Sunday, September 1, 2013

Who shot first?

I was recently reminded of some of the controversy surrounding the scene in the movie Star Wars where we first meet Han Solo. He is in the Cantina  in Mos Eisley and is being confronted by Greedo.

In the original theatrical version, Han shoots Greedo first with his blaster as Greedo is leveling a blaster at Han's face. 

Many felt that this gave Han a bad boy, murderous anti-hero image. Good guys don't shoot first, do they? So, in later versions, George Lucas changed the scene so Greedo fired first and Han followed up with a deadly shot of his own.

But is it really wrong for Han to shoot first?

 Our laws make it perfectly legal for a person to use deadly physical force when they reasonably believes it is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.

In other words, if you think you are going to be killed, do what you need to to save your life. And definitely shoot first, because the first one to shoot might be the only one that gets to.

Greedo had a deadly weapon aimed at Han, signifying his intent to use it and he further verbally indicated that he planned on killing Han. Han was perfectly justified in shooting first. At least in a free society like ours.

The only court of law that would convict Han would be some Empire's kangaroo court that filed some sort of trumped up charges, which is exactly what he would have been facing if he stuck around in Mos Eisley.

Apparently those that were concerned about Han's shot have a legal theory more like the Galactic Empire than ours.

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