Greedo AND Han shoot first in the Star Wars Digital release

Chris Burns - Apr 10, 2015
Greedo AND Han shoot first in the Star Wars Digital release

Let me confirm something with you, if I might. There’s some confusion over who shoots first in Star Wars: A New Hope, in the newest digital edition of the film series. I’m here to tell you – it’s sort of Greedo, but it’s also sort of Han. How could this be, you say, how could they both be first? Have a peek at the frames at hand. Look at how this scene transpires, and judge for yourself whose trigger finger is happier – Greedo the bounty hunter, or Han Solo, our offbeat anti-hero.

Before you flip over different versions being released to different platforms, let me assure you: every “Digital Movie Collection” edition of this film released to the public today is the same. The main print of the film is the same, at least.

Today you’re going to want to take a peek at two sequences, both included with the Digital Collection release of Star Wars: A New Hope. The first is from the standard print of the film being released to the public digitally.

In the gif you’re about to see, you’ll see all the frames that matter. I’ve placed a slightly longer delay on the frames that include blaster bolts – the evidence!


What actually happens here is thus:

Greedo threatens Han saying he’s “been looking forward to this for a long time, Solo,” and Han responds with a cool “Yes I’ll bet you have.”


Regardless of who pulled the trigger first, Greedo’s blaster smoke and bolt can be seen in the first frame leaving his blaster first.


Next you’ll see the blast continue to defy the laws of physics as all good laser blaster blasts should, heading not toward Han, but the wall to the side of him – sort of like a warning shot would.

AT THE SAME TIME, notice how Han’s head is moving. Lucasfilm decided – at the same time as they added Greedo’s shot in the first edit to this scene – that they’d also like to move Han’s head over like he was dodging the shot. Watched in slow motion, the effect looks pretty rudimentary.


The head begins to move only after the blaster bolt hits the metal of the wall next to Han. It’s more like Han’s reaction was a bit of a knee-jerk – or he’s just no Jedi.


As the bolt hits the wall (above) you’ll also notice Han’s blaster pistol loosing a bolt. This bolt then strikes Greedo. In the original theatrical release, there’s no blaster bolt at all, it’s just a big flash of light.


On the other hand, this release of the film includes the full original black-and-white layer of the Cantina scene, one which also covers Han and Greedo’s confrontation.

In the gif you see below, you’ll see the original – before the effects were added – version of the scene. The most important frames, anyway.


Now there’s no question about it – Han shot first.

First prints tell no lies.

You’ll find this same original black and white print of the Cantina scene included with the collection from all retailers online starting today, April 10th, 2015.

Case closed.

Stick around our Star Wars tag portal for more action from this, the first digital release of the entire Star Wars movie series!

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