In one of Dark Horse’s more wild Star Wars comics, Han Solo is taken to court for shooting Greedo first in a parody of The People’s Court.
while many starwars fans refuse to recognize the special edition remaster where Han Solo shoots second in self-defense rather than shooting first, one of Dark Horse’s strangest comics saw Han Solo taken to court by Greedo’s mother. A comical (and non-canonical) parody of The People’s Court reality courtroom show, Solo attempted to escape sentencing by “The Honorable Judge Palpatine,” using the special edition scene as his chief defense. While it’s still debated today, this hilarious starwars comic actually provided a ruling on the matter.
Featured in 2002’s Star Wars Tales #14 from Dark Horse Comics, “The Emperor’s Court” was a short story from writer Jason Hall and artist Ramon Bachs. Framed just like an episode of The People’s Court television show on ABC, Greedo’s mother Neela is represented by C-3PO with Han Solo choosing to represent himself with Chewbacca by his side. The Emperor is of course the courtroom judge supported by Darth Vader as the bailiff. Attempting to see justice served, Neela attests that Han shot her son first in cold blood, while Solo claims that he fired second in self-defense after Greedo fired first and missed (despite being less than a meter away from the smuggler).
Complete with commercial breaks and a droid narrating the proceedings named LU-LN (a parody of The People’s Court reporter Doug Llewelyn), Threepio’s alien witness testimonies are all thrown out due to Judge Palpatine’s impatience and inability to understand them. However, Solo’s holo-recorded evidence does little to sway the ruling in his favor. A recreation of the edited scene in the Mos Eisley cantina from the special edition, Judge Palpatine and the rest of the courtroom just aren’t buying it (just like real-life starwars fans).
After the “commercial break”, Palpatine gives his verdict in Neela’s favor, sentencing Solo to a life frozen in carbonite (naturally). However, the reasoning is a great bit of meta-humor, questioning what kind of space pirate would wait for a bounty hunter with his weapon drawn to fire first, especially with Greedo threatening to kill Solo? While it certainly puts a spotlight on Greedo’s own crimes, the true subject on trial is really the original cuts of starwars vs. Lucas’ special edition remasters. As Palpatine says: “No one should have the power to rewrite history!… Well..except me that is…“.
All in all, “The Emperor’s Court” is one of Dark Horse’s strangest comic stories that’s always fun to bring up during “Han Shot First” debates. While this story featuring Han Solo is one of a kind, the ending did tease an upcoming episode with an equally hilarious trial: “Midi-chlorians vs. The Divine Force”. One can only imagine how funny an ongoing “Emperor’s Court” series would be, especially in the current starwars It was following the controversies of the sequel trilogy and beyond.
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