'Star Wars': Ariana Grande Recreated the 'Who Shot First' Scene in Her 'Break Free' Music Video10/16/2021
Ariana Grande has an eclectic number of interests that inspire her art. Movies, TV, games, and more have all been cited by the star as having left a mark on her work. In one of her classic music videos she follows her interests with something that’s gone on to inspire tons of other creators in the past: Star Wars.
Ariana Grande’s music video references an iconic scene
In a recent video, Grande sat down with Allure to discuss her music and videos. At one point, she gets to discuss the making of the video for her song “Break Free.” Released in 2014, Grande credits people like Kristofer Buckle, Dalina Rebollo, and Johnny Wujek for the “beautiful and fun” way the video turned out.
Beyond just the visual nods to sci-fi and the amazing hair, makeup, and clothing used for the video, one deleted scene brings these references from the level of subtext to straight-up text. It just so happens to be one scene that Star Wars fans regularly lose it over, too.
‘Han Shot First’ has been a major point of contention for ‘Star Wars’ fans for decades
The words “Han Shot First” are something just about anyone who’s watched a Star Wars movie recognizes by now. They reference a scene in the original 1977 Star Wars set near the middle of the film. In it, Harris Ford’s Han Solo is just about to set off with the other protagonists, only to be stopped by the bounty hunter Greedo and held up at gunpoint. The alien tells Han that Jabba the Hutt will pay whoever brings him to him, and Greedo is sure he’s the one to do it. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t realize he is talking to the main character and dies as a result when Han shoots him mid-speech.
It’s a character-defining moment for Han’s character, showcasing how he’s not entirely on the straight-and-narrow compared to someone like Luke Skywalker and is willing to kill just to save his skin. However, this scene had undergone some changes, mainly when the movie was released on home video with the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope.
The version most current fans have seen probably plays out slightly differently, with Greedo getting a shot off before Han fires in self-defense. A third version also exists, with Greedo and Han shooting at almost the same time, with Han doing a strange CGI dodge out of the path of Greedo’s blaster shot.
Regardless of which of the edits you see, though, fans have despised this alteration. That’s what gave rise to the “Han Shot First” slogan to begin with, as people insisted that Han was the one who took the first shot. Grande feels the same, though with an important distinction. In the deleted scene from “Break Free,” Grande and a pair of aliens sit at a table discussing the Star Wars scene. However, Grande makes the astute observation that Han didn’t shoot first; he took the only shot. To cap it all off, she then draws her gun and shoots the aliens dead before they can fire, either.
Retro future and classic sci-fi were big inspirations for Ariana Grande’s video
In addition to this one scene, several other old sci-fi properties played into the music video’s look and feel. In the Allure video, Grande specifically mentioned the movie Barbarella as one of these, claiming to have been a massive fan of the film for years. Keen-eyed viewers can also catch visual nods to films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and the broader Star Wars series, plus shows like Doctor Who.
Grande noted how much she enjoys seeing visions of the future through the lens of older generations. That “retro future” aesthetic is on full display in the video. She’s talked about how cool she found this older vision of what today could have looked like, a sentiment that many can no doubt relate to, given the lack of pulpy science fiction adventures in our real lives.
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