One of the great (largely one-sided) debates surrounding the Star Wars Saga has been put to rest: Han definitely shot first, or at least he did in an early version of the original script.
The script was found in the University of New Brunswick’s library, and nobody is quite sure how it got there. Librarian Kristian Brown was working on digitally archiving the library’s collection of science fiction items, including pulp magazines and novels, when he came across the script.
"I'll tell you one thing, right now," Brown tells CBC News. "Based on the script, I can tell you 100 per cent, Han shot first."
Brown is referring to the scene from the original Star Wars, when Han Solo is confronted by the alien bounty hunter Greedo. In the original scene, Han gets the jump on Greedo and shoots the Rodian before Greedo even realizes Han has pulled his gun. The 1997 special edition of the film reworked the scene so that Greedo shot at Han first, making it appear that Solo was only defending himself. George Lucas has said that this was always his intent for the scene, but this script suggests otherwise.
To be fair, it is a very early version of the script, with several other inconsistencies when compared to the finished film. The character we know as Luke Skywalker is referred to as Luke Starkiller, and the film is referred to as “Saga I” instead of “Episode IV,” though the film didn’t have an Episode number or title at all when it first hit theaters. There are other differences in the way certain characters are written, and some scenes that were cut entirely.
Han Solo returns to the big screen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening December 18.