Why “Han Shot First!” Is a Moot Point

I have an inner geek, and I’ve decided to let her out. Yes, my inner geek is a woman. Is that so hard to believe? I like Star Wars AND Star Trek. So sue me. Today, I would like to talk about a small, short scene in Star Wars.  

It’s a small matter, but it’s one that comes up time and time again. “Han shot first!” The scene has been altered at least four times since its initial showing. The question I have is, why does it matter? Greedo said he would kill him.  

For those who don’t know, the scene in question is in “Star Wars: A New Hope,” very early on, in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Here is the exchange: Greedo informs Han of a bounty a then-unknown Jabba the Hutt had put on his head. Han says, “Over my dead body.” Greedo says, “That’s the idea.” From that point on, anything Han Solo does is in self-defense. 

Why? Simple. Greedo stated his intent to kill Han. It’s that simple. If Greedo shot first (in some adaptations), Han acted in self-defense. If Han shot first, he acted in self-defense. Han acted in self-defense no matter how the scene went down. Greedo was going to kill Han anyway, so does Han lose the right to defend himself in shooting first?  

Sometimes, a controversy is a moot point. We do not need to argue about any more than is necessary for health and safety. After all, we’ve got politics to make us hate each other more than enough.  

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May the Fourth Be With You

My Star wars fascination started early. That might seem weird considering that I was born after the first movie came out (July 17; the movie came out May 25), but it gripped the nation like no other movie had before. It was unlike anything people had previously seen. I mean, most of the actors involved were absolutely sure it would be a flop, that’s how unprecedented it was. Of course, nobody would give George Lucas his due until after the movie came out. Sometimes, you have to bop somebody on the head before they actually get something sometimes. But, on to me.

When I finally had a good look at the movie, there were some great things that the sci-fi overwhelmed. Let’s see; there’s a princess who aids in her own rescue, a sword fight in which the villain strikes down the hero; an antihero who was kind of sexy (hey, I was a kid!), and robots with personalities. Had anyone done a robot with a personality before? That was amazing. (I’m not sure HAL 3000 counts.)

Of course, there are drawbacks. Let’s start with Stormtroopers that miss their targets; not-great dialogue, and almost completely illogical transport vehicles. (Ever heard of the wheel, Star Wars engineers?)

I’ll admit it; I’m a slight geek. But how could you not be some level of geek when science fiction and fairytale elements collide, and it’s so well done? Yeah, George Lucas seemed a little tone deaf when it comes to relationships, but a little coaching could have improved that. The movie, and subsequent movies to follow, are amazing.