A Good Movie, and Han Shot First!

Just finished watching this great film:

Its on Netflix instant watch so go see it, its a really good discussion of art, intellectual property, pop culture, and fandom.

There’s lots of issues discussed in this film, some happy, some angry, and some contentious.

The one I really got thinking about is Han Shooting First:

In the origonal film Han Solo encounters Greedo, a bounty hunter working for Jabba The Hutt. Greedo gloats about delivering Han to Jabba for a massive debt from a failed smuggling run. Cornered, and facing certain death, Han shoots Greedo and then soon flees the planet with Luke, Obi Wan, and the Droids.

In the new film Greedo improbably shoots at Han and misses, and Han then RETURNS fire, killing Greedo.

It seems all the arguments in the film mention that it changes the characters. Greedo goes from being a menace to a buffoon, and Han goes from being a dangerous anti-hero to a typical old-school white-hat cowboy hero.

It got me thinking about the Trayvon Martin killing. An artificial controversy in the case is the specter of racism. (Nobody claims that Han shot Greedo because he was a Rodian, and Han is anti-Alien or Anti-Rodian) But the BIG controversy is that Martin was a minor, and was unarmed when he was shot.

I personally suspect that like Han, Zimmerman was facing certain death at the moment he shot Martin, but who knows? I mean maybe Greedo would have attempted to capture Han only to be freed by Chewbacca, or maybe Luke or Obi Wan.

This also got me thinking about myself. Could I “Shoot First” when I was facing only PROBABLE death, say group of posturing, but unarmed males wearing gang colors? I’ve never been in that situation, so I can’t say if I can or can not. I might freeze up. I might hesitate and be killed.

Han shooting first says a LOT about his character. He’s cool-headed, tough, and isn’t afraid to kill to save his skin.

With Greedo shooting first it makes Han look more meek. Maybe if Greedo hadn’t shot he would have gone willingly. Maybe if he could have run away he would have. Maybe Han only shot because he was frightened by the shot fired at him.

It totally changes the film!

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0 Responses to A Good Movie, and Han Shot First!

  1. Archer says:

    I never bought it. Greedo is supposed to be a professional bounty hunter, for cryin’ out loud! He had Han dead-to-rights, and had the drop on him, which only lends credence to the “Han shot first” meme; if Greedo can get the drop on Han F@#$king Solo, then he MUST be a dangerous character indeed.

    On the other hand, shooting and missing at that range makes him look soft (doesn’t really want to kill Han), or incompetent. As Mushu says in the movie “Mulan”: “You missed? How could you miss!? He was THREE FEET in front of you!!”

    Yep, Greedo shooting first completely changes the characters.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Now to be fair there are incompetent people in every profession. Hell the Stephanie Plum books make a lot of humerus points that while Plum is a bounty hunter, she’s not very violent, aggressive, or very good with guns (in most books the gun lives in a Cookie Jar in her kitchen, often reflected upon when she’s miles from home in grave danger), Plum survives on her wits and the help of her friends.

      But the books are FUNNY! Star Wars is NOT a comedy, and such a bungling bounty hunter isn’t in character for either the film or the scene.

      Either way, you get my point, Greedo not being able to shoot somebody sitting across the table from him, without Han so much as moving changes the whole tone and implied story of the scene.

  2. AuricTech says:

    I think Linoge said it best:

    “Fictional or not, that man’s OODA Loop consists of a point.”

  3. Old NFO says:

    The first one is the ONLY one worth watching… Just sayin…

  4. Bubblehead Les says:

    Said it before, I’ll say it again: Han Shoot First. Why? Because I have an UNEDITED, ORIGINAL Copy on VHS, and there’s NO WAY Greedo missed. Why? Where’s the Blast Marks on the Wall from Greedo’s Gun? Any Forensics Student who would miss that would be thrown out of School.

    I HATE Historical Revisionists!

  5. Joe in PNG says:

    And, of course what did Han do when he realized he would be having dinner with Darth Vader? Started shooting right off.

  6. WallPhone says:

    Speaking of modern-day socially engineered movie heroes–gave up on the Mission: Impossible franchise when Tom Cruise threw his enemy’s knife in the sand in order to engage said enemy in a fist fight.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I gave up on it when the first one sucked, and the second one sucked more. Everybody deserves a second chance, third chances are a bit much in my book.

      I forget who said it, but “If you’re engaging in a fair fight then your tactics suck!” In life-or-death, there is not “Cheating” and I aim to live.

  7. Greg Camp says:

    Literature and movies these days present un-heroes–neurotic wimps who never do anything and feel victimized by life. Everyone needs to read the Iliad and watch some John Wayne movies for a good mind cleansing.

  8. TS says:

    In the re-release, it is not like Han reacts to being shot and thinks, “holy crap, Greedo is trying to kill me!”- then draws his gun and fires. With the speed of that exchange, Han certainly had a bead on Greedo, and maybe even already pulling the trigger by the time Greedo shot first. Han clearly had no reaction to a blast landing by his left ear. Lucas’ “fix” didn’t even fix anything- it showed us how lame he is.

    And how is he going to fix Indiana’s exchange with the swordsman? Is he going to CGI him drawing a gun and shooting first?

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