When Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters this December, it will surely contain scenes that divide fans, and cause controversy amongst the hardcore audience members who have been with this franchise since it debuted in 1977. But there will never be a more debated topic than who shot first in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Was it Han or Greedo? Well, a recently discovered original screenplay for the first Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope may finally put this question to rest, as it gives the definitive answer. And most of you will probably like what you hear.
As many know, George Lucas created the 'who shot first' controversy himself when he decided to re-release Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope way back in 1997 to get people hyped for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In true George Lucas fashion, the director tinkered with his original cut of the film, adding new scenes and updated special effects. One of the changes made was in the iconic Cantina scene, when Han Solo is confronted by Greedo. In the original 1977 version, Han shoots and kills Greedo on the spot. In the new version, which still stands as the 'canon' version available to fans today, Greedo pulls his gun and gets off the first laser blast in what is a very clumsy edit that fans hate. About the edit, George Lucas had this to say in 2012:
"What I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn't. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."
While George Lucas wants everyone to think Greedo shot first, and that Han isn't that cold blooded killer, an original draft of the screenplay was just discovered, and it clearly states that Han Solo shot first. So end of discussion, right? The problem comes from George Lucas' constant insistence that he always intended for Greedo to shoot first. The just-discovered screenplay dated March 15th, 1976, which was hidden away in the University of New Brunswick library, catches the creator of this universe in a fib. The script in question is believed to be the fourth draft. In it, CBC reports that Luke Skywalker is still called Luke Starkiller, and this particular adventure is still referred to as Saga I. Librarian Kristian Brown, who read the screenplay herself says:
Based on the script, I can tell you 100 per cent, Han shot first."
Even if this draft of the screenplay does boldly states who shot first, that doesn't mean it will end the argument. Those in favor of Greedo shooting first will point to the fact that George Lucas may have changed his mind after writing this draft. Also, that he is the creator of this universe, and what he says is the final definitive take on the matter. Though, many of us will only have to look to the original 1977 release of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope for the true answer. There, Han Solo clearly shoots first. What do you think?