What the “Han shot first” discussion is for Star Wars fans is the “Gear doesn’t matter” debate for photographers. The problem with both: there will never be an amicable settlement in this doctrinal war since the answer is complex. Too complex, it seems, for the human being who prefers simple Yes-or-No answers. But we’re not computers, there’s no reason to think the binary way, so why not forget about the whole “Gear matters” issue? Well, probably, because it’s fun!
Of course, there’s a reason I’m taking up this issue now though I’m sure there must be an article on this blog already where I’m making fun of it. The “Gear matters” discussion is like the whole “Photography is art” debate, with the difference that the latter results in short-time alliances between parties who previously were at war over the former question. It erupts, becomes extinct, and then erupts again. (More Kīlauea than Kilimanjaro-like.)
There are no new insights, new clues or any revelations that will convince you to take or change sides. But that’s not what this is about: discussing the same topic again and again is entertaining, it keeps the community alive and sometimes, in rare cases, it probably even inspires a reader.
I won’t tell you that gear doesn’t matter – I love gadgets too much – but also won’t tell you that you’ll never be good without.
What I can tell you is that Han unquestionably shot first!