Because it’s my signature move in the sack, I’ve always been a firm believer that Han shot first. I rarely like to play the old man card, but dammit, that’s the Star Wars I grew up with and I liked it. Unfortunately, George Lucas feels very differently and has apparently spent decades constantly tinkering with a once-iconic scene until it’s lost all meaning and reverence. So, first, the bad news. If you’ve been catching wind of a weird-ass edit to the Han and Greedo scene from A New Hope, it is very real and not some dumb Twitter joke. Before Disney+ launched, the scene used to show Han and Greedo awkwardly shooting at each other at the same time, or however the hell Lucas left it with the Blu-ray release because, again, this thing has been changed roughly 500 times. But now Greedo says “Maclunkey” or something very similar before biting the big one. You cannot make this shit up.
How…? Who…? How is this something someone decided to do? I can’t even make a clear thought about this. pic.twitter.com/buC5ptGQ7S— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) November 12, 2019
I’m pretty sure when Star Wars fans fired up Disney+ for the first time, they were not expecting to see even more edits to the classic trilogy especially with Lucas out of the picture. Hell, some foolishly hoped that maybe, just maybe Disney would drop the theatrical cuts for an instant slam dunk, but if that didn’t happen, at least they’d have the Blu-ray/4K versions readily available for streaming. Obviously, things went a very different direction, and it raised immediate concerns over Disney’s ability to re-edit the original trilogy.
So, here’s the good news. Disney is not f*cking around with the classic films. The stupefying “Maclunkey” edit is something that George Lucas slipped in before selling his baby to “white slavers,” as he once referred to the deal. Via Vanity Fair:
Even though Lucas has stepped aside after selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, it’s impossible to consider that anyone except him would have tinkered with a single frame of his movie without his blessing, and the company confirmed this was a change he made at least seven years ago.
Reaction to the change has been largely negative, but we still don’t know exactly what it means or why Lucas felt it was necessary. Could the phrase restore some iciness to Solo—like, “Hold on, wait!” Is it some unspeakable galactic insult, a slur shouted in the instant Greedo realizes he’s outmatched and outgunned? Or is it something that further rationalizes Solo’s shot, something along the lines of Inigo Montoya declaring, “Prepare to die!”
If anyone’s curious, and never be ashamed of getting your nerd on, Donna Dickens has seemingly cracked the code of Greedo’s (new) last words:
Heads up! The "Maclunky" phrase Greedo says now is actually Huttese. It's "ma klounkee" and means "This is the end of you." #StarWars— MildlyExasperated (@MExasperated) November 12, 2019
Tattooine is under Hutt control. Just about everyone who is capable, speaks the language at least a little bit.https://t.co/msmdV9b8Z5
Jokes about my non-sexual prowess aside, I will never understand why Lucas keeps messing with this scene to justify Han shooting Greedo. Lucas’ reasoning is that he doesn’t want Princess Leia to eventually marry a “cold-blooded killer,” which makes no goddamn sense because it was always plain as day that Greedo was about to murder Han dead right there in the cantina. For Christ’s sake, Greedo had a gun directly pointed at Han’s chest. That’s grounds to shoot the green bastard right then and there. On top of that, Han says Jabba can take the Millennium Falcon “over my dead body,” and Greedo replies out loud, “That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.” He’s specifically saying what’s about to go down! I’m not 100% versed on the Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws, but all of this seems like a perfectly justified time to slyly shoot someone under the table before they commit the murder they just warned you about. That’s not the machinations of a cold-blooded killer, that’s just space smarts.
(Not for nothing, one of the few memorable scenes in Solo directly plants its flag on Han shooting first, but I understand if the mileage varies on a divisive film that, speaking of shots fired, I think is better than Rogue One.)
However, one thing you never want to do is ask Harrison Ford about any of this. Via IGN:
During a Reddit AMA over the weekend, Harrison Ford was asked one of the most controversial Star Wars questions of all time: who shot first, Han or Greedo?
“I don’t know and I don’t care,” Ford responded.
While it’s comforting to know that Disney isn’t out here tinkering with Star Wars, and that this entire debacle is just an old landmine that George Lucas left for fans, it does raise concerns about whether or not Disney even has the option to release theatrical cuts of the original trilogy, which notably didn’t appear on Disney+ in lieu of Lucas-approved versions. Sure, Disney paid $4 billion for the franchise and now owns 20th Century Fox, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that a condition of the Star Wars deal prevents them from ever releasing the theatrical cuts. As far as Lucas is concerned, his edits are the definitive versions and everything that came before were half-finished films. He’s been very upfront in interviews that he doesn’t give a shit that millions of people fell in love with the original versions because they’re his movies and “I want it to be the way I want it to be.”
In other words, Lucas is saying “tough titties” in Huttese.
Header Image Source: Lucasfilm/Disney