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Sunday, 3 January 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: HAN SHOOTS FIRST!

Without the mask, Paul Blake's Greedo confronts Harrison Ford's Han Solo during rehearsal.

Already a week over schedule at Elstree Studios, life is hectic for the cast and crew of STAR WARS, as the busy and smoke-fuelled Cantina interior set now sees the filming of the classic original confrontation between Harrison Ford's Han Solo and Paul Blake's out of his depth thug Greedo, whose character was originally just referred to as "the alien" in pre-production. Blake, who had previously filmed scenes in the green mask and costume for the Mos Eisley Docking Bay 94 scene, procured his role on the original STAR WARS in 1976 thanks to the help of his then friend Anthony Daniels. The Greedo mask was one of the very first developed for the movie by make-up legend Stuart Freeborn, a re-imagining of a popular creature he had conceived and built for use in a UK Bird's Eye Peas advert that Lucas had liked when first visiting his studios the year before.

Blake with the Greedo mask on for the similar publicity image.
Blake in costume as Greedo.
Cornering the Corellian in another rehearsal image.

The sequence was always conceived, scripted and filmed as Han shooting first, under the table. Important story dialogue from the later aborted Jabba the Hutt meeting sequence filmed a few short weeks prior would be incorporated during post production editing.

Original Cantina Scene - A New Hope [1080p HD] - YouTube
Han's Original Scenes : Han Shot First! - YouTube

Below are a couple of UK Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's behind the scenes continuity Polaroids during the filming, originally displayed at the UK's BFI during late 2014.

A zany reference shot of Paul Blake. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.
Another variation image on the classic scene's rehearsal. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI.

Watch the Cast of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Weigh in on Who Shot First - YouTube
Jimmy Fallon Convinces Harrison Ford To Do A Greedo Shot First - YouTube

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