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The Real Reason Disney+ Changed The Han Solo Scene With Greedo Again

If there is one thing the Star Wars original trilogy is known for, it's that it is constantly changing and evolving — constantly, some would say, finding new ways to tarnish its own legacy. Now, with the arrival of Disney+, we've been given yet another version of the first Star Wars film, A New Hope — one that includes a mind-boggling change to the franchise's most controversial scene. Yes, Disney+ has changed the Star Wars scene where "Han shoots first" yet again. 

Now, technically, the new change wasn't Disney's doing. Like all other head-scratching Star Wars changes since the "Special Editions" were first released in 1997, this latest change was the work of creator George Lucas, who — several years after selling the franchise — is still finding ways to mess with Star Wars fans from beyond the intellectual property grave. 

This was confirmed in a Twitter exchange between Uproxx Senior Entertainment Editor Mike Ryan and longtime Lucasfilm employee Pablo Hidalgo, who responded to Ryan's tweet of abject puzzlement over the change. "Ah, I see D+ must have the 4K version," Hidalgo tweeted. "This would've been done a few years back, by Lucas. A final 4K restoration in anticipation of a 3D re-release that never happened after 3D re-releases fizzled."

In latest version of the scene, bounty hunter Greedo now has a line right before his infamous shootout with Han Solo. Greedo shouts out "Maclunkey!" just before he and Han fire their blasters at each other, which we suppose at least gives the dude a new last word before he dies. 

So what does "Maclunkey" mean? Apparently... nothing. As far as anyone knows, it's a nonsense word, and there's no subtitle to translate it like there is for the rest of Greedo's dialogue. If we have our dates correct, Lucas must have made the change prior to selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, but after the film's last Blu-ray release in 2011. That's a pretty tiny window in which to make the change, and to that we say: Maclunkey! (We can only begin to imagine the mileage the internet will get out of that one.)

History of the Han Solo and Greedo scene

In the original scene between Han and Greedo, as it played out in theaters in 1977, there was no question that Han indeed shot first. That's the reason he's slyly pulling his blaster from his holster while chatting with Greedo. He knows that the plan is either to either kill him or take him in, so he makes the decision to kill Greedo before the Rodian bounty hunter can make his move. 

It was cold-blooded, and showed that Han looked out for himself ahead of all others — something that was important for his character arc as he learned to become more selfless over the course of the film. For the film's 1997 Special Edition re-release, Lucas altered the scene so that Greedo actually fired a shot at Han and missed, prompting Han to fire back in self defense. 

This change absolved Han of any of the questionable morality he had previously possessed, and made his arc in the film that much less impactful — but Lucas didn't see it that way. "[The change] upset people because they wanted Solo to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn't," Lucas said in a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, displaying a remarkable lack of understanding of character arcs, Han Solo, and Star Wars' fan base.

The change led to the phrase "Han shot first," which has appeared on loads of merchandise and become a catchall for fans' issues with Lucas' many alterations to the original films. For the film's 2004 DVD release, the scene was altered again, presumably to appease these fans; in this version, as in the new Disney+ version, both Han and Greedo fire their blasters at the same time.

Is Disney+ the future of Star Wars?

The brouhaha is notable because, with a break in theatrical Star Wars films following next month's Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, the immediate future of Star Wars hinges on Disney+. Luckily for fans, the streaming service has big plans in store for the franchise. Already available to stream are the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit the streamer when current distribution agreements expire, and Disney+ will also be the streaming home of  Rise of Skywalker after that film exits theaters. 

Then, there's The Clone Wars (both film and series, with a new season for the series coming next year), Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance, lots of Lego Star Wars content, shorts, and documentaries — and, of course, The Mandalorian, the Jon Favreau-created series that is already intriguing fans and winning critical raves for its very first episode.

With no future Star Wars movies announced as of yet now that former Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have exited the franchise, Lucasfilm is placing its short-term focus squarely on Disney+. The Mandalorian has already been renewed for a second season, and with each season having a budget to rival a blockbuster movie, that's pretty significant. There's also a live-action series in the works that will follow the adventures of Rogue One's Cassian Andor, as well as the recently-announced (and long-anticipated) live-action Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor, who returns to the role of the Jedi Master after portraying him in the prequel films.

Disney+ is, in other words, shaping up to be the go-to destination for fans to get their Star Wars fix for at least the next couple of years. If you haven't already, we suggest that you pony up for your subscription and peruse all of the bingeworthy Star Wars content the streamer has to offer, and remember: the Force will be with you, always. Also: Maclunkey!