clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

George Lucas opens up about decision to have Greedo shoot Han first

New, 73 comments

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

George Lucas has spent years defending his most controversial decision as a director, and probably will for the rest of his life.

The Star Wars creator sat down with the Washington Post for an in-depth profile of his career, and during the interview, spoke briefly about the decision to reedit the original 1977 film.

Fans of the movie were left flabbergasted when Lucas changed the sequence of events in A New Hope so that Greedo shot Han Solo first instead of the other way around when the feature was rereleased in 1997.

Now, Lucas has officially said that the character he wanted Han Solo to be couldn't exist if he had shot Greedo first. He couldn't have been a "cold-blooded killer."

"Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy? Should he be John Wayne? And I said, 'Yeah, he should be John Wayne,'" Lucas told the Post. "And when you're John Wayne, you don't shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot."

Lucas added that the original scene just ran opposite to the principles he wanted to be known for in Star Wars and that's why he had to change it.

Of course, that hasn't stopped fans from ranting about it. The anger and resentment over it has become such a staple in today's culture, that "Han shot first" t-shirts, bags, pins and other miscellaneous items can be bought at a variety of stores.

Lucas also talked briefly about not being involved in the new projects and said he believed in J.J. Abrams' directing abilities. He added he wouldn't feel comfortable standing over another director's shoulder while a movie was being made.

The next entry in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, hits theaters Dec. 18.

Listen to this and all of the biggest news stories every day in Polygon Minimap. Links to subscribe in iTunes, your podcast player of choice or to download it as an MP3 are also below.