Someone very close to the situation has weighed in the most recent Star Wars controversy. Disney+ recently launched in the U.S. and the original trilogy was made available on the streaming service in 4K. Viewers were quick to notice a new change, later revealed to have been made by George Lucas personally, which sees the bounty hunter Greedo shouting the word "Maclunkey" before being shot to death by Han Solo in the cantina. Now, actor Paul Blake has weighed in on the matter.
Paul Blake was the actor who played Greedo in the suit in A New Hope. While he didn't provide the character's voiceover, that was done by Larry Ward, Blake is as much of an authority on the bounty hunter as there can be. After the Maclunkey bit made the rounds, Blake was interviewed about it. For starters, Blake confirmed he had seen the new version of the scene.
"I did! I couldn't understand a word of it. (laughs) It confused me incredibly, but I've never understood anything about the movies anyway, particularly that. The convention I've just come back from, I had a million opinions from everybody. This new word!"
As far as the actual word goes, until George Lucas weighs in on the Han vs Greedo scene, if he ever does, it's hard to know why this change was made or what precisely it means. Best anyone can figure, Greedo might be saying "ma klounkee", which is Hutt speak for "this will be the end of you." That would at least make some sense. Speaking, rather jokingly, about what he thinks it means, Paul Blake had this to say.
"Yeah, well he's talking about his Scottish grandmother there. Greedo had a Scottish grandmother and an Irish grandfather, and a Rodian step-mother. That's why he shouted 'Maclunkey' just before he died. He's about to meet his grandfather. How absolutely absurd, what is George [Lucas] doing these days?"
This is not the first time the scene has been altered. As Star Wars fans will point out, when George Lucas updated the movies in 1997, he made it so Greedo shoots at Han first, which differs from the original theatrical release in 1977, where Han just shoots Greedo before things have a chance to get ugly. This prompted the saying amongst fans, "Han shot first." Speaking a bit more seriously about the topic, Paul Blake put in his two cents about what it could mean.
"I shall say it was Greedo's last gasp. It's a Rodian thing. Just before you expire, every Rodian says 'Maclunkey'. It's some ancient tradition. I read there's an interpretation that it means, 'ma-dong-key'. 'My donkey', I think, is another reference to the horse waiting outside the Cantina that Greedo was in."
A great many questions remain about this particular change. Not the least of which being why Disney opted to include it on the Disney+ version of the movie in the first place. At the very least, it serves as yet another nail in the coffin for those hoping that the studio will one day release the original trilogy in its original form on HD. This news comes to us via Empire.