Star Wars Explains Why Han Solo Shot Greedo First
There are countless elements about the Star Wars franchise that fans have debated about passionately over the years, one of which being the encounter between Han Solo and Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope. While the original version of the film famously featured Solo shooting Greedo when he felt threatened by the bounty hunter, the scene has been revised a number of times over the years to impact the course of events. The debut issue of Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca hints at the history between the two while also shedding light on Solo having a hair-trigger in the original trilogy.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #1
Set between the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope, the new series kicks off with Han and Chewie taking on a mission from Jabba the Hutt, the only catch being that Jabba requires Greedo to accompany them on the mission. While it's clear that the pair already have history when we see them in this series, establishing an animosity and rivalry, Han specifically notes that, if Greedo tries to double-cross him, he'll "shoot first and ask questions later."
This exchange might not explicitly lead to the deadly showdown the pair would ultimately have in A New Hope, yet it surely sheds more light on how Han was open to any excuse to take down the Rodian. Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen such exposition, as Solo offered a similar explanation when Han (Alden Ehrenreich) denied Beckett (Woody Harrelson) a chance to explain himself in the film's finale, shooting first instead of Beckett buying himself time to try to defend himself.
For nearly 20 years, audiences only had one perception of this encounter, only for the release of the Special Edition of A New Hope to ignite a decades-long debate.
Franchise creator George Lucas reflected on how Han shooting first painted him more as a cold-blooded killer, with the 1997 Special Edition being altered to show Greedo firing first, only for Han to retaliate. Despite the decision coming from the series' creator, many fans were upset with this alteration, remaining steadfast in their belief that Han shot first.
The scene was altered again in 2004 for the original trilogy's DVD release, this time showing the pair firing at the same time, as Han was digitally shifted out of the way of Greedo's fire. Additionally, the debut of A New Hope on Disney+ back in 2019 saw the scene unfold similarly, though fans noticed Greedo can now audibly be heard uttering "maclunkey," igniting speculation about what this meant within the canon.
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