February 10, 2012

Leave it alone already!

George Lucas is messing around yet again with Star Wars.  This time it is to go back and make it appear that Greedo shot Han Solo first.  He's already changed that scene once and now he is changing it again.

Give it up already...we all know Han shot first!

In and interview that came out in today's Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Lucas stated: "The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."

My initial commentary is simply this: If Mr. Lucas wanted to have Greedo shoot first, then he was in a position to get that point across the first time.  He freely admits that Han Solo "seemed to be the one who shot first in the original".  I don't know how to but this any more bluntly, but there was one person who was ultimately responsible for making sure we understood the story.....and that was you Mr. Lucas.  If you made it look like Han shot first, then guess what.....he did.  Changing it in a later release to make it even more clear that he shot first and then changing it back and adding some digital hocus-pocus, not once, but now twice to tell the event from an exact opposite viewpoint means you either dropped the ball the first time, or you dropped it the second time.  Either way having to go back and redo it again and again means you definitely screwed something up as a storyteller a second time, arguably a third.

Now let's try to look past when Mr. Lucas dropped the ball on this shoot-out and look at it from a different perspective.  I highly recommend you take a couple of small Nerf handguns to your local restaurant in order to help illustrate the scene.  Let's assume that you and your rival are seated on opposite sides of the table.  I'll be generous here and say that you are on the long opposite sides of a restaurant booth table.  It's probably around four foot, but for the sake of this exercise we'll call it six foot.  One of you is laid back, which would add some distance, but the other actually has his gun out on top of the table, cancelling that extra distance out (and possibly then some).  Now we have a little stand-off here that, for the purposes of the exercise will end in one person killing the other.

I think it is safe to assume that each participant is aiming at the center of mass of the other person, or is at least trying to.  That's what people are trained to do in this day and age, I doubt that "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." that folks with energy weapons would have done much different.  Roughly speaking, with a center of mass aiming the shooter is going to have about a foot and a half play on either side horizontally and a lot more vertically and still hit the target.  I'm not that great at trig, but some online help gets me to requiring the aim to be off 15* in order to miss horizontally.

Want to have some fun?  Quick make a fist and then extend your index finger and point at something six feet away.  Now look down at your thumb.....your thumb would be pointing closer to where you'd have to actually be aiming to miss.  I bring up the pointing because when shooting someone at that close of a range you don't really aim so much as "point" your gun at the target.

With the latest change, Greedo shoots way high and right of his target.  Since Greedo is holding the blaster in his right hand, he'd tend to miss to the left.

The long and short of it is this: at six feet away, two duelists with guns already drawn and aimed are going to hit what they aim for.  Survival is going to come down to one factor: who shot first.  Han survives so he must be the first to fire.  Greedo taking a fatal wound is the only reasonable reason he would have missed.

It's been six years since George Lucas has directed anything.  Instead of going back and mucking about with something that has been done, redone, and then tinkered around with yet again, why doesn't he just direct something new?

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