Google the phrase “Han Shot First”.
Did you notice that there are over HALF A MILLION results that are related to this phrase? A half a million people are very bothered by a controversial change that George Lucas made in Star Wars: A New Hope. Han Solo and Greedo (a bounty hunter) are sitting in Mos Eisley’s cantina. Greedo is aiming a blaster at Han not knowing that Han is aiming a blaster at Greedo underneath the table. In the original version, Han Solo shoots Greedo. In the 1997 theatrical re-release, the scene was modified to show Greedo shooting first and somehow missing Han at what was essentially point blank range.
Fans were furious.
I’ve read, but cannot confirm, that George Lucas intent was to show children in the audience that Han Solo really had no choice and had to retaliate. His intentions didn’t matter to the legions of Star Wars fans.
I was unaware of this controversy until recently which surprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about. Not in relation to Star Wars but in relation to honesty…or lack of it.
We like to rewrite the truth.
My three year old gives me a rewrite when I ask him to clean up a mess I saw him make.
My 10 year old does it when I asked him if he folded a basket of clothes…and he clearly didn’t.
My 14 year old does it when I ask him if he has any homework.
I’ve done it. I’ve witnessed friends and coworkers do it. Celebrities, politicians…all rewriting the truth to make ourselves look and feel better.
Except we don’t.
And just like George Lucas, we’re not fooling anybody with our rewrite.