Filmmaker George Lucas is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the Star Wars franchise, as he has gone back to make a number of tweaks to his original trilogy over the years, with some of those changes often ignited debates among fans. There's arguably no debate that riles up fans more than whether Han Solo or Greedo shot first in Star Wars: A New Hope, though in the new book The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, the filmmaker continues to remind fans that Han Solo is a good guy at heart, which is why he would never kill someone in cold blood.
"I never designed Han to be a ruthless killer," Lucas shared in the book, per Polygon. "All the good guys shoot in self-defense. When I edited the scene in 1977 you couldn’t tell who does what."
Lucas also details in the book that, with the Star Wars series meant to teach young audiences about pursuing a path towards the Light Side and to avoid the Dark Side, he made Han shooting in self-defense much more clear in hopes of establishing these morals for the characters, to then inspire kids to learn such lessons.
For 20 years after the release of Star Wars, fans had no reason to question how the scene played out, only for the film's Special Edition release to see a handful of adjustments made, including the clear update which shows Greedo getting a shot off at Han before the bounty hunter keels over. This ignited backlash about the scene, which then saw the 2004 home video release of the films updating the sequence to show the pair firing at the same moment, with Han digitally shifting out of the way of the blast.
Last year, fans were treated to yet another update, which only complicated matters further. The launch of Disney+ came with an updated version of the scene, which was tweaked prior to Disney buying Lucasfilm in 2012.
The version on the streaming service sees the pair shooting at the same moment, though it is preceded by a moment in which Greedo utters what sounds like the word "maclunkey," which potentially implies a threat, in addition to a shot of Greedo being removed. Sebulba previously used this word in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, though there's no official translation of its meaning.1comments
Regardless of which version of this scene is preferred by audiences, what ultimately matters is that the two had a conflict and Han Solo emerged as the victor.