Who Shot First? The ruining of Han Solo
Who shot first? Lets look at the original and see:
GREEDO: Jabba’s through with you. He has no time for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser.
HAN: Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
<Han Solo slowly reaches for his gun under the table.>
GREEDO: You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship.
HAN: Over my dead body.
GREEDO: That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to killing you for a long time.
HAN: Yes, I’ll bet you have.
<Suddenly, a blast explodes from beneath the table and the slimy alien slumps forward, his head landing on the table with a dull thud. Han pulls his smoking gun from beneath the table as the other patron look on in bemused amazement. Han gets up and starts out of the cantina, flipping the bartender some coins as he leaves.>
In 1988 Lucas gave an interesting speech. In it he said the following:
“A copyright is held in trust by its owner until it ultimately reverts to public domain. American works of art belong to the American public; they are part of our cultural history. People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society.”
“In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten. There is nothing to stop American films, records, books, and paintings from being sold to a foreign entity or egotistical gangsters and having them change our cultural heritage to suit their personal taste.”
So the question comes to mind, why the frak did Lucas change the scene? In the end he altered an iconic character in a way that can never truly be fixed. He snipped away the harshness of the true Han Solo and left us with a hollowness that to this day sucks much of the joy out of a great movie. Watching the retouched version of Star Wars brings no joy and leaves me feeling empty inside. And all of this comes from one simple change. A simple change that demonstrated the hypocrisy of George Lucas. Lucas said, “People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians…” but what he didn’t realize is that one day he would be describing himself.
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