During the filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs shattered Han Solo's ankle. A door fell on actor Harrison Ford, knocking both Ford and production out of commission for several weeks. Fortunately, the painful incident proved to be an happy accident for the film.
According to the film's co-writer and director J. J. Abrams, the scenes being shot on The Millennium Falcon were not working. As reported on io9, he revealed his thoughts at the Tribeca Film Festival:
“When I was on the set of the Millennium Falcon and we started to do work with Rey and Finn, the first time we did it, it didn’t work at all, ...It was much more contentious. I didn’t direct it right. It was set up all wrong, and when Harrison Ford got injured—which was a very scary day—we ended up having a few weeks off, and it was during that time that I really got to look at what we had done and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work again, we actually just reshot from the ground up, those scenes. It was an amazingly helpful thing to get these two characters to where they needed to be.”
Abrams' rewrites worked. A potentially film derailing dynamic turned into the brother/sister back and forth that makes the relationship viable. Film goers have certainly given the new duo a seal of approval. The film has grossed $935,832,841 to date in the United States alone.
While the incident happened in June of 2014, it is not completely in the rear view mirror. Foodles Production (UK) Ltd (which is a subsidiary of Disney) is facing charges from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Radiotimes.com printed a statement from the HSE:
“The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which left Harrison Ford with serious injuries after he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door.
“By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers – this is as true on a film set as a factory floor.”
A court date has been scheduled for High Wycombe Magistrates Court on May 12.