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Something that has made little sense in the Mos Eisley cantina scene is why Greedo wanted Han Solo dead

GREEDO: You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship.

HAN: Over my dead body.

GREEDO: That's the idea. I've been looking forward to killing you for a long time.

HAN: Yes, I'll bet you have.

Is there any indication why he wanted Solo dead so badly? Jabba didn't necessarily want Han dead at this point (per the restored original scene where they talk shortly afterward), just captured. Greedo wanting to kill Han seems to be out of something personal.

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    The new canon comics Han Solo & Chewbacca cover a number of events in which Solo and Greedo are mixed up, which could lead to bad blood between them. (Solo strands Greedo, Greedo shoots Han...)
    – DavidW
    Dec 15, 2022 at 15:41
  • @DavidW Ah, was unaware more canon had been added. Good to know. Was surprised Solo had not addressed this.
    – Machavity
    Dec 15, 2022 at 18:43
  • because han shot first
    – shanu
    Dec 21, 2022 at 9:15

3 Answers 3

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+100

In the 2022—present Han Solo & Chewbacca comic series, which takes place before A New Hope, Han and Greedo are both working for Jabba but have something of an ongoing rivalry:

Jabba is leading Han into a room in his palace. Han: "Wait. The guy who told you about this is... Greedo?" Greedo: "Hello, Solo." Jabba: "Ah, yes. You two know each other." Han: "Oh yeah. Old friends."

They frequently bicker while on a mission for Jabba together:

Greedo and Han are infiltrating a building. Greedo: "It's not my fault Graves upgraded his security system after you broke in." Han: "Oh no, you don't. I'm not taking the blame for this. You're the one who said he could get through any lock." Greedo: "Except this one, apparently." Han: "You're a special kind of incompetent, you know that?"

After Greedo triggers an alarm during the heist, Han abandons him on Corellia:

Han is in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with a man named Ovan. Ovan: "What about your snouted, green friend?" Han: "Greedo? I asked him to pick up a new hydrospanner." Ovan: "My point is, shouldn't we wait for him?" Han: "Why do you think I sent him on an errand?"

In Issue 5, after an incident among their group of criminals

that results in Chewbacca getting shot and arrested, Han tries to convince the crew to go back for Chewbacca. Greedo disagrees and shoots him in the chest, and takes the Millennium Falcon with the rest of the crew: Khel: "Hgh—" Han: "Never... liked... you... Khel..." Greedo: "Why aren't we moving—? Solo—" Greedo fires his blaster. Han is presumed dead, but gets better.

As of Issue 7, the latest issue until December 28th, 2022:

Han and Chewie track down Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina, and the issue ends with Chewie choking Greedo: Han, Greedo, and Chewbacca are in the Mos Eisley Cantina, with Chewbacca holding Greedo by the neck and Han standing aside. Han: "But you better figure it out 'cause I have just one question... Where. Is. The. Falcon?"

The series establishes that Han and Greedo have a mutual dislike of each other that escalates over time. Even if Greedo trying to kill Han isn't in response to any individual one of these events, it at least makes sense as part of this pattern of escalation.

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In Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, we learn that the bounty that Jabba put onto Han's head (of 224,190 Credits) was

"... DEAD OR ALIVE!".

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As such, Greedo could earn the bounty by bringing in Han dead rather than alive.


In the original novelisation of A New Hope, Greedo says that Han caused him embarrassment, hence his desire to kill him. He doesn't go into much detail.

I don’t think they’d like another killing in here,” Solo pointed out.
Something which might have been a laugh came from the creature’s translator. “They’d hardly notice. Get up, Solo. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. You’ve embarrassed me in front of Jabba with your pious excuses for the last time.”

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The Star Wars novelization (ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster) has a somewhat longer conversation between Han and Greedo than appears in the film.* The novel indicates that their encounter in the cantina is not the first time that Greedo has confronted Han about the debt. Han has promised payment in the past, but he has not delivered.

"As a matter of fact," Solo replied slowly," [sic.] "I was just on my way to see your boss. You can tell Jabba I've got the money I owe him."

"That's what you said yesterday—and last week—and the week prior to that. It's too late, Solo. I'm not going back to Jabba with another one of your stories."

This appears to be the primary cause of friction between the two of them:

"... Get up Solo. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. You've embarrassed me in front of Jabba with your pious excuses for the last time."

*The conversation, of course is also missing Han's, "Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?" since that was originally scripted and delivered in his slightly later face-to-face encounter with Jabba, but was relooped into the scene with Greedo when Jabba's appearance was cut.

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