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"Maclunkey!" - George Lucas Gets Last Laugh

Who shot first: loveable rogue Han Solo or nefarious space scoundrel Greedo? In 1977, this was never a question Star Wars fans had ever considered -an early scene from the blockbuster phenomenon clearly shows Solo shooting the alien bounty hunter in cold blood after negotiations turn sour. But twenty years later, creator George Lucas had a change of heart, reasoning that Solo had since become a more loveable, noble character and set about rewriting history via digital magic. Since 1997, Greedo now fires a laser beam several seconds before Han, who now shoots back in self defense.

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It's one of Lucas' many changes made to his films over the years that have, at best, puzzled fans and, at worst, infuriated them. With Disney aquiring the rights to Star Wars in 2012, many thought this would mark the end of Lucas' meddling with his life's work. Some had even hoped the buyout could result in Disney releasing the original 1977 version of the film, unchanged, Han shooting first and all. 

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Last week, the Disney+ streaming service launched in the US, boasting many Star Wars goodies including the original trilogy in 4K resolution, for the first time ever. The catch? It's a new cut of the film, and instead of Greedo shooting Han first, he now says "Maclunkey" before shooting Han first. You can compare the two below:

First things first, what is a "Maclunkey"? Eagle eyed viewers will notice this is the only line of dialogue not subtitled, so that's no help. Second question: if George Lucas hasn't owned Star Wars for seven years, who made the change? The answer is, of course, that he made the change seven years ago; the film was scanned at 4K resolution in the early 2010s for a 3D Bluray release that never eventuated, and Lucas took this opportunity to make further more changes, and this is the same ultra-high definition remaster Disney+ have made available for streaming.

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At the end of the day, you really have to admire George Lucas for his dedication to the long con. He got us a beauty. "Maclunkey" is a pretty funny word and it doesn't affect the meaning of the scene. No harm, no foul.

It also gave me an idea for a pretty okay meme.


Greedo cosplay image courtesy of William Tung via Wikimedia Commons.