Han.  This is in opposition to the 1977 version where we originally perceived Greedo’s mission was to kill Han.  But both film versions, no matter how this scene plays out, Han is determined to shoot and kill Greedo.  It wasn’t in self-defense or to avoid a missed shot.  It was to take him down once and for all.

Personally, I don’t think this scene in the Special Edition is any better than the original version.  I also don’t think it strips Han of his cunning ruthlessness.  The Special Edition is here to stay, and I’m presenting “a certain point of view” that may help people to view this scene less negatively and make it more palatable.  Han’s character portrayal in the beginning of this story still remains rebellious, and he still has a journey to become a moral hero.

Stephen Stanton and Special Guests Join Live Patreon Launch Show

We’re thrilled to announce that the one and only Stephen Stanton himself will be marshaling in our live broadcast this Saturday at 12pm EST to commemorate the launch of the Star Wars Report podcast Patreon campaign. Stephen is a great friend of the show, and an actor extraordinaire that has voiced numerous characters for many Star Wars projects but we all know an love him as the delightfully evil Wilhuff Tarkin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

Be sure to tune in live at http://www.starwarsreport.com/live/ this Saturday at 12pm EST!

I kinda like it!

I kinda like it!

Afterwards, we will be featuring a litany of special guests and friends of the Star Wars Report Podcast talking about their favorite moment of A New Hope and then launch into our live commentary of the Star Wars film that started it all. Joining us for the ANH commentary will be Nerdist writer and StarWars.com blogger Amy Ratcliffe and Radio broadcaster extraordinaire and host of My Star Wars Story, Scott Ryfun.

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Join us this Saturday for what promises to be a great afternoon of live podcasting and we hope you consider supporting the Star Wars Report podcast through Patreon.

-Riley

 

Quotable Solo- TWL #131

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Commemorate the Launch of Our Patreon Campaign With Our LIVE Commentary of A New Hope!

The Star Wars Report Podcast is taking things to the next level! We will be starting a new era of the podcast and launching our Patreon page on Saturday May 23rd at 12:00pm EST with a live show and then a broadcast of our audio commentary of A New Hope. The broadcast will be sure to feature some special guests (to be announced) as well as our take on the Star Wars film that started it all! It’s Star Wars Month and come celebrate with us!

For almost 4 years, The Star Wars Report podcast has brought Star Wars Fans everywhere entertaining and engaging commentary and discussion of that galaxy far, far away.
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The flagship show of starwarsreport.com, hosts Riley Blanton and Mark Hurliman talk about all the latest Star Wars news. From Star Wars Rebels to the upcoming theatrical films, and all other new Star Wars projects, they cover it all. The show also features conversation and coverage of Star Wars Celebrations, Dragon Con, and other fan gatherings. Packed with in-depth interviews, reviews, can’t-miss coverage and commentary, the Star Wars Report is YOUR Star Wars podcast home.

By supporting The Star Wars Report through Patreon, you’re helping the show improve in quality and quantity. You’re opening doors to an even higher quality weekly program. And as thanks for your support, we have some awesome rewards and bonuses.  

The podcast will always be free, however producing a high-quality weekly program costs precious time and resources. Riley is a full-time student and AFROTC cadet. Mark is juggling the responsibilities of work and being dad. Supporting The Star Wars Report through Patreon will allow us to defer those costs and focus more on creating a quality show.

-Riley