Greedo – Who shot first…Why it matters… and What it means for your collection.


Any Star Wars fan is familiar with the iconic cantina scene where Greedo confronts Han Solo to collect a bounty placed upon him by Jabba the Hutt.  The original 1977 film directed that Han Solo shot Greedo before Greedo even attempted a shot.  Later, in 1997, George Lucas edited the digital version of the film to show that Greedo fired a missed shot, and then Han fired back killing Greedo.  Does the sequence of events make a difference?  Yes, especially if you research Greedo’s past and understand his personal flaws and how that impacted his role as a bounty hunter.

Throughout the Galaxy, Rodians are recognized as natural bounty hunters.  Being a reptilian based race, their hunting instincts have been developed to a very high level of mastery over thousands of Rodian years in galactic time.  Rodia is a planet in the Tyrius system.  It’s is a dense jungle world full of dangerous predators – a perfect training ground for developing essential skills for a galactic bounty hunter.  Although born on Rodia, Greedo and his clan, the Tetsus, left the planet when he was a young boy since they were hunted down by Red Navik, leader of the fierce rival Chattza clan.  They made their way to the spaceport moon Nar Shaddaa that orbited Nal Hutta, homeworld of the Hutts.

Once there, Greedo grew up into young adulthood only learning streetsmarts while hanging out with the neighboring lads.  Unfortunately, he never had the advantage of learning the essential skills of the hunt like other Rodians that grew up on their home world.  Nevertheless, his instincts for the hunt and to earn a name for himself continued to grow.  Unfortunateley, he stumbled into a couple of bounty hunters on Nar Shaddaa who took him under their ‘wings’ for payment in assisting them to survive a confrontation with another hunter.   They made their way to Nal Hutta to ask Jabba for a contract job.  Greedo was eager to buy a ship and ambitious to prove himself a great bounty hunter alongside the rest of his race.  As fortune would have it, Jabba granted them the contract to pursue and capture Han Solo.  Well…as misfortune would have it, we all know what the end result was…


Greedo’s failure to capture his bounty is significant for several reasons:

(1) It show’s that Han was much more experienced than Greedo;

(2) Han turns out to be a major character and plays a vital role in the Rebel forces;

(3) Greedo was not properly trained as a bounty hunter and did not follow the bounty hunter code.


I think the most interesting factor here is that Greedo did not follow the bounty hunter code. 

Greedo exemplifies the naive and inexperinced fool who is full of untempered ambition which ultimately leads to his own destruction.  He was inexperienced because he did not have the traditional training as a hunter that most other Rodians acquire on their home planet.  He left his home world at a young age as members of his clan escaped being hunted down and killed by Red Navik.  He was raised on Nar Shaddaa and grew up in the ghettos.  HIs skills, if you could even call them that, were basic street smarts that he acquired while growing up as a kid.  In contrast, Han was enlisted in the Imperial Navy.  Obviouisly, Greedo was no match.

Also, if Greedo were a member of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, he would not have been assigned this contract.  Underworld bounties, which any bounty with the Hutts would be classified as, are extremely dangerous.  Without the support of the Guild and authorization from the Imperial Office of Criminal Investigations, you are just signing your death warrant.  Here, Greedo fell into bad company with two, shady “bounty hunters” who promised to take him under their wings.  Blinded by ambition and motivated by natural Rodian instinct, Greedo was an easy patsy to take the ‘hit’ on behalf of someone else’s scheme.


Greedo represents the ‘green’ or naive fool.  His character flaw illustrates what happens to an indiviual who is unskilled, is driven by ambition and natural instinct that has not been properly cultivated, and is easily manipulated.  In the larger story arc, his weakness is part of the process that defines Han Solo’s character.  At the end of the day, Greedo may have lost both his dreams and his life, but we gain to appreciate Han Solo as a clever smuggler and a force to be reckoned with.



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