It definitely was not an easy job for Harrison Ford when he reprised his iconic role of Han Solo in the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. You may remember the infamous accident from back in June 2014 when the then 71 year old actor broke his leg due to a faulty hydraulic door falling on him on the set of the Millennium Falcon, in Pinewood Studios in the UK. Now, a court hearing has decreed the production firm responsible for health and safety breaches that could have killed the beloved actor.
Foodles Production (UK) LTD, a subsidiary of Disney, pleaded guilty to two accounts of health and safety violations at the court hearing in Milton Keynes Magistrate Court.
Prosecutor Andrew Marshall explained the events of the accident in detail. He revealed how Harrison Ford had walked through the offending door with another actor and pressed a button. He then went back through, in the belief that the set was not live and would stay open. However, Ford did not know that it was actually remotely operated by another crew member. And so, as the actor passed underneath, the door caught him in the pelvic area and pinned him to the ground.
Mr Marshall went on to say that there was a “risk of death” and “it could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn’t was because an emergency stop was activated.”
A Health and Safety Executive also revealed that the Indiana Jones star was hit by a weight comparable to that of a small car. He was then airlifted to a hospital in Oxford for treatment and filming was suspended for two weeks to accommodate the injury.
Harrison Ford himself later spoke about the accident on The Jonathan Ross Show. He said:
“I was just standing in the doorway talking to JJ Abrams, our director. The camera hadn’t been set up but I was wearing my costume ready to go to work and because we had a big budget this time… in the original film, the door, if there had been a door, it would have been closed with a pulley and a stage hand just closing it but now we had lots of money and technology and so they built a f***ing great hydraulic door which closed at light speed and somebody said, ‘Ooh I wonder what this is?’ and the door came down and hit me on my left hip because I was turned to my right. And then it flung my left leg up and it dislocated my ankle and as it drove me down to the floor, my legs slapped on the ramp up to the Millennium Falcon and broke both bones in my left leg.’
Image via Lucasfilm/The Walt Disney Co.