It’s a question that fans have been asking ever since the Special Edition release of Star Wars in 1997: why oh why did George Lucas decide to have Greedo shooting first during the bounty hunter’s confrontation with Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina? Well, speaking to the Washington Post, Lucas has explained that he felt the way the scene originally plays out went against Han’s principles:
“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ Because I was thinking mythologically — should he be a cowboy, should he be John Wayne? And I said, ‘Yeah, he should be John Wayne.’ And when you’re John Wayne, you don’t shoot people [first] — you let them have the first shot. It’s a mythological reality that we hope our society pays attention to.”
You can (kind of) see Lucas’ thinking here, but if Han already has such principles, doesn’t that detract from his character progression through the films? And how is it acceptable for him to shoot first at Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back?