Han Shot First

Han Shot First

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Han Shot First is a notable phrase used by fans of the Star Wars franchise to state their opinion in a scene in Episode IV: A New Hope, in which one of the main characters, Han Solo, is in a standoff with the bounty hunter Greedo. In the original 1977 version of the film, Han is the only one that fires a shot, whereas the 1997 altered version of Star Wars depicts Greedo firing a shot at Han Solo shortly before Han responds in kind. The difference in these scenes has resulted in discussion amongst the fans regarding who actually shot first.


In 1997, the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition was released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. George Lucas, the director of the Star Wars series, made several changes to the original trilogy while remastering it. Most of these changes were aesthetic, however one scene that was changed was the confrontation between Han Solo and Greedo, a bounty hunter sent by Jabba the Hut, in Mos Eisley Cantina. In the original 1977 release, Han shoots Greedo under the table while Greedo is pointing his blaster at him. In the altered 1997 version however, Greedo shots at Han first and misses, and then proceeds to be shot by Han in a small scene that was not present in the 1977 version.

Fan Reaction

Many fans were displeased with the changes made to the original film, as they believed it compromised Han’s rebellious and ruthless qualities that added to his development from a selfish smuggler to a brave member of the Rebel Alliance. Fans also criticized the probability that Greedo would miss his shot, as he fired from point blank. In 2004, the website called Han Shoots First.org was launched as a petition to get an unchanged version of the films released and as a rant for fans to express their disdain for the changes Lucas made to the movies. The website was mentioned by Forbes Magazine and Movies.com. The changes made to the original trilogy helped to form a hatred of George Lucas in the Star Wars fandom.


Han shot first has been used all over the internet in images, videos, and other media. The phrase has also been used by fans to show contempt with any changes made to the original movies. Merchandise that include the phrase, such as t-shirts, are very popular. Han shot first has also been referenced in several movies and TV shows, such as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II, and MythBusters. It has also been referenced in the Star Wars expanded universe, which includes novels, comics, and video games.

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