I WONDER when it was that George Lucas stopped being the Rebel Alliance and turned into the Empire?
How much money do you think it took for the hip young 1970s gunslinger with a once in a lifetime idea, as seen in this video interview, to turn into the guy who took the back off perfection to see how it worked and then found it wouldn’t go back together again?
By the time the prequels came around, the wheels were well and truly off – I’ll just say Jar-Jar and leave it at that – but this moment was when the warning bells started to ring.
To say I was excited when it was announced the 20th anniversary of Star Wars would be marked by special editions of the original fims on the big screen was an understatement and I watched all three, mainly enjoying the new special effects.
But then Greedo shot first and it all went pear-shaped.
Because this wasn’t just anyone Lucas was messing with – it was Han Solo, my boyhood hero and still one of the coolest characters in any film ever.
When he gunned down Greedo without warning, it showed the dark side to the lovable rogue and smuggler. The side that would take out anyone who got in his way if they were between him and the money, and then nonchalantly swagger away – kill or be killed.
That made his eventual change of heart and return to save the day at the end of the film all the more compelling.
Instead we had a pointless change that reduced one of the main characters and actually weakened the film, where a professional assassin misses his target at point blank range. In the 2004 dvd release, it is actually made worse by a CGI Han dodging a laser bolt by moving his head before shooting Greedo.
For god’s sake Lucas! Han Solo is a kick ass desperado, not someone who has to be invited to blow away a low-life putting a gun in his face.
No doubt in the 2017 super-duper edition, hLucas’s meddling means Han will become even more moral by reasoning with Greedo about the merits of his lifestyle before convincing him to give up crime and instead return to his first love, singing showtunes with the Max Rebo band.
Watching every version but the original, I felt like Indiana Jones at the end of Raiders, when he is told they have ‘top men’ working on the ark – frustrated and cheated.
Thankfully, I still have the films on VHS, but for anyone out there who wants to see the scene as it should be – my great sci-fi moment – here it is.