Thursday, November 07, 2013

#626. Geeky Bit: Harrison Ford and the origin of that Star Wars scene

Perhaps one of the more notorious scenes from Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope is the scene in the Mos Eisley cantina where Han Solo is confronted by Greedo.  This is because of the fact that Han is originally depicted as unequivicably shooting first.  I say "originally" because George Lucas started monkeying around with that as he revised the movie in subsequent releases.  Here's a video about it:



Well you can all rest easy because I've come to the only conclusion worth talking about that will never be contradicted: Harrison Ford shot first.

He did so in a 1973 episode of Gunsmoke, in fact.  See if you don't find it awfully familiar:



It's like Lucas originally borrowed that scene for his own movie frame for frame (in the crucial shooting moment, anyway, as there is a shocking lack of Miss Kitty in Star Wars lore).  Maybe I'm far away in terms of how much if at all anyone's talked about this before, but I happened to catch the Gunsmoke episode the other day, and at first it was just a pleasure to see Ford at all, and then to see that play out was even more incredible.

And it's highly unlikely that anyone from Gunsmoke is ever going to edit Hobey's actions any other way.

So if you want to retain the purity of Han Solo's bloody preemptive measures, that's where you should look.  I guess it somehow figures, since Han was always a kind of cowboy anyway.  And yet Ford didn't play another cowboy until this:



(Which, no matter what they say, is absolutely awesome.)

8 comments:

Maurice Mitchell said...

I knew it! At last the truth comes out. Harrison was the best (only good) thing about that film.

Tony Laplume said...

Presumably referring to Cowboys and Aliens with that last comment. You don't even like Clancy Brown in it? Liking Clancy Brown is mandatory to read my blogs!

Pat Dilloway said...

I think Lucas was the only person in the whole universe who thought Greedo should fire first. His lack of understanding his own character is probably what derailed the franchise later.

"Cowboys & Aliens" was OK. That seems like one of the first movies where Ford gave up trying to be a lead and started taking the old guy roles like in "42," "Paranoia," and "Ender's Game" this year. I guess we all eventually have to accept our mortality.

Tony Laplume said...

Considering he kept trying to be the action hero, he was eventually going to have to give up the ghost, even if he was still doing his own stunts in 2006's Firewall. He was older than Sean Connery was in Last Crusade when he did Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But people got tired of that. Nonetheless, he remains awesome.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Nice find!
Miss Kitty would have been a good fit in the cantina!

The Armchair Squid said...

Of course he shot first!

After your recent new trilogy/old trilogy comparison, it occurred to me that what the new ones lacked was Han Solo. Jedi are cool but the reluctant, everyman crusader was a big part of what made the originals work.

If he doesn't shoot first, it completely changes the character which completely changes the story which completely changes the legacy. Papa George, how are you always so wrong about your own work?!!!

The Armchair Squid said...

Just went back and read your post... you made the same point about the rogue character... so, yes, again, of course you're right, Tony!

Tony Laplume said...

David, she would have been better than the surly bartender, and would probably have been just fine with droids!

Squid, I always had a suspicion that a large percentage of Star Wars fans loved the original movies as much for Han Solo specifically as for the rest of the material. I mean, there's a reason Ford became a huge star and no one else did.

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