Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dear Mr. Lucas

One of my only complaints with the re-release of the Star Wars films, and what almost every Star Wars fan has chimed in on, was George Lucas' urge to rewrite Han Solo's shootout with Greedo in the cantina. At the time, he explained that he wanted kids to understand that Han had no choice and had to shoot Jabba's thug.

Well, since then the fans have been in a constant state of  revolt and in a recent Hollywood Reporter article, Mr. Lucas added salt to their wound by saying that Greedo had ALWAYS shot first. That the fans were just confused by camera angles and Han's true motivation.

"The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."


See the problem with revising something that works, to make it more politically correct, is that you screw up your story. And I know this debate has been done to death with Mr. Lucas being the only one arguing in favor of poor Greedo. But, come on, George... don't you think you're stretching it just a bit? It's just a bad revision and I think you're in serious need of a writing group. If I tried to pull that kind of motivation with my crew, I'd be hoisted on my own petard and so should you.

Your problem is that you're so stinking rich, you think you don't need an editor or readers to make a great story (And, honestly, you're not alone). Maybe saying that is a bit over the line, but how in the heck did you think this made any sense? If it wasn't you, I'd be interested to know who told you, "You know... its a terrible thing for Han Solo to shoot someone before that person has a chance to kill him first. What will the children think?"

I'll tell you what the children thought. They thought Han Solo was pretty damn smart to shoot the guy before he got shot. Han tried to talk him out of it, but Greedo was there to collect a bounty, not play sabacc. To think that someone who defends themselves is cold-blooded killer... well... that's dumb.

And for a guy who grew up thinking you were a genius, that's a bitter pill to swallow.

Somebody should have caught you before you tripped into this one. The whole reason for alpha and beta readers, is to prevent you from being disingenuous with your characters. And lets face it, you are fortunate enough to have millions of readers telling you, "No, Mr. Lucas. This doesn't work in your story. If you write it like that, nobody will believe it."


  1. Yeah... when Lucas tries to "fix" things, he makes them worse, so I've noticed. :/

  2. Yeah, George Lucas has a great mind for great stories...but I think he does need someone to check him sometimes. We all need people who can be honest with us, that we actually listen to!


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