You don’t need to watch the original scene. This isn’t the film footage you’re looking for. We can go about our business. Move along.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last week, George Lucas had this to say about the infamous “Greedo Shot First” change he made to ‘Star Wars’:
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 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.
Yes, you read that right. George Lucas now claims that Han Solo never shot Greedo first, even in the original version of the movie. Greedo always shot at Han first. We just couldn’t see it clearly because of bad editing.
As a reminder, here’s how the scene played back as it was released in 1977:
Now, I will give you that, the way this scene is edited, we don’t see Greedo not shoot at Han. He’s largely obscured by the smoke from Han’s blaster. Lucas is using this to argue that Greedo in fact did shoot, even if we don’t see it.
Except that… well, wait a minute… why is there clearly only the sound of one blaster firing on the soundtrack? Was that just bad editing too?
I can’t imagine that anyone but Lucas’ most sycophantic of apologists will buy into this claim that the scene was always intended to depict Greedo shooting first. But, you know, those people are out there.
In the upcoming 3D version of the movie currently scheduled for a 2015 theatrical release, expect a further adjustment to the scene where we see that Greedo was actually the only character to shoot in that scene. Han Solo pulls his gun as a warning. Greedo shoots at him and, in a new CGI slo-mo close-up, we’ll be able to see the laser blast hit Solo’s gun directly in the barrel, where it’s reflected back in the direction it came from. Thus, Greedo shoots himself. A CGI recreation of Harrison Ford’s likeness will then get out of his chair to rush over and give Greedo CPR while calling out for a medical droid.
Because that’s the way that George Lucas always intended it. Only the pesky technological limitations of the day prevented him from shooting and editing the scene the way he really wanted it.