Ankles were snapped and backs were broken while Star Wars was being shot.
J.J. Abrams had gotten into such a serious mishap during the shooting of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that he ended up breaking his back. Quite literally.
The renowned American filmmaker and composer recently talked about the unfortunate incident that unfolded on the set of the film wherein both he and one of the cast members, Harrison Ford had gotten injured.
While the filming was being carried out, a hydraulic door down came down on Harrison Ford, who happened to be sitting right underneath it, thereby inflicting a serious injury on his leg. Witnessing this, J.J. Abrams immediately rushed to help him out, in the process of which, he too got hurt. The most astonishing part of it all though, is how the director managed to hide the case of his fractured back from his team on set for the longest time!
Harrison Ford Broke His Ankle on the Set of Star Wars (2015)
Speaking with Howard Stern at The Howard Stern Show, J.J. Abrams revealed the chain of events that led to him breaking his back on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
When asked why the incident was being kept as such a clandestine matter, Abrams stated how it was no secret that he’d sustained a back injury all those years ago, and in fact had even talked about the same on The Daily Show.
Abrams, 56, then went on to describe the horrible situation that had taken place during the filming of the sci-fi/action movie as he recalled how Harrison Ford, who plays the captain of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo in Star Wars, got wounded on set.
“What happened was, when this hydraulic door came down, and it pushed down the person who happened to be right there under it, who happened to be Harrison Ford…not the ideal scenario. His leg broke and his ankle went sideways, like 90 degrees. And so, I’m there with one of my idols, who’s now down on the ground…not an ideal scenario.”
And after seeing his “idol” in such a condition the Primetime Emmy Award-winning director couldn’t just sit and do nothing. So, his natural instinct, like anybody else’s would have been in that situation, was to assist Ford, in any possible way that he could. But little did Abrams know, he was only going to land himself in more trouble.
J.J. Abrams Fractured His Back Trying to Help Harrison Ford
When the accident happened, Abrams’ first and foremost thought, something akin to a reflex, was to help his fellow crew member who had a broken ankle, and in case it slipped your mind, was in his 70s during that time. So with an adrenaline rush and a “Hulk-like” energy brewing inside of the Star Trek filmmaker, he tried to lift the door up with all his strength, only to hear the gruesome snap of bones.
“So, I go and try and lift up this door, as any of us would, with a kind of like Hulk-I’m-gonna-lift-the-car-up-off-the-person-I-love energy. What I discover in doing that, are two things. One is, a hydraulic door cannot be lifted unless it wants to be lifted. And secondly, bones break. So, I feel this pop in my lower back and I think, what is that? Is that a muscle? Whatever. And all I’m trying to do is help my friend.”
Luckily enough, Abrams was reassured to know that Ford would soon recover with time after he was taken to the hospital the same night of the accident. But the downside was that they had to wait for three more months before they could should Ford’s part in the film due to the injury he sustained.
Yet another ordeal was that while the Blade Runner actor recovered just fine and was “on fire” when he came back to work, Abrams, on the other hand, only found out about his broken back a week after the whole thing happened. After that, he had to wear a brace for about 2 months for recovery, and that too, he didn’t let anyone else on the crew catch a hint of. But both Abrams and Ford soon recuperated in due time.
So this is what a Star Wars‘ recipe for disaster is like.