I got home late from work tonight but messed around with it some more. ...and YES, I got it fixed. At least for now. For some reason I think it's going to happen again. This purchase has been a complete pain in the ass. But at least it looks cool now.
Anyways, the best way to describe this is the "front latch" where the NERF shoots out of would not close. The first time the button was pressed, the latch opened, and the NERF didn't shoot. It just stayed open, would not close, and it would not shoot. It's not the cockpit door closing all the way that is the issue (that top door does need to be closed). It just started to fire, then didn't. And would never complete the operation... and the latch "cover" would not do anything... it just stayed open and refused to close. It felt like if I pressed it harder, it would snap.
So, I took out all the screws that I could find on the head. I did this twice last night, and never could get it apart far enough without something inside snapping. I did it again tonight, and jiggled it around a lot - it really seemed like it was on the verge of breaking.
I then started pushing the front latch in, and it finally closed. It seemed like it was going to completely break at this point tonight so I got really worried. I was nearly convinced that it DID break something inside... then I realigned the screw holes, and screwed it back together...
So then I held my breath, and turned it back on and realized the "NERF holder" inside had repositioned back to "load" mode. So, I loaded it up... and presssed the button... and now I've got two happy kids (and a happy Chewie) because it's working now... at least for the time being.
I definitely should not have had to mess around with it like this to get it work. I never could even see what the issue was because I couldn't get the head taken apart far enough to really look inside it. Hopefully it continues to work and other people don't experience this aggravation. If it happens again, I'm going to send it back to Hasbro.