Ever since Star Wars was first re-released to theaters, George Lucas has sporadically made changes to the saga. Some fans don’t mind but others feel that he has ruined iconic moments of the franchise. The version of the original Star Wars film on Disney+ features a very controversial change.
How George Lucas changed Han Solo
Three of the most famous words in all of the Star Wars fandom are “Han shot first.” The phrase is showing up in everything from Ariana Grande videos to t-shirts. “Han shot first” refers to a scene in the original Star Wars film where Han Solo is talking with a bounty hunter named Greedo. Greedo tries to extort money from Solo, who then shoots Greedo in cold blood.
This shooting happens in Solo’s second scene in the film. It establishes that he is a dangerous man. When Solo joins the rebellion at the end of the film, it serves as a major growth moment for him because of the earlier scene.
In subsequent releases of the film, Lucas re-cut the film so that Greedo shoots first and Han awkwardly dodges his shot by quickly moving his head. Then Han shoots Greedo in self-defense. This made Han’s action seem much more justified. Because Han starts out as a nice guy in this cut of the film, his character arc has much less meaning.
The Disney+ version changes Han again
When Disney bought Star Wars, many fans hoped the original unedited versions of the films would be released to home video. This has not happened yet. Currently, the only way to see the original cast of Star Wars are on low-quality DVD copies or internet bootlegs of the original films.
When the Star Wars films were released on Disney+, fans noticed that they included all of the same alterations found on the Blu-ray copies of the films. The only major addition to the saga was a new edit of the scene where Han shot Greedo. Instead of having Han shoot first or Greedo shoot first, the Disney edit of the film splits the difference by having the two characters shoot each other at the same time.
Who made the change?
Cracked.com reported that the scene also features a new shot of Greedo where he mutters the alien gibberish word “Maclunkey.” Pablo Hidalgo, a Lucasfilm employee, claimed via social media that Lucas created this edited version of the scene years ago when he was planning a re-release of the original Star Wars film. The re-release never came to fruition.
Thanks to this new version of the scene, fans of Star Wars are now theorizing what “Maclunkey” could possibly mean. Based on the limited knowledge of the alien languages in Star Wars that Lucasfilm has provided us with, some theorize that the word means “I’ll end you.” This translation of the term would certainly make sense given the context of the scene. It looks like fans may have to wait a long time before they get to see an official copy of the film where Han shoots first.