George Shot First

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It’s frustrating to feel alone, like your opinion doesn’t matter. Like you’re “wrong” because you don’t see things the way others do.

I have felt this way for years as it pertained to the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Something that I loved so dearly was the subject of scorn and derision, anger and snarky put-downs. But the worst of it was the way that Director George Lucas was treated. Search his name in any Google feed and you’ll be greeted only with snide, condescending or vulgar remarks.

That’s right. The creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones (not to mention two of my other favorite films– American Graffiti and THX-1138) is being equated with the likes of Osama Bin Laden because he dared to make movies the way he wanted them.

I’m not denying that he’s a controversial figure. I understand why some fans would be irritated at his refusal to release the original cuts of the first trilogy. I even sympathize with some of the complaints about the changes. But the level of discourse tilted from respectful disagreement to downright hostility and has descended into a deeper and darker hateful pit ever since.

So what did I decide to do about it?

I put my money where my mouth was and started a business called George Shot First.

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George Shot First is a collaboration between myself and a few other like-minded souls: designers, artists, writers, cinephiles. The goal is to offer t-shirts, apparel and premium streetwear that combats the anger, fear and aggression that has consumed the pop culture narrative of Mr. Lucas and respond with a counterpoint, a rallying cry against the haters.

For those not in the know, George Shot First is an inside joke with Star Wars fans who have long deliberated over the controversial change in the Special Edition version of the original Star Wars film. In one scene, Han Solo confronts a bounty hunter called Greedo. In the original version of the film, it appears that Han shoots first, gunning down the bounty hunter before he can end Solo’s life. In the 1997 Special Edition version, Greedo fires first, missing Han and the smuggler returns fire, ending the bounty hunter’s life. It’s a small change and one that doesn’t change the outcome of the encounter, but it set off a wave of resentment against Mr. Lucas.

Han Shot First became the rallying cry of the disenfranchised.

George Shot First speaks to the perspective that it’s ultimately Lucas’ decision what he wants to do with his movie. Making the first Star Wars film almost resulted in a nervous breakdown for the guy, so if he wants to go back decades later and fine tune some points that never sat right with him, he shouldn’t have to ask anyone’s permission first.

In case you haven’t gotten the joke yet, the guy with the camera always shoots first.

The store is open for business at www.georgeshotfirst.com and can also be found across social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you’re a fan of George Lucas and believe the disrespect and animosity has gotten way out of control, please consider supporting this movement any way you can. The primary goal is to get the message out there and be loud enough that the haters and the media have to take notice.

 

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16 thoughts on “George Shot First

    • Noah, thanks for the kind words and the great question. There are several ways you can help out right now:

      1) We need as many eyeballs on this project as possible. Blogging about it, retweeting, even just liking @georgeshot1st on Twitter or Facebook (facebook.com/georgeshotfirst) helps us reach a larger audience and get the message out there in a big bad way.

      2) If you like a shirt or think it would be a good gift for someone, pick one up. We need exposure not just on the Internet, but also on the street. Day-to-day, everyday encounters with normal folks who think fans of Lucas don’t exist need to be shown that we’re out there and we’re different (and far better looking) than the haters. 😉

      3) I’m glad you asked about lending your talents specifically as an artist. We are ABSOLUTELY going to need future designs and imagery to expand the breadth of this project. Obviously, since we just opened and we’re running on a bit of a shoestring budget, we need to be financially successful enough to afford to compensate talented artists for their work.

      Nevertheless, email us at oconnoworks@gmail.com and send us some samples of your work. We’ll keep you in a file and check in with you as soon as we can clear up some funds to invest in new designs. We can also talk over email about ideas, subject matter, etc.

      • I’ll do so…

        I am glad as well, happy about it 😀 😀 Anyway, I do comprehend your situation, but I can work for free. Credit for the work I created would be nice, but for now, I don’t need money. I know it my not sound so fair, but just freely drawing and sharing my pictures sounds super satisfying. In addition, not to exploit or take advantage of your cause, I can build more artist-awareness. Anyway, glad to send you the pictures, post them on your Facebook wall, and discuss ideas.

      • We’ll definitely be in touch, Noah. We love your passion and we dug your Norman Rockwell inspired GL piece you did for Facebook.

    • We’re building a big tent, David. Everyone’s invited and if you have a skill set that could be of value to spreading the message, we definitely want to utilize it.

      We’ve been talking about getting some pro-Lucas guest blogs on our website (georgeshotfirst.com). If you have any that we could link to, we’d love to feature you.

  1. I really could care less what Lucas does with his creation but one thing…release a copy of the OT that has been untouched except to be remastered. The way Bladerunner was done in that respect was the right way. Any SW fans I’ve ever talked to who do not like what GL did to his movies over the years would be happy to ignore it if he’s slip in that little number in the numerous re-releases they’ve done over the years.

    • Well, there was a DVD release a few years back for the original OT. There hasn’t been a Blu-Ray version, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time now that Disney holds the keys to the kingdom.

      I could personally care less. In my opinion, the SE material is more of a benefit to those films than a detriment, but I do sympathize with fans who want an opportunity see the film exactly as they remember it.

  2. Everything about Star Wars answers are claimed by George Lucas and how or where the expanded universe are taking the direction for Star Wars

  3. Great project! I’m myself very passionate about Star Wars, with prequel trilogy being my favorite.
    I also always felt that fans (well, some fractions of them) really failed George Lucas, and what’s even worse attack the creator or of their favorite saga. That’s really wrong

    Especially prevalent trilogy – such a lot of insight in the story, great characters, and the new worlds and planets introduced are astonishing, they are really great designs and vision.
    I don’t understand that there are people who bash it – I’m pretty sure it’s arrogance of some old school fans who couldn’t take the fact that the movies are something new and not as what they have imagined it to be while waiting for it. They created this hate bandwagon.

    Project like yours are going to change it. And now it’s are lady changing, people do come to realize these are wonderful movies (those who ready to listen to others argument).

    I’m looking forward to buy one of the t-shirts, just wonder if there’re going to be new designs?
    Starting something is hard, I guess the sales are rather small at he moment. Maybe you start a donate campaign to collect some money to keep it going (after all, I guess this project is not only about business, it’s about passion as well).
    Looking forward for your success and new projects as part of George Shot First!

    I’m myself a sound engineer student, so maybe I can help as well. Whether editing music, making Star Wars style music, jingles etc, if you’re planning something like that.

    • Thanks for the comments and the compliments! Yes, this is definitely a passion project on top of being a business. The goal is to expand the design offerings in the coming months, but we’re starting small so that we can grow organically and naturally. We’re not in any hurry to flood the market with designs, and we plan to be around for a long, long time so long as there is interest and passion in what we’re doing.

      Your talents as a sound engineer could absolutely be helpful. Please email us at oconnoworks@gmail.com. We’d love to figure out a way to get you involved!

  4. I wholeheartedly approve of this, thank you – it’s needed to be said and done for some time. I have been baffled and disillusioned by the ire aimed at the man who conceived of and created the stories and situations that have spoken so deeply to so many of us over the years, even if people didn’t like some elements of them. There were misfires in the Original Trilogy, just as much as the Prequel Trilogy. But it’s the overarching narrative and depth that keeps me hooked – something somewhat lacking from the most recent film installment. But then, even if they’re no longer telling George’s story, I’m happy that there is more being made now – to bring new people in to discover the wonder of his original tale.

    It’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan, even if those of us in it from the beginning miss the Maker’s hand in it all.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to write in and share your thoughts. I’ve heard from so many passionate fans and I truly believe there is more support and admiration out there for GL and his films than the haters and cynics would have us believe. Keep the faith and may the Force be with you! 🙂

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