Our second favorite Star Wars bounty hunter, Greedo, gets shortchanged by that retcon that he shot first, because we know Greedo would never have missed. So what would have happened if Greedo had shot (and killed!) Han Solo?
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles/Thor writer Ashley Edward Miller was tweeting about showing his newborn son "both Star Wars movies," and teaching his son — just a few days old — the importance of knowing that Han shot first. This started us thinking, once again: What would have happened if Greedo had shot first instead?
With all the thousands of comics and books and cartoons related to Star Wars lately, there really should be a miniseries set in the alternate universe where Greedo shot first. And killed Han Solo, before Han could ever embark on his awesomely redemptive journey with Luke and Obi-Wan, leading to him becoming a General in the final battle against the Empire.
So what would have happened if Greedo had shot Han? Shot him DEAD? This is the sort of question to which we give far too much consideration, until we realize we have failed to leave the house for three days straight. Clearly this is an alternate universe story that must be told.
So everyone who has seen Star Wars: the colon-less movie will know that Greedo makes a profound impression in his few moments on screen. His latex face is more expressive than all the other masked aliens in the Cantina, and he radiates a peevish self-respect. Our favorite Rodian is a master thug and the son of the legendary hustler Greedo the Elder, who kicked Anakin's ass in a Phantom Menace deleted scene:
Okay, so Anakin is on top for a while there, but watch the clip again — Greedo flips him over and is just about to bring the rain of pain, when Qui-Gonn Jinn shows up and breaks it up. Anakin was three seconds away from being unable to eat anything but blue Bantha milk, through a straw.
Anyway, we're confident that if Greedo shot first, he would have been the only one to get off a shot. We've always had a soft spot for Greedo, ever since he had the kick-ass action figure. So what happens if Greedo kills Han?
At this point, Han has already made his deal to give Luke, Obi-Wan and those pesky droids passage to Alderaan on the Millennium Falcon, and Chewbacca has gone off to prep the ship. So there's Greedo, standing over Han's messy corpse, and he needs to take Han's head back to Jabba to collect his bounty. That means going to the spaceport, where Chewbacca's tending the Falcon, and Wookiees don't take kindly to seeing their friends' heads dangling from a bounty hunter's scaly hand. So Greedo has to get rid of the Wookiee somehow — he's never heard of the "Let the Wookiee win" principle.
Luckily, if you go by the remastered edition of the original Star Wars, Greedo knows Boba Fett is hanging around the spaceport, along with Jabba. So all Greedo has to do is maneuver the Wookiee and the Mandalorian into each other's crossfire, and the problem takes care of itself. Good thing he's got the severed head of Han Solo. Turns out Cameron Diaz isn't the only one who can make a crowded room stop with a mere toss of the head — only it's Han Solo's head that Greedo tosses, to Chewy, who catches it with an anguished growl. Chewy pulls his bowcaster, but he's still holding the head of his beloved captain in one paw, making his reaction time considerably slower. Chewy does get off one shot, but Greedo ducks behind Boba Fett, who catches it square in his unprotected neck area. Greedo shoots Chewbacca before he can get off a second shot, and it's all over.
All in all, it's been a good day for Greedo so far. He's got the reward money for killing Solo, he's got the money Obi-Wan paid for passage to Alderaan, and I'm guessing Jabba lets Greedo keep the Millennium Falcon. There's just the matter of what to do about those annoying passengers.
Obi-Wan and Luke show up, droids in tow, for their passage to Alderaan. Greedo informs them the ship's had a change of captain, and he'll be taking them to Alderaan instead. Once they're aboard and on their way, Greedo seriously considers keeping his end of the deal — after all, an additional 15,000 once they get to Alderaan seems pretty sweet. But the longer he spends on board with the perky kid and the skeevy old guy and their holo-chess, and their weird, unsavory blindfold games, the less he likes it. And then he figures out that these guys don't really have any money: They're bringing something to Alderaan, which they'll get paid for. The droids, maybe?
If there's one thing Greedo believes in, it's cutting out the middlemen.
Luckily, the Millennium Falcon has a button to depressurize the rear passenger areas, while keeping air on the flight deck. (Although Greedo keeps a helmet on, just in case.) One press of a button later, and the young hero and his mentor are floating in space, turning a nasty shade of cyan. The droids are fine, they can hang on when the air all gets sucked out, and they don't need to breathe anyway. Sure, the droids aren't happy, but what are they going to do?
With the humans out of the way, the Rodian rogue has time to tinker with those droids and find out what's so valuable about them. The gold humanoid one, he quickly realizes is worthless, so he disassembles him and uses bits of him as bling on his favorite vest. But the dome-shaped one? A different story. Soon, Greedo's watching the "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi" video, and thinking maybe Greedo is her only hope. At least, for 15,000, he can be anybody's only hope.
But of course, Greedo doesn't quite make it to Alderaan. The planet gets wiped out before he reaches it, and soon he's being yanked by something that's not a moon, it's... something different. The Falcon goes flying into the Death Star, and Greedo sees all his dreams of insane profit in danger of being incinerated just like Alderaan. Time to lose the C-3PO bling, and go ninja on these Imperials. Greedo slips out of the Falcon and starts exploring the massive Death Star, his head buzzing with how much that tractor beam would be worth if he could disassemble it. Not to mention the reactor.
And then Greedo finds the lady in white, from the robot's holo-recording. He got her message! And he's here to rescue her, he tells her in Huttese. The other guy couldn't make it, sorry. She's both lippy and suspicious. So when she and Greedo get trapped in a trash compactor, he slithers out, nimble as a gecko, and leaves her there to get squashed like a ripe muja fruit. No real loss, since he's still got the R2 unit with all the secrets on it.
But then... Greedo runs face to face with Darth Vader, the Dark Lord Of The Sith. The hulking, asthmatic figure that nobody ever talks back to and lives. Greedo freezes, in total panic, ninja mode failing him completely.
And then Darth Vader looks at Greedo and howls, "Noooooo!"
For a moment, Vader is once again the young Anakin, the little boy whom Greedo (the elder) tormented and punished. Vader is face to face with the one man (other than Watto) who haunts his childhood dreams, the person whose mistreatment helped start him on the path to the Dark Side. Unable to tell the difference between Greedo the Elder and Greedo the Younger, Vader forgets all his Jedi training, all his Sith lore, and for a moment he's just a scared little boy once again. "I didn't cheat in that pod race!" Vader howls.
Greedo doesn't know what's going on here, but he knows he only has one chance. And if there's one thing Greedo's good at, it's taking chances. He jumps the Dark Lord, aiming to put a blaster bolt in his breathing apparatus before Vader can crush his throat or use Force Lightning on him. And in Anakin's twisted mind, for just a second, they're two little kids scrapping in the dirt. Then Vader gets a grip on himself and pulls his light saber, just as Greedo lands on his stomach. The light saber goes just slightly wrong, slicing off Vader's own arm and plunging into his chest. Greedo jumps off the Sith Lord and lands on his feet like a cat, barely believing that he's standing over the dead body of the most feared man in the galaxy.
There has to be some way Greedo can make a profit off this.
Stripping the armor off Darth Vader's dismembered corpse is a messy, painstaking job, and the armor's big enough to fit three Greedos inside. But he knows a guy in Cloud City who would pay a small fortune for the Sith Lord's real armor, just to have propped up in his vestibule... maybe with a drinks tray. There's no way to carry the armor, so Greedo has to figure out how to wear it. He stuffs the light saber (carefully deactivated) and some junk into the boots, so he can stand up in it.
Greedo can just about walk around in Vader's suit, but he constantly looks like he needs to pee really bad, and the arms just sort of flop around like Vader's having an embolism. And forget talking, not that anyone would understand why Vader's suddenly speaking Huttese anyway.
Good thing the Stormtroopers aren't paid to ask questions. They ask if Lord Vader needs an escort, and Greedo tries to shake the big black helmet — no, no escort required! — but he makes Vader nod instead, by mistake. Soon, the shambling Dark Lord has a dozen Troopers following him around, and Greedo really does feel like pissing himself. That light saber in the right boot keeps digging into Greedo's foot, and Greedo's paranoid that it'll switch on by accident.
Still, you don't get to be one of Jabba's hand-picked (flipper-picked?) bounty hunters by lacking brio. So Greedo marches all of his entourage to the home of the tractor beam, and leads them to that bridge thingy that leads to the control panel. With a series of spasmodic twitches to that herculean black torso, black-gloved arms flopping around, Greedo conveys that he wants them to extend the bridge to the tractor beam. Then it's just a matter of stumbling across the bridge without falling into the bottomless pit. None of the stormtroopers notices when a tiny green hand snakes out of Vader's armor to fiddle with the tractor beam controls — stormtroopers aren't paid to notice stuff — and anyway, Greedo wraps his big black cloak around himself as best he can.
Greedo almost gets away with it, too — except the Emperor has felt a disturbance in the Dark Side. His counterpart, the only other Sith lord and the most promising apprentice of them all, has died. Darth Sidious knows this as well as he knows that Force Lighting stings. Greedo doesn't even get back to the Millennium Falcon before the Emperor appears, surrounded by his red-helmeted Royal Guard. "That's not Vader!" the Emperor cries. "Stop him!"
Greedo stops dead still, arms flopping. What to do? What to do?
Greedo tries to raise his hands, but he can't. The Royal Guard surrounds him, and they grab his arms to lead him away. And the arms come off. So does the helmet. The Emperor is standing, aghast, staring at the headless, armless shell of Darth Vader. Was this merely Vader's armor come to life? A ghost animating the Sith lord's armor? One of those Death Trooper thingies? For the first time in many years, the Emperor does not know what to think.
So he's even more surprised when a green head pops out of Vader's neck, and a green arm flies out of the shoulder socket, blaster clutched in a green fist. Greedo spies the Emperor and does what Greedo does best.
Greedo shoots first.
We'll spare you the details of Greedo's coronation as Emperor — it goes on for weeks, and the Cantina Band gets flown in, and there are whole planets flooded with namana liquor for Greedo to drink from. He actually quite likes the big robe thing, and having the red helmet guys following him around is actually quite cool. The most important thing is, the galaxy enters into decades of peace and prosperity. Greedo turns out to be surprisingly good at keeping the hyperspace lanes open, and letting people go about their business. All hail Emperor Greedo!