Did Han Shoot First? New Disney+ Edit of Star Wars Makes It Less Clear


Eagle-eyed Star Wars viewers have noticed that the version of Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope on Disney+ has been edited once again, making yet another revision to one of the first Star Wars movie’s most controversial scenes.

The classic showdown between Han Solo and the bounty hunter Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina features a couple of new shots, contains one new line of untranslated dialogue from Greedo, and, most importantly, now has Han and Greedo fire their blasters on the same frame, making the two attacks simultaneous.

The news comes courtesy of Star Wars Visual Comparisons, a Twitter account that documents the various changes made to the original Star Wars trilogy. Over there, you can see the new version of the scene, as well as a complete breakdown of what’s different. According to Star Wars Visual Comparisons, the rest of the movie seems to be based on the 2011 Blu-ray release, which George Lucas oversaw shortly before selling Star Wars to Disney.

The Solo-Greedo standoff was first altered in the Star Wars Special Edition, which debuted in 1997 to commemorate A New Hope’s 20th anniversary. The new edit, which was personally overseen by Lucas, controversially replaced many of the older special effects with new, fully digital takes, added a few extra scenes (including a new confrontation between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt), and changed the Greedo sequence so that Greedo, not Han, shoots first.

That scene was edited further on Star Wars’ 2004 DVD release, which reduced the time between the blaster shots, making the sequence of events more ambiguous. The Disney+ edit makes things even less clear. Now that both characters fire at the same time, Han didn’t exactly murder Greedo, but he’s not acting in self-defense, either.

That’s not the only change made to A New Hope for Disney+. On Disney’s new streaming service, Episode IV and the rest of the original Star Wars trilogy are available in 4K Ultra HD for the very first time.

Tinkering with Star Wars with each re-release has become something of a tradition. When the film debuted in 1977, the opening crawl only called the movie Star Wars. The phrases Episode IV and A New Hope were added much later.

Disney+ launched earlier this morning to great fanfare, although all of the hype came with some downsides: At launch, Disney+ was plagued by technical issues, making it impossible for early users to enjoy its 600-plus shows and movies.

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