“Han Solo was going to marry Leia, and you look back and say, ‘Should he be a cold-blooded killer?’ ” Lucas asks. “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.”
-Interview with George Lucas, Washington Post
While we’re on the run up to a new Star Wars movie, one that George Lucas had nothing to do with, I figure I might as well abused everybody’s interest in the series.
So there is that story and interview featuring George Lucas over at the Washington Post. You should probably go read it if Star Wars holds any sway over your life, and not just the excepts floating around the internet.
Of course, the big one seems to be GL trying to justify why he changed Star Wars in his 1997 edit to have Greedo shoot first. In that he invokes the westerns of his youth. Unfortunately, I watched a lot of those same westerns, and as I recall it, if the other guys goes for his gun you’re cleared to shoot. Waiting for the other guy to shoot first gets you dead. And since Greedo was already waving a blaster in Han Solo’s face, Han always seemed justified in my mind, by the code of the old west or any other reasonable standard. I thought that back in 1977 and I thought it again when watching Star Wars again last week.
More a case of GL overthinking things in my opinion. Ah well. I own three versions of the scene, one on VHS, one on DVD, and one on BluRay. In the end, it was a fleeting moment in the movie that didn’t have a large impact other than to set the tone that Han Solo was working some tough people.
More interesting perhaps was this tidbit:
Partly so he doesn’t have to read the worst about himself and his movies, Lucas says he has assiduously avoided the Internet since 2000 — no Facebook, no Twitter, no e-mail even — but that doesn’t mean he avoids people.
Because, on the internet, we are horrible. But it seems that when he meets people in person, they mostly gush about how big of a deal Star Wars was to them. We’re much better face to face… most of the time. All of which is a bit sad.
Anyway, I found the article interesting, including his somewhat mixed feelings about the new movie. Disney didn’t use the ideas GL provided and declined to bring him around to advise, so this will be truly somebody else’s movie.