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whafrog

Solo: was it murder?

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Click bait!

Well I just saw the movie, and now the thread is closed, and I have so much to say!  Actually not really:  I enjoyed it, it was amusing, the acting was decent, the plot was alright, effects were good, and the inclusion of Maul was cool.  It sits comfortably alongside Rogue One in terms of re-watchability I think...which unfortunately isn't saying that much, but I do think it's a welcome addition to the canon.

But was it murder?  Yes, legally it was murder.  The reason people had to have their guns in their holster before a shoot out was so that witnesses could describe who drew first.  The person who drew first was the murderer, and the person who drew second was acting in self-defence.  That's why there's so much drama in the moment:  each participant is trying to get the other to go first.  If those weren't the rules, then who would ever wait?  Somehow this simple legal fact has been lost, and audiences these days have no clue.

(The irony is that, using today's technology with slow-motion and measuring reaction times, we can actually prove that reacting is faster than acting.  Reacting uses shorter circuits in the nervous system, which kind of makes sense when you think about evolutionary development.  The person who draws second can actually often get their shot off before the first mover has fired.)

In E4, when Han did shoot first, Greedo already had his blaster drawn, so Han shooting first doesn't make him the murderer...the gun is already in his face.  For some reason, Lucas got bamboozled by people who didn't know the simple duel rules, so he edited it differently later, sadly.  But the edit makes no sense:  was Han supposed to wait for Greedo to actually pull the trigger?  That's not a large window of opportunity for self-defence.

In Solo, Han is Greedo, he already has his blaster out.  But he also shot first, before giving his opponent a chance to draw.  Ergo:  murder.  It really is that simple.

So it was murder, but was it also the right thing to do?  Maybe.  That's a tougher question IMHO.  Beckett was a dangerous person and very handy with his own gun, not somebody you want to duel with, or want after you.  It seemed like they had a relationship where Han could have stunned him and left a vial of "Unobtanium" in his pocket when he woke up to smooth things over...but maybe not.  I'd have preferred that, personally, because the shooting takes away from the later assertion that Han is a "good guy".  Right now he's more like Cassian Andor from Rogue One.

Anyway, hopefully those who respond to this click-bait will keep it civil, or simply agree to disagree.

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I liked the film a lot BTW, had not had a chance to chime in on it before. Solid western/heist movie that I was hoping for.

About the Murder. The film does go out if it's way to set up Tobias Beckett as a seriously dangerous man. Han is outclassed by him throughout the story and is smart enough to know it.  In the end, he doesn't take any chances. 

But is it murder? Sure. Among wanted criminals on a backwater world. The only witness being Chewie. I didn't have a problem with it *shrug*.

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More minority report.  Han knew that Greedo and Beckett were going to kill him so he just took out the blaster and blew them away first.

I can also see Lucas pondering this thought once random night, "What Han did to Greedo could be considered murder!"  Hence the birth of the Greedo shot first movement.  

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Was it murder?

Yes, Han took the life of another living being, which under most circumstances is murder.

Was it justified?

Again yes, given Beckett's history and the sort of person that Han knew that the man was, and that there really was only one way that situation was going to go down, even if Han did give Beckett a chance to step away from the confrontation and keep his life before pulling the trigger.

In terms of legality, this particular murder would probably fall under justifiable homicide, perhaps even self-defense, with Han shooting first to avoid his own death and quite possibly also Chewie's death as well.

But the action in and of itself does serve to highlight that Han has become a darker individual as of the film's end, a portion of his youthful innocence lost but having become wiser for his experiences.

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In the context of Star Wars there is no way to call it murder.  First and foremost one would need a copy of the appropriate jurisdiction's penal code, for it to be a murder the killing has to be unlawful.  

Analyzing the genre and the way in which things are presented, what took place was a duel, which was completely legal in many places in the world throughout the 19th century.  For all I know there still might be places where it's legal, and in many places where it was banned, the 'winner' was lightly punished, if at all, as it was not considered murder.

Applying current western world legal standards to a scifi make believe movie is silly.

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Even by Western legal standards, Solo killing Becket is justifiably self-defense.

First:  Han has seen Becket in action on multiple occasions and has seen how skilled he is with a blaster.  Becket has proven his skill all through the film, but especially in the preceeding scene, where he blasts three presumably highly-trained private security guards without any of them so much as drawing their weapon, just because he wanted some time to think.  Han knows exactly what Becket is capable of mentally (killing someone in the blink of an eye with no hesitation or remorse) and physically (killing someone in the blink of eye with no opportunity for them to react).  If Han lets Becket so much as touch his blaster, Han's dead.  So Han shooting him first was perfectly justifiable as far as self-defense goes, since Han had excellent reasons to believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Becket was an immediate deadly threat, and using lethal force to stop that threat was his only option.

Now, you might point out that Han put himself in Becket's path (pretty much literally) and forced the confrontation that was only going to end with at least one dead body.  And you're right.  However, one can use lethal force in self-defense to protect the lives of yourself or others.  Becket had Chewbacca towing the coaxium for him, and there's no reason to believe that Becket wouldn't kill Chewbacca as soon as he was no longer useful.  Yes, Chewie is exceptionally strong, but he's not blasterproof.  If anyone could shoot a Wookiee dead before said Wookiee can tear his arms off, even in close quarters, it's Becket, who's blaster skills have already been well-established.  Han intercepted Becket to save Chewie's life (and retrieve a lot of very expensive coaxium).

Okay, going out of his way to engage Becket on Chewie's behalf is a little flimsy (and not his only reason).  In real life, one's expected legal reaction would be to call the police or other authority figures to allow them to handle the situation.  However, given what we see of the planet this takes place on, if there is any kind of law enforcement at all, its response time probably leaves much to be desired, especially around wherever the public head of a massive criminal organization would choose to park his highly-conspicuous flying spaceship yacht headquarters.  You don't get to be a successful criminal by parking a vehicle full of evidence and crimes-in-progress next to a bunch of police.  So Han could surmise that leaving the authorities to deal with Becket and rescue Chewie would result in them responding too late, and Becket killing Chewbacca and escaping (or vice versa).  In such a situation, it would be acceptable for Han to take matters into his own hands, though he might still be charged and perhaps even go to trial for a lesser degree of crime (like a manslaughter charge) unless it could be proven, beyond reasonable doubt, that Becket was an imminent threat to him or Chewbacca (or both) and that Han knew that for a fact.  (Delicate aside:  There have been other such situations come up in the media in recent years, proper digging into the legal ins and outs of those cases will show where certain people were right and wrong, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter).  Now, we as the audience know Becket thoroughly deserves it, as does Han (since we've been going on this journey alongside him), so. . . yes, Han shooting Becket was perfectly justifiable self-defense, which by definition is not murder.

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I've always been of the opinion that Han Shot First (regardless of justification) specifically to help illustrate that he was not really that good of a person. He was nice, goofy at times, and generally someone likable, but if he saw you as a threat he'd ventilate your aorta.

So its importance is part of Solo's character development, when he comes back at the end and saves the day and is ok with just getting a medal for it.

 

Blowing that guy away is the correct inverse. We see Han in much of the movie with (relatively) noble actions and a outright romantic motivation. We see Qira say, to his face, that he's a good guy. And then he shoots first. As if to say "I'm a good guy... But I'm not THAT good.

 

Which works in the context.

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7 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

I've always been of the opinion that Han Shot First (regardless of justification) specifically to help illustrate that he was not really that good of a person. He was nice, goofy at times, and generally someone likable, but if he saw you as a threat he'd ventilate your aorta.

So its importance is part of Solo's character development, when he comes back at the end and saves the day and is ok with just getting a medal for it.

 

Blowing that guy away is the correct inverse. We see Han in much of the movie with (relatively) noble actions and a outright romantic motivation. We see Qira say, to his face, that he's a good guy. And then he shoots first. As if to say "I'm a good guy... But I'm not THAT good.

 

Which works in the context.

 

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51 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

Applying current western world legal standards to a scifi make believe movie is silly.

Maybe so. But, for better or for worse, there’s precedent for it. (Four-year political terms, for example.)

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It's very much a murder. But the reason for why he does it is very understandable, he knows that Becket is incredibly deadly and quite lacking in empathy. Han is nobody to Becket, he would kill him and not shed a single tear over the fact. So Han needs to do the same if he is going to have any certainty of surviving the encounter. There is no real margin of error in it. The choice he makes is also why he's a solid EotE character rather than a FoD.

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29 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Maybe so. But, for better or for worse, there’s precedent for it. (Four-year political terms, for example.)

Not just legal standards. Much of Star Wars is "Americans in space". Hot rod culture, Space Indians attacking blond & blue-eyed farm boys, gunslingers... You can't divorce the fiction from its influences.

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1 hour ago, 2P51 said:

Applying current western world legal standards to a scifi make believe movie is silly.

I don't buy this part of the argument.  The movie and world-building is made to be familiar to audiences, and, dare I say it, to western ones.  Some of the values are implicit in the setup.  We should be able to assume that the legal code reflects something we are familiar with, otherwise part of the story requirement would be some monologuing about the legal code and "how it's different here".

 

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9 minutes ago, whafrog said:

I don't buy this part of the argument.  The movie and world-building is made to be familiar to audiences, and, dare I say it, to western ones.  Some of the values are implicit in the setup.  We should be able to assume that the legal code reflects something we are familiar with, otherwise part of the story requirement would be some monologuing about the legal code and "how it's different here".

 

So when the stormtroopers go into the cantina and put about as much effort into one guy having an arm chopped off and another gutted like a trout as the average cop does writing a ticket that's something we're all "familiar with"? BS.  We're shown in the first 47 minutes of this universe 41 years ago that law and order are absolutely not what we're familiar with at all.

Edited by 2P51

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1 minute ago, 2P51 said:

So when the stormtroopers go into the cantina and put about as much effort into one guy having an arm chopped off and another gutted like a trout as the average cop does writing a ticket that's something we're all "familiar with"? BS.

Considering how people of color and suspected uncodumented immigrants are treated by the authorities in the US - yes, actually. Selective enforcement of laws isn't some science fiction concept, it's daily reality in modern Western countries.

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11 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

So when the stormtroopers go into the cantina and put about as much effort into one guy having an arm chopped off and another gutted like a trout as the average cop does writing a ticket that's something we're all "familiar with"? BS.

Depends on the neighbourhood...

 

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So from a 21st century stand point, I think Han has a case to reach a 'not-guilty' verdict. Beckett pretty much left Han to die, betrayed him. That can be considered traumatic so Han's reaction to seeing Beckett could be justified. If Han had ever turned his back to Beckett at that point he may have shot Han. The only real problem is that Han tracked him down in the end, that could hurt his case but Chewie was the only witness so...

Han did nothing wrong.

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3 minutes ago, whafrog said:

Depends on the neighbourhood...

 

Feel free to link a real story from the real world where one dude had an arm chopped off and another gutted in a bar and the cops did more or less nothing, didn't close the bar, didn't roll out CSI, didn't stop and ID every single person in the bar.

We were clearly shown in 1977 that law and order and the nature of this universe was utterly and totally not like what we are accustomed to in our lives.

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17 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Considering how people of color and suspected uncodumented immigrants are treated by the authorities in the US - yes, actually. Selective enforcement of laws isn't some science fiction concept, it's daily reality in modern Western countries.

Just as a courtesy so you don't waste your time quoting me I am not going back and forth in anyway about anything with you.  I think you're nothing but a clickbait antagonistic troll that contributes nothing to this community and you only show up in the middle of controversy to stir the crap stick in the poop pot.  I don't care about your politics.  I don't care about your opinions.  I'm going back and forth with whafrog because he does contribute to this forum and community in a meaningful way and deserves responses.  Have a great life and enjoy the ignore list.

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So looking at this from a different tact...

Would a Force and Destiny character have gotten Conflict in this same exact situation?

To me, the answer would be no, and my reasoning is thus:

Firstly, Han didn't just out and out shoot Beckett.  He talked to the man, tried to get him to relinquish the coaxium and Chewie, to walk away a graceful loser.  So at the very least, violence wasn't Han's very first response to the situation.  Had Beckett decided to walk away and leave both Chewie and the coaxium, that most likely would have been the end of it as far as Han was concerned; of course that doesn't mean Beckett couldn't have returned for some payback, but at least he wouldn't have died on some remote spit of dirt at that particular moment.

Next up, Beckett was far from being helpless much less at Han's mercy, having both a gun and the fast-draw skills to be very dangerous even if his blaster wasn't currently in hand.  Pretty much the moment that Beckett started to go for his gun, he signed his own death warrant as he didn't anticipate Han having the nerve to pull the trigger on someone he had once considered a friend.

Han also didn't endanger anyone beyond himself (as the target of Beckett's ire) and Chewie (who was in danger already just from being around Beckett even before Han showed up when he did), and did the job with a single shot rather than pump several blaster bolts into Beckett.

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1 hour ago, korjik said:

Especially since everyone here would be guilty of murder many many times over

 If talking about the characters and tree many things they've already done, yup. In this instance, Nope.

Visible weapon  (drawn or not), reasonable threat for life  (known, dangerous criminal who has been seen first-hand killing), captive in distress and danger of life (Chewie), and a verbal threat (If you don't kill me I'll kill you).

****, a public defender would get you off as self - defense, or justified homicide at the very least. 

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10 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

Feel free to link a real story from the real world where one dude had an arm chopped off and another gutted in a bar and the cops did more or less nothing, didn't close the bar, didn't roll out CSI, didn't stop and ID every single person in the bar.

We were clearly shown in 1977 that law and order and the nature of this universe was utterly and totally not like what we are accustomed to in our lives.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UpStairs_Lounge_arson_attack 32 people died in a fire. Cops did extremely little.

http://www.back2stonewall.com/2018/03/march-9-1969-police-beat-gay-man-death-los-angeles-hotel-raid.html
Police beat a person to death in front of several witnesses and nobody is convicted.

Granted, nobody was maimed or shot. So I guess they don't really fit your criteria.

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Take it into context.  Beckett was going to kill him.  Beckett even admitted it himself after getting shot by Han.  So in essence it is self-defense. 

Greedo is a moot point - since we all know Greedo shot first.  So if Greedo shot first, once again Han shooting back is in self-defense. 

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