Han Solo opens fire in iconic Cantina scene of Star Wars IV
Han Solo opens fire in iconic Cantina scene of Star Wars IV 20th Century Fox

George Lucas has risked enraging Star Wars fans by attempting to clear up the "Han shot first" debate.

Director Lucas has revealed that Han Solo did not shoot first in an iconic scene in 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Fans have debated the Cantina scene, in which Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, shoots enemy bounty hunter Greedo beneath a table.

In the original film, it appeared that Solo fired first, killing Greedo in cold blood. When the film was re-released in a special edition in 1997, extra shots were added which appeared to show Greedo firing first.

Some fans criticised the change, claiming it was an unnecessary attempt to soften Solo's character.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Lucas has revealed that he always intended for it to be clear that Greedo shot first.

"The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo to be a cold- blooded killer, but he actually isn't," Lucas said.

"It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down."

Whether Lucas' comment will finally silence the debate remains to be seen.