George Lucas has the right to change anything he wants in his story. Up until now, I haven't had an opinion on the multiple tweaks to his six movies. I haven't even seen all of the edits because the idea of blinking Ewoks freaks me the hell out. I can live with the idea of blinking Ewoks (and not look at them), but today he tried to take a few points of Honor from Han Solo and that I can't live with.
I'm surprised that anyone remembers Han Solo or Princess Leia anymore. One walk down the toy aisle will prove that Leia has been completely written out of Star Wars. I can't imagine why, since little girls only want to play with princess toys and Leia is a princess.* Han Solo has the Millennium Falcon which is one of the series iconic ships, so it is a little tougher to write him out of the story completely without losing some lucrative toy business. ;) Also, he's Chewbacca's sidekick, so there's that. Leia isn't the sidekick of any particular clone trooper, bounty hunter, or Jedi and she's a girl, so she's boring. Besides, she is already a princess, so she doesn't have any more career goals left to aim for...unless she wants to be a magazine editor (fashion magazine only).**
Han and Leia were my favorite characters from the first time I saw Star Wars. I miss them. Lately the story is all about the clone troopers, the bounty hunters, the Jedi knights, Sith lords...everyone I thought was a supporting character gets ten more action figures than Han or Leia. They just stopped including Leia altogether.
The Han Shot First debate didn't make sense to me when I first heard about it. That's how I thought it happened. Saying "Han shot first" was like making up a huge controversy over "Luke flies an X-Wing" or "Leia is a princess." Because Han shot first. He had a chance to get back on his feet and there was no way he was going to let some two-bit bounty hunter off him first. In a seedy bar. Lame!
Now the creator of Star Wars says it didn't happen that way. George Lucas says Greedo shot first.
He negated Han's crit! That is...such a bogus GM call!
Lucas can do what he wants to his story, but I think this is an excellent example of too much editing. I think any writer/storyteller can fall into this trap without knowing it. I want all of the things I create to be as perfect as possible and freak over every tiny imagined flaw. I'll probably reedit this post/rant five times before I leave it alone. With that in mind, I understand where he is coming from, but I also believe he did his character a big disservice.
Lucas says shooting Greedo first makes Han a "cold-blooded killer." Well, yeah, if Han just picked Greedo at random and said, "Hi, I'm going to kill you today." That would be cold-blooded. ^^ Greedo picked the fight in the first place. He made it known his intentions were hostile--he wasn't buying Han the next round in the Tatooine World Beer Tour. I picture this as an old-west saloon showdown. I always thought Han feared for his life in that moment and had to make a snap decision. And no, he wasn't a good guy then. He had to meet a few good people and get to know them before that happened.
Most HackMaster PCs would attack first in a similar situation. ;)
Han's story arc is a really cool one. If he's a little ruthless in the beginning, it makes it even better when he risks his freedom to help Luke take out the Death Star, braves a frigid night to save Luke's life, rescues Leia from Hoth and does everything in his power to protect her, and quietly becomes an officer in the Alliance. If he was just a good guy all along...it doesn't have the same impact.
I suspect Lucas re-imagined Han's character a bit over the years and really feels that this is the right thing to happen. I also suspect he has over-edited to the point he is causing actual damage to his story. :( There is a point when one should say "I'm done" and move on.
*Skill check for sarcasm, Average difficulty.
**Skill check for sarcasm, Easy.