controversial changes

George Lucas Explains Why He Edited the ‘Han Shot First’ Scene

2015 American Theatre Wing's Gala
George Lucas. Photo: Mark Sagliocco/2015 Getty Images

J.J. Abrams might be partial to the idea of Han having shot first, but George Lucas is adamant about his hero’s purity. The Star Wars creator explained his defense and reason for re-editing the infamous Greedo-Solo scene in a newly published Washington Post profile, noting that the idea of Han shooting first in the Mos Eisley cantina simply doesn’t mesh with SW’s principles.

“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’” Lucas told WaPo (though it’s arguably still unclear if this is a clarification edit or a script-changing edit). “Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, Yeah, he should be John Wayne. And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.” Here’s the scene in question:

For more from the profile, which also talks about the filmmaker’s upcoming Kennedy Center honor and Star Wars “divorce,” head here.

Lucas on Why He Edited ‘Han Shot First’ Scene