Greedo says 'Maclunkey' in Star Wars 'Han shot first' scene on Disney Plus

"Maclunkey" isn't a new word to the Star Wars universe.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

That famous scene in the original 1977 Star Wars where Han shoots Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina has its newest, possibly weirdest edit yet. If you watch the movie on the new Disney Plus streaming service, you'll distinctly hear the alien shout "Maclunkey!" before he's famously shot by Han Solo.

"Oh my god," wrote the Twitter account Star Wars Visual Comparisons. "This is not a joke."

The account also noted some other changes to the scene, including a new explosion as the firing happens.

A representative for Lucasfilm confirmed in an email that the edits to the scene were made by Star Wars creator George Lucas himself before Disney acquired the company.

And "Maclunkey" may sound odd, but it's not completely new to the Star Wars galaxy. Writer Bryan Young remembered the word, pronounced slightly differently, being used as a threat by podracer Sebulba in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

"My Huttese is a bit rusty, but, roughly translated, it means 'This'll be the end of you,'" Young wrote in a tweet. 

CNET social-media producer Sean Buckley stitched the two uses of the word together and Young is right, even if Sebulba sounds a bit like he's saying "Ma-da-donkey." Regional dialect, and all that. "The pronunciation is different, but Greedo's new last words were already established in Star Wars," Buckley notes. "That means a lot."

Listen for yourself.

Buckley has a pretty good theory, too, tying the addition of the word to Lucas' constant rejiggering of the Greedo scene to make Han look less cold-blooded.

"I think this may have been Lucas trying to meet the fans halfway," Buckley points out. "(Lucas is) giving Han a way to 'shoot first' but still be a 'good guy' who is only defending himself against an assailant who, by saying Maclunkey, declared that he was going to murder him."

As you might expect with a movie and scene this famous, fans took the "Maclunkey" ball and ran with it. 

Comedian Eric Fell had fun inserting the word into other famous Star Wars scenes. 

And another Twitter user wrote, "First of all, what exactly is supposed to be exploding that hugely here? Greedo himself? Is he made of C-4? Second of all, WHY IS ANYONE STILL MESSING AROUND WITH THIS SCENE?"

Even horror author Stephen King got in the act, tweeting out "#Maclunkey Just because it's so weirdly funny."

Keep poking around Disney Plus, because there are sure to be more gems out there in this new galaxy.

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Originally published Nov. 12, 10:17 a.m. PT. 
Update, 1:30 p.m. PT: Adds theory about Greedo's use of the word. 
Update, 1:38 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Lucasfilm.