When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, you’ll never have any trouble finding topics for two or more fans to debate about, from which is the greatest Star Wars movie to the best order in which to watch said movies. But arguably no Star Wars debate is as infamous as hashing out the “Han shot first” controversy. On the off chance you reading through this, yet are not a fan of tales set in a galaxy far, far away, this is referring to how Han Solo shot Greedo first in the original version of the first Star Wars movie, but in the later re-edits of A New Hope made it so Greedo fired off a shot before Han gunned the Rodian bounty hunter down.
Now, over two decades after “Han shot first” became a thing, Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, has weighed in on the matter. Check out what Hamill had to say when CNN anchor Jake Tapper brought up this “timely” subject:
Well, it looks like we can count Mark Hamill firmly in the ‘Han actually shot first, duh!’ category, where he stands firmly alongside Jake Tapper and hordes of Star Wars fans across the globe. Sure, Hamill most likely landed on this position in 1997, when the Special Edition remasters of the Original Trilogy came out, but it’s nonetheless welcome to hear him make his stance clear. Maybe this will convince some of the few Star Wars fans who prefer Greedo firing the first shot to switch allegiances.
Of course, the reason Han Solo shot Greedo in the first place is because the latter cornered the former at the Mos Eisley Cantina to bring his body back to Jabba the Hutt. In the original cut of A New Hope, Han dispenses with Greedo before the Rodian can make the next move, but the scene was later altered so that Greedo shoots and misses at Han before he’s fried. Now all re-releases of A New Hope have Greedo shooting first, although the timing between when the shots are fired has frequently been altered. And let’s not forget that Disney+’s version of A New Hope has Greedo exclaiming “Maclunkey!” before shooting at Han.
Official canon may deem that Greedo tried and failed to kill Han Solo before his own demise, but it’s unquestionably among the many changes to the Original Trilogy that Star Wars fans have criticized over the years. The main argument against this is that Han was morally ambiguous when we met him in A New Hope, so it makes sense that at that point in his life, before he starts evolving into a more heroic character, he would fire the first shot. Even Solo: A Star Wars Story, which takes place approximately 10 years before, contained a deliberate reference to the controversy by having Alden Ehrenreich’s Han shoot Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett before he can move against him. George Lucas, however, never wanted Han to look like a ruthless killer.
Wherever you fall on the “Han shot first” debate, at least you can take comfort in seeing Mark Hamill continue to humorously comment on Star Wars topics. Last year’s The Rise of Skywalker marked what will likely be his last appearance as Luke Skywalker (at least in live-action), with the Jedi Master visiting Daisy Ridley’s Rey as a Force Ghost. Harrison Ford jumped back into the Star Wars game for The Force Awakens in 2015, and while his character was killed by Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, he cameoed in The Rise of Skywalker as a vision his son experienced.
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