Han definitely shot first in Star Wars!


Han definitely shot first in Star Wars!

The whole Star Wars saga has become a bit of a mess when you consider the release of the original film as a stand alone enterprise just called Star Wars, then later rebranded as Episode IV A New Hope in time for the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Then in 1997 the Special Editions came out, with new footage, random CG characters and a whole lot more. And that's before you consider the prequel trilogy.

It's all down to creator George Lucas who just can't seem to leave the thing alone. His constant revisions rarely seem to improve matters, especially when it came to the original trilogy. And one of the most contentious has always been exactly what happens when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) meets Greedo in the Cantina.

Let's be honest for a second here - we know Han shot first. For one thing, you know this because he's alive - there's no way a supposed hired killer like Greedo misses a shot from a few feet away, with a quarry he knows to be dangerous. And it's also clear because we know the character, he's cool and laconic and basically the closest thing the Rebellion side has to a bad-ass. So he totally capped Greedo's ass before he was, in turn, capped!

Yet, Lucas doesn't want his film to have this supercool moment for some bizarre reason, thinking that people will dislike the character for being a cold-blooded killer. So he went back in, muddled up the shots and made it so that Han somehow casually dodges Greedo's shot before killing his opponent. It's basically nonsense, but that's the version which is canon according to Lucas.

Now, there's some new evidence to add to the mix in the form of an early script for Star Wars found in the archives at the University of New Brunswick library. It'a dated March 1976, the exact same month the film started shooting in the desert in Tunisia and still features the original name for Mark Hamil's character - Luke Starkiller. And, in the famous cantina sequence, Han definitely shoots first.

Librarian Kristian Brown found the script while working at digitizing the local pulp and sci-fi content. And he says, based on what he's seen: "I'll tell you one thing, right now, based on the script, I can tell you 100 per cent, Han shot first."

It seems the script itself might be a copy made by a fan attending a convention, at least that's according to Lucasfilm, so it's not likely that this will ever be considered a totally definitive answer for those who have been wondering about who shot first for so many years. But it certainly adds some extra fuel to the fire.

The Star Wars saga returns in December 2015 with The Force Awakens.

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