“Han shot first” is the rallying cry for Star Wars fans everywhere who were less than impressed with the changes that have been made to the original trilogy over the years, but the man responsible for those changes still believes he made the right call.
During a recent Washington Post profile, George Lucas came to the defense of his decision to have Greedo the bounty hunter shoot first in a piviotal scene from the 1977 film.
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’” Lucas asks. “Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
Lucas’s views of course run contrary to popular fan opinion that the director was just plain wrong in making the switch, arguing that Han shooting first is an important character moment that establishes the smuggler as a freewheeling antihero not to be trifled with. Then again, Lucas is free to make any changes he wants; he just has to realize that disgruntled fans are going to let him hear about it.
Or will they? Lucas doesn’t seem to care much one way or the other what the “Han Shot First” crowd thinks, as he claims in the same interview that he’s largely avoided the internet for the last 15 years. Considering the amount of disdain floating around the internet for the Star Wars creator, who can really blame him?