Lucas Defends Greedo Shooting First

George Lucas has defended the nuke the fridge decision from the last Indiana Jones movie.  Now he’s defending the decision to have Greedo shoot first in the re-mastered Star Wars: A New Hope. 

Lucas says that he was just clearing up confusion over who shot first in the original version.

“The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, 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,” Lucas tells the Hollywood Reporter. 

“It’s the same thing with Yoda. We tried to do Yoda in CGI in Episode I, but we just couldn’t get it done in time. We couldn’t get the technology to work, so we had to use the puppet, but the puppet really wasn’t as good as the CGI. So when we did the re-issue, we had to put the CGI back in, which was what it was meant to be,” he adds.” If you look at Blade Runner, it’s been cut 16 ways from Sunday and there are all kinds of different versions of it. Star Wars, there’s basically one version—it just keeps getting improved a little bit as we move forward. … All art is technology and it improves every year. Whether it’s on the stage or in music or in painting, there are technological answers that happen, and because movies are so technological, the advances become more obvious. … Changes are not unusual—I mean, most movies when they release them they make changes. But somehow, when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.

Let the George Lucas rage begin…


  1. sean from edwards says

    I’ll buy the yoda excuse, except that they had other completely CG characters that looked fine. As for Han shooting first, that was what made him a scoundrel, not a cold blooded killer, it’s like shooting first when someone pulls a gun on you, it’s self defensive in naturem and it proves what a badass Han is.

  2. says

    Oh, George, George, George, so in love with tech, so clueless about plot…..or character development.

    Back in 1977, I naturally thought Han shooting first was meant to introduce some tension about how trustworthy this guy was. Show us he was ruthless and mercenary, and might just betray everyone if it was in his best interests. Sure, he becomes a great hero eventually, but the first movie chronicles the first steps of that journey from cad to comrade. After shooting first, it’s much easier to believe he’s going to take the money and run at the end. And then actually be surprised when he doesn’t.

    But what do I know? I was just a 13-year-old kid steeped in sf classics and film history. Just like George was once, before the flannel went to his head.

  3. John W says


    He can put up as many shields in defence of his decisions he wants, but the end results speak for themselves. His “improvements” don’t make the movies better in the least. As for his comparison’s to Bladerunner, the difference is the DVDs contain the original version along with the various cuts. THe original versions of the starwars films are no longer available. Only the not so special versions are…. sigh.

  4. kurt_eh says

    Well, duh. Of course Greedo shot first. The only reason we never heard the second shot was because Han’s blaster was silenced. The ONE AND ONLY shot in the audio was thus, quite obviously Greedo’s. GL just removed the silencer effect from the original film.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket… facepalm

    Or in other words:
    waves hand
    This isn’t the shooting scene you’re looking for.
    waves hand

  5. says

    Mr. Lucas, you go right on believing what you want to believe. I’ve stopped buying your products. You see, when you stopped telling good stories and started pushing merchandise, and then changing the good story to fit your version of the best percentage, I stopped caring.

  6. Big BS in PA says

    I think that even The Peoples Republic of California considers the Shooting of someone that pulls a gun on you justified.

  7. Joe Klemmer says

    This is so depressing. The creator of something so significant has, over the last decade or so, ruined it. I don’t know what George is smoking but this time I don’t want any of it.

  8. says

    I can see where George is coming from. But I also believe that the way it seemed in the movie with Han shooting first made him a more interesting character. Either way, it left a wonderful memory for a young 12 year old boy who loved science fiction. Thanks George!

  9. says

    George, listen up.

    Han shot first. A savvy smuggler like he was would have known that Greedo’s easiest way to collect Jabba’s bounty would be to bring him in dead, so why take the chance and end up being the dead one?

    George, don’t roll your eyes… still talking.

    Shooting Greedo first doesn’t make Han a cold-blooded killer anymore than his shooting those TIE fighters down while the Falcon was escaping from the Death Star does, nor the fighters he ambushed from behind when they were about to blast Luke on his last attack run.

    I used to think that Steven’s choice to digitally replace the guns with walkie-talkies in E.T was a worse “revisionist history” than you making Greedo shoot first. After this statement, George, you just jumped to #1 on the “WTF” list.

    It’s also safe to say that if my only option for the original Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray will be the edited editions rather than the originals, I will never waste my money on them.

    • startrekmom says

      When you mess with something that is considered a classic, fans are going to be outraged.

      If a movie has been edited, or has deleted scenes, additional content, etc., it should be included on the DVD where a viewer can choose which version they want to see. Some DVD’s come with a choice of theatrical version or uncut version, etc., and since there is at least 2 versions of Star Wars, it seems only right they should be on the same copy.

      I, personally had a problem with a Yoda in the prequels, If a character needs a cane to walk around, how can they be able to jump around fighting with such agility? This, to me, made the character seem unreal.

  10. Tom Tento says

    Wow! Old Fat neck is as clueless as ever. He sort of reminds me of someone who is addicted to plastic surgery and at a certain point starts looking worse and worse and meanwhile they are oblivious.

  11. Shavedgoat says

    So Greedo shoots first. Had the gun pointed at Han the whole scene. From three feet away. And then he misses. Badly.

    And this was intended from the original in 1977? And we did not know that cause it was all close up and confusing?

    I prefer my Own interpretation of what happened!

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