This is all just a set-up for the premise that follows.
Riding in the car over Thanksgiving weekend, the family (just the nuclear family -- the lineage of nerds was present only in spirit), the four of us began a discussion about Han Solo and Greedo. You know -- that fateful meeting in the Mos Eisley cantina. Greedo is a rather crappy bounty hunter who makes it very clear to Han, his intended bounty, that Jabba the Hut wants his money back and failing that, that Greedo is there to kill him.
Surely you remember Greedo's famous line, "Kuna to chuta, Solo?" (Going somewhere, Solo?) No? *taps mic* Hello? Is this thing on?
Anyway, back to the conversation in the car. Along the way I mentioned Han shooting first. The kids were as of yet unaware of the "Han shoots first" controversy, as they've only seen the altered 2004 DVD-version of the scene. I know. We're terrible parents. Don't judge us.
So, Joe and I explained that George Lucas altered the scene, and that it was a stupid decision because, while we understand that George was trying to make Han's character morally superior to Greedo and to offer Han no choice but to shoot back, that this weakens the eventual change of heart for Han's character, that we want him to be morally ambiguous, even somewhat dark, so that his conversion to the light is more significant.
Anyway, as these sorts of conversations often do (at least in our family), we began to extrapolate other possible Han-Greedo scenarios. Naturally, in each future George Lucas re-release, Han becomes increasingly less culpable.
With apologies to Hyperbole and a Half, I present to you ... Han and Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina:
|1977 original theatrical release: Han shoots. Greedo doesn't fire a shot, but dies in an overly-large explosion.|
|1997 theatrical re-release and 2004 DVD release: Greedo shoots and misses as Han dodges, then Han shoots Greedo|
|2014 straight-to-flash-drive release: Greedo rapid-fires all around Han, missing him entirely. Eventually, Han fires once and kills Greedo.|
|2022 holographic release: Han doesn't even bring a gun. His threatening presence is enough to scare Greedo to death before he can fire a shot.|
|2042 bio-neural gel pack release: Han sits and watches as Greedo spontaneously combusts.|
|2052 direct-mental-download 75th anniversary Special Edition: Han doesn't even show up. Greedo thinks about meeting him and spontaneously combusts. Roll credits.|