Star Wars fans have long debated who shot first: Han or Greedo. Now the idea of shooting first – and missing – is being used in a new situation.
Warning: major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #12!
Star Wars has added a new twist to ‘Han shot first‘ lore in a new comic. Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #12 places cyborg bounty hunter Beilert Valance in a tough spot. He is supposed to assassinate Han Solo and he has a clear shot at the smuggler.
The film Star Wars: A New Hope featured an iconic scene in which Greedo — a Rodian bounty hunter — is facing off with Han Solo. Numerous edits have altered the sequence of events, causing a debate amongst fans about if Greedo or Han shot first. In the newest prelude to the Star Wars crossover event War of the Bounty Hunters, a similar situation is put into motion, though Han is not in a position to shoot first this time.
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Created by Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villanelli, Arif Prianto, and Mattia de Iulis, Bounty Hunters #12 stars Beilert Valance, a cyborg bounty hunter who is searching for Boba Fett with fellow hunter Dengar. While on Abregado-Rae in the past, Valance has a run-in with Caviness Thorn and his crew. Caviness is another bounty hunter with a job to pull that needs an extra hand. Ultimately, the target is Han Solo. However, Solo and Valance have history together, so when Caviness counts down from three to shoot Solo, Valance shoots first — early — and misses.
By shooting early and missing on purpose, Beilert Valance gives Han Solo a heads up that he is being attacked. Unfortunately, this also leads to a misunderstanding where Han believes that Valance is legitimately after him. The two had been at the same Imperial Academy together as cadets. During a training exercise, Valance was injured and left by the Empire in the field. Han has never been one to leave people behind — or to follow orders — causing him to go off and save Valance himself, regardless of what the Empire says. Despite the two being at odds previously, this incident shifted their relationship. Saving Valance has resulted in the bounty hunter being hesitant to take out Han and leading to this moment where everything is reversed. Unlike in A New Hope, Han is not aware that he is a target in this moment. It would be very easy for Valance to take the rogue out if he actually wanted to hit him. However, just like Greedo he misses, though he does so on purpose. Like Han he shoots first, before Caviness is able to take a shot himself.
This is a familiar situation and while it doesn’t change anything in the original scene, it certainly does a lot in terms of further developing the strange relationship that Beilert and Han share. It is pretty clear that the cyborg bounty hunter still feels indebted to Han from when they were back at the Academy. Additionally, it is made clear that Valance has no intention of harming Han, even though he is actively looking for Boba Fett to locate him. The rapport between Han and Beilert Valance has been very strained up until this point, but it is continually being built up with each comic that adds to the story. This latest comic shows that there is still a lot left to see and that the Star Wars discussion of who shot first, who missed — and why — can be turned around and used in new ways that still involve Han Solo.
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