Now everything is starting to come into clarity. Today is a bit like the day we learn that Santa Claus is your parents, socialism stops working when rich people’s money runs out, and a BA qualifies you for a $10 entry-level job that you could’ve gotten just out of high school.
As all the digital wounds should be healed by now from Kathy Shaidle’s venemous anti-Star Wars, anti-geek broadside, let us consider the newest affront to Nerd Dogma, this time courtesy of George Lucas himself. This new insult only confirms the necessity of publishing Shaidle’s column and moving on to greener pastures in the geek culture ecosystem. Via Hot Air and Ace, we learn today that we are all stupid for thinking that Han Solo would shoot Greedo rather than die in Jabba’s rancor pit. The truth for all of us morons in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
THR: People can get fanatical about the movies — how does that make you feel? The puppet vs. CGI Yoda ruckus, and the who-shot-first, Han Solo or Greedo furor come to mind.
Lucas: Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. 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.
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 reissue, we had to put the CGI back in, which was what it was meant to be.
When you have a gun pointed in your face and you’re clever enough to quietly draw your own pistol and blast the evil person threatening you… you are not a “cold-blooded killer.”
Ace will have none of this:
My, you have to be sitz-tinkler to get all worried about the message you’re sending by having Han “gun Greedo down” like a “cold-blooded murderer.”
For one thing, you know, Greedo had a gun on him, and announced, clearly, that he intended to kill Han in the next few seconds.
This seems “bad ass” only because of silly movies in the fifties and stuff when singing cowboys always let the bad guy have the first shot. That continued for decades.
It became accepted that Good Guys Always Let the Bad Guys Shoot First. So that in a movie like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, it seemed cold-blooded that Clint Eastwood would whistle for some Bad Guy’s attention, then kill them before they had time to reach for their guns.
But it was never really “cold-blooded.” Given the context of the fictional scenarios this was occurring in — these guys were trying to kill the main characters. It wasn’t murder. It was just the good guys deciding they’re not going to be Total Saps and give away a crucial advantage in a gunfight.
Here’s the medicine we all need to swallow: as children we were more grown up than George Lucas is now as an adult. Han Solo’s entire character rested on what we saw in that early scene in the film. In shooting first Han Solo was a role model doing what any Real Man was supposed to do. Now we know that character only existed in our imaginations, not his creator’s. And that George Lucas regards most of his fans as amoral neanderthals.
What else is on?
Also read: “Five Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks”
David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media and writes a post each day on news and politics at PJ Tatler and culture and entertainment at PJ Lifestyle. He can be contacted with feedback and story tips at DaveSwindlePJM[@]gmail.com and on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He enforces commenting guidelines on his posts — rude, off topic and ad hominem comments will be deleted. (Unless they are particularly well-written and entertaining.)