The best part about this article is the picture at the top, in which George Lucas is seen wearing a “Han Shot First” t-shirt. Brilliant. (Also, “Han” is in the picture.)
For those not in on the joke, it’s based on a famous scene in Star Wars (aka Episode IV aka A New Hope aka Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope), just after Luke and Obi-Wan have successfully completed formation of a contract—er, I mean, “made a deal”—with Han Solo and Chewbacca to fly to Alderaan in the Millennium Falcon (aka the Aluminum Falcon). Han is about to leave when this little green guy named Greedo comes in with a blaster (i.e., a gun).
Greedo apparently is trying to accept an offer to form a unilateral contract by returning Han to Jabba the Hutt, with whom Han has apparently breached his own contract with Jabba. (And since filing a complaint for breach of contract just isn’t the Star Wars Way, Jabba instead makes a unilateral contract offer: bring me Han Solo and I will pay you a lot of money.)
So, anyway, Greedo and Han sit down at a table in the cantina, Greedo holding Han at gunpoint (i.e., blaster-point). Han leans back like there’s no problem, Greedo jabbers on in his weird alien language, Han looks off to his right and picks at something like he doesn’t give a rat’s ass that Greedo is pointing a gun at him. Greedo says something like, “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.” Han replies, “Yes, I bet you have.”
This is where there are two different versions of the story. In 1977, moviegoers saw Han shoot Greedo with his own blaster, from under the table. Bam. Han the bad-ass. But in the 1997 and 2004 versions of the movie, Greedo shoots first and misses and Han’s shot looks more defensive.
Naturally, the fans were up in arms. “Oh no! Our precious fictional bad-ass character upon whom we based our entire way of life and have developed a whole background mythology to bring meaning to our sad, lonely existence has just been ruined! He’s not a bad-ass anymore! He’s just engaged in self-defense! How lame!”
So they made t-shirts and things that say “Han Shot First.” As if to say, “George Lucas, you jackass! You got it wrong! We know your characters better than you do!”
Right? So it’s a snub, see?
And then lo and behold, ten years later, there’s George Lucas himself wearing a “Han Shot First” t-shirt. As if to say, “Fans, you fools! You got it wrong! It’s just a @$%&ing movie!”
So now, while I’m eating my oatmeal and drinking my coffee before heading off to my Bar/Bri class, I can sit here and think “Heh. All these years, the fans have gotten it wrong. That scene wasn’t about who shot first. It was about contract formation! Duh!”