UK – Harrison Ford could have died on-set when he was crushed by the ship in an accident while filming a scene on the legendary Millenium Falcon. Now, a film production company has pleaded guilty of health and safety breaching measures during the filming of Star Wars: Force Awakens.
Foodles Production LTD, owned by Walt Disney Company (NASDAQ: DIS) was prosecuted at Milton Keynes Magistrates’s Court in Bletchley, UK.
Two further charges were dropped by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to manage safety protocols on-set.
On 2014, in Force Awakens’ London Pinewood Studios, Ford was knocked to the ground and trapped by the starship’s hydraulic door during a scene rehearsal.
Prosecutor Andrew Marshall said the actor went through the door with a colleague. Like Dexter’s sister, Didi, the Han Solo inadvertently pushed a red button: “Wonder what this is for,” he probably said.
Little did he know the studio was live and, as he walked back through the heavy door the heavy metal dropped above him, and Ford was hit in the pelvic area and pinned to the ground.
The 71-year-old actor was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford after the incident and took several weeks away from the studios. He had two bones on his left leg broken and injured hips.
Force Awakens’ director J.J. Abrams later said that when Ford returned to set, he was “better and stronger than ever.”
“There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie”, assured the filmmaker.
On December 2015, Harrison Ford spoke about the accident in The Jonathan Ross Show
The court also heard the door was remotely operated by another person. Mr. Marshall said there was a “risk of death”.
“The door could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn’t is because an emergency stop was activated,” he stated in the trial.
The HSE said the power of the rapidly closing metal gates meant Harrison was hit with a power comparable to the weight of a small vehicle. The studio answered it would contest the level of risk involved and admitted two breaches of health and safety law.
The Disney-owned producer will be sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on August 22.
— Star Wars Trending (@Skywalkolizer) July 27, 2016
Either way, Harrison Ford’s run on the Star Wars franchise is over. His last act was in The Force Awakens, where he helped the rebels to destroy yet another Death Star (again) and lost his life to his son, yet another troubled (Solo-)Skywalker Jedi lured to the dark side.
The character is set to have his spin-off series, three movies that will be carried by Hail, Caesar!’s star, Alden Ehrenreich.