Original 'Star Wars' Script Settles Age-Old Debate

Tom Simpson, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0
Tom Simpson, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0 / Tom Simpson, Flickr // CC BY NC-ND-2.0

If you thought you knew Star Wars, think again. A copy of an early shooting script for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was recently found in the University of New Brunswick Saint John’s library. The document, dated March 15, 1976, is said to be a fan-made copy. The script was never used in production, and it shows just how dramatically the final story changed from George Lucas' early drafts. Some of these changes are already well known, such as Luke’s renaming from “Starkiller” to “Skywalker,” and the revision of the film's title from “Saga I” to “Episode IV." However, one discovery has finally settled an age-old debate among Star Wars fans.

During the notorious fight between Han Solo and Greedo at the cantina, Han fires at his opponent after Greedo, a bounty hunter for Jabba the Hutt, corners him. The 1977 release of the film made it look as if Han fired before Greedo; the 1997 rerelease, however, included a clear shot of Greedo firing on Han first. (Lucas reportedly inserted the frame to prevent audiences from viewing his hero as a cold-blooded killer.) So what really happened? Who shot first?

According to Kristian Brown, the librarian who found the document, the newly-unearthed script reveals Lucas' original plans for the gunfight. Quipped Brown, “I can tell you 100 percent, Han shot first.”

[h/t CBC News]