The company that created the hydraulic Millennium Falcon door that injured Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens two years ago has pleaded guilty to failing to protect actors and workers on set. Foodles Productions, which The New York Times reported was a Disney subsidiary that was named ridiculously in an effort to fool and repel Star Wars fans from filming sites, said it was responsible on two counts: failing to ensure safety and failing to keep Ford and other actors away from hazardous situations.
A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive, which regulates workplace health and safety in Great Britain, called the incident “foreseeable” and said that the power of the door that injured the actor “was comparable to the weight of a small car.” Ford suffered two broken bones in his left leg and a dislocated ankle when the door closed down on him, an event that took place at London’s Pinewood Studios in June 2014. He had to be airlifted from the set.
“The safety of our cast and crew was always a top priority throughout the production,” a rep for Foodles said, according to the Times. It also said that it had cooperated with the investigation.
Prosecutors claimed that the accident could have been deadly had there not been an emergency stop mechanism. A lawyer for the company said it wished to dispute just how at risk Ford was during the incident. The penalty, which the Times said would mostly likely be a fine, will be determined on August 22nd.
Ford humorously demonstrated how the accident took place on The Tonight Show last December, as he broke apart a Han Solo action figure. He ripped of its leg during the demonstration. Ford said that it was J.J. Abrams who closed the door on him.
On The Jonathan Ross Show in the U.K., Ford said that the doors in the original trilogy were operated by pulley, “but now we had lots of money and technology, and so they built a fucking great hydraulic door which closed at light speed.” He said that he had been talking to Abrams at the time of the accident. “Somebody said, ‘I wonder what this is,’ and the door hit me on my left hip and it flung my left leg up and dislocated my ankle.” On that show, he said he didn’t know who pressed the button. “I know he feels as badly about it as you do,” the actor told the talk-show host.
When Rolling Stone asked the actor in December if he saw any irony or humor in being hit by the Millennium Falcon, he said it had dawned on him with time. “Irony requires a certain amount of distance,” he said. “At the moment, I didn’t have the distance to be. But I do see the irony in it, yeah.”