In a scene from George Lucas' epic space opera Star Wars, the American actor Harrison Ford as rebel smuggler Han Solo draws a gun against enemies; behind him can be seen a fantastic space shuttle. USA, 1977.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars, 1977. Mondadori Portfolio—Getty Images

Original Star Wars Script Found, Solves Long-Running Mystery

Jun 09, 2015

A newly discovered Star Wars script solves one of the longest-running disputes in the franchise's history: who shot first, Han Solo or Greedo?

In Stars Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo has just finished conducting business in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine , when Greedo, a bounty hunter working for Jabba the Hutt, pulls him aside for a little chat, demanding that Solo pay Jabba the money he owes him for a botched smuggling job.

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What happens next is undisputed. There was a quick gun fight and Solo emerged victorious, while Greedo went on to whatever afterlife the Rodians believe in. But who shot first? Was Solo acting in self-defense? Or just doing whatever he could to get out of paying Jabba?

According to CBC, a recently discovered early draft of the Star Wars script makes it clear that Solo was the trigger-happy aggressor in the fight. The script, which Lucasfilm Publicity said looked to be a "fan-made" replica version of the real early script, was unearthed in the University of New Brunswick Library's science-fiction collection. It is marked as a "fourth draft" and dated March 15, 1976, well ahead of the film's 1977 release date. It is such an early draft of the script that the film is called Star Wars: Saga I instead of its eventual title of Star Wars: A New Hope and Luke Skywalker's character has the much more ominous name of "Luke Starkiller."

But for fans, one of the most interesting revelations resolves the case of the shoot-out at the cantina. In the original, Solo fires at Greedo without warning. The 1997 version of the film altered the scene to make it look like Solo was acting in self-defense. It was a move that enraged fans (though not as much as the introduction of Jar Jar Binks). But librarian Kristian Brown, who discovered the script, told CBC, "Based on the script, I can tell you 100%, Han shot first."

That settles that.

Rare Photos of George Lucas Behind the Scenes of Star Wars

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George Lucas and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope in a galaxy far, far away.Lucasfilm
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George Lucas and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope in a galaxy far, far away
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