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Lucas Says Han Solo is John Wayne and Would Never Shoot First

Star Wars (1977) - Greedo Shoots Han Solo (Harrison Ford) First. [Source: Lucasfilm]
Lucas says Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is like John Wayne and wouldn't shoot first. 30 years after the first Star Wars movie, and less than a month before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, creator George Lucas is still answering questions about a brief scene in the film.

In case you're unfamiliar with it, there's a scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where the bounty hunter Greedo corners Han Solo in a bar. As Greedo threatens to kill him Solo unholsters his gun and shoots him dead. Watch a comparison below:

While the original scene left little question who shot first, Lucas altered the scene for his "Special Edition". He "clarified" that Greedo shot first and Solo shot back. Lucas described the change to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 saying, "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."

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, he explained why he's right that Han Solo shot first. Lucas said, "Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, 'Should he be a cold-blooded killer?'". He's made this arguement before and says that he never envisioned Solo as a "murderer". "Because I was thinking mythologically -- should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne?" Lucas added, "And I said, 'Yeah, he should be John Wayne.' And when you're John Wayne, you don't shoot people (first) -- you let them have the first shot. It's a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to."

John Wayne, of course, is the popular Western actor from the 60s and 70s. Wayne was always a stand-up guy. When Wayne went to film The Shootist in 1976, his character was scripted to shoot a man in the back. Wayne refused to do it saying, "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it." So, Lucas is right that John Wayne would never shoot people first.

But is Han Solo John Wayne? It depends on how you see the character. I'm not alone in seeing Solo's character as an anti-hero at the beginning of the film. He's only looking out for himself and his money. Solo isn't above getting the drop on someone to save his life. By the end of the film he's changed into a true hero who puts his life on the line to defeat the Empire. That's the kind of hero I want to see and is a wonderful character arc.

When Harrison Ford was asked in a Reddit AMA who shot first he said, "I don’t know and I don’t care."

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Official Star Wars Force Awakens Summary
Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII..Directed by J.J. Abrams
Cinematography by Daniel Mindel
Production Design by Rick Carter and Darren Gilford
Starring: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o, and Gwendoline Christie, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker
Release Dates: December 18, 2015 (USA)
Official Site: starwars.com
© Copyright 2015 Lucasfilm, Bad Robot. All rights reserved

Do you think Han Solo is like John Wayne

About the Author: Maurice Mitchell
I'm an avid science fiction fan, former professional graphic designer and certified blerd. After the death of my Star Wars action figures, I use my powers for good and not for evil.
Visit my concept art blog: http://filmsketchr.blogspot.com

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