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Saturday, July 08, 2006

The culture of "Han shot first"

Han shot first

This week, I started reading the newest Star Wars novel (yes, I'm a geek and extremely proud of it), Betrayal by Aaron Allston. It may very well be the best Star Wars novel in quite a while. While the most recent entries by Timothy Zahn and Karen Traviss were both fantastic, they just don't feel as Star Wars-y as Betrayal. But, what's guaranteed Allston's latest novel a place in my nerdy heart is a cheeky little reference to "Han shot first". (If you read the book, you can't miss it.)

I'm sure most of you are aware that "Han shot first" refers to the scene from the original Star Wars movie in which Han Solo non-chalantly guns down alien bounty hunter Greedo at a seedy cantina in Mos Eisley (on the planet Tatooine with binary suns, of course). George Lucas later destroyed the essence of the scene when he unveiled the special edition of Star Wars in which he CGIed Greedo shooting first to give the impression that Solo was only killing Greedo in self-defense. Of all the changes he made, it was this one that seemed to outrage fans the most.

How much of an impact did this have? Check out these links:

How does this relate to the blog? Well, the power of the internet as a media outlet helped fans convince Georgie to release the non-Special Edition version of the original Star Wars trilogy this coming September. Granted, most assumed that George would eventually release the original trilogy and that he was just waiting for a time when he needed a few extra million dollars. However, it was a very real possibility that George was actually stubborn enough stand behind his bastardized recreation. I'd like to think that the aggregated voice of hardcore Star Wars fans, particularly on the Internet from sources like TheForce.net, was the straw that broke the bantha's back in this case.

[Note: I actually started this post weeks ago and have since completely lost train of thought on where I was going with this. As such, if the previous couple of sentence appear to have been tacked on with mynock spit, it's because they were. For the record, I finished Aaron Allston's Betrayal about two days after I started this post.]

Topic: Star Wars, Han shot first, original Star Wars trilogy, DVD, DVDs, special edition.

posted by silinx | 6:26:00 PM


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