Star Wars: ‘Han Shot First’ Makes Perfect Sense After ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
With “Solo” being canon, “Han shot first” makes more sense than ever!
While it seems like a commonly accepted truth, there are those that still deny that Han Solo was the first to shoot Greedo in the “Star Wars” Mos Eisley Cantina scene. Despite what the special editions of the original trilogy show, the original cut has our favorite smuggler blasting the bounty hunter Greedo away before the Rodian can collect. But whether you are an adopter of the George Lucas re-releases or a traditionalist, the latest film “Solo: A Star Wars Story” creates a narrative in favor of the “Han Shot First” movement.
Love or hate the film, it is now part of “Star Wars” canon. While it may have been tough for some of us to see a young and more jovial Han, the character does have a few identifiable traits. From childhood to adulthood, these traits make it easier to see a more hardened persona develop from the young character in “Solo” to the “scruffy nerf herder” in “A New Hope.” Paying attention to Han’s development in “Solo” and the lessons that he learns, there is a clear picture painted showing his journey to adulthood. As the character develops further in future films, this picture should be even clearer.
The hardest thing for Han to learn in “Solo” is who to trust. By the end of the film he has been betrayed by just about everyone close to him. Tobias Beckett tells him to trust no one early on and then personally proves that lesson to be true when he betrays Han himself. Han’s love interest Qi’ra seems to be loyal throughout most of the film and his entire journey is based around being with her. Unfortunately she also betrays him, leaving him behind while pursuing another venture on her own. Even his initial encounter with Lando turns out to be based on a lie once he finds out he cheated in their first game of Sabacc. With the exception of Chewbacca, most every significant being he has encountered, somehow betrayed his trust.
Han very much learned from his mistakes. After discovering Lando cheated, Han resorted to cheating himself reasoning it as a retaliatory move to win the Millennium Falcon. We still don’t know what effect Qi’ra’s departure had on him but it could have driven his behavior towards Leia. His classic “I know” response to her proclamation of love could be explained by walls built up after the loss of his first love. But the most significant act to explain why he shot Greedo first came with the fate of Tobias Beckett.
Han Solo was once a trusting individual but he’s also a fast learner who learns from his mistakes. As Tobias had betrayed him once, he does not give him the opportunity to do so again. As they are mid-conversation in their next encounter, Han surprisingly pulls his blaster during their discussion and kills Tobias. With his dying last words, Tobias commends Han on his decision saying that he was about to shoot Han.
When it comes down to it, whether you identify with the original cut or the special edition cut of “A New Hope,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has defined Han’s origin story and character further. He is the type of person to shoot first as shown with Tobias, a man he actually somewhat respected. Han waiting for Greedo to make a move before making one himself no longer makes sense. Han is an adaptive survivor that we now know better with a past to back up the fact that Han did indeed shoot first.