During a gallant effort to rescue Harrison Ford from a hydraulic door, Star Wars director J.J. Abrams discovered he doesn't, after all, have superhuman strength.
In an in-depth interview with Howard Stern, Abrams discussed the incident which left Ford with a broken ankle, as well as some of the hottest topics surrounding The Force Awakens, which has a release date of December 18 in the US (that's just TWO WEEKS!).
"It Was Really Horrific"
The incident in question occurred when Harrison Ford got trapped under a hydraulic door attached to the Millennium Falcon. The Force of the door crushed down on top of the 73-year-old, snapping his ankle and leaving him in agonizing pain.
Abrams reflected on the incident involving one of his "idols":
"His leg broke at the ankle, and his ankle went sideways, like 90 degrees. It was really horrific. So I'm there with one of my idols, who's now down on the ground. Not an ideal scenario for him."
Ford was rushed to hospital, and his injuries were so bad he ended up missing an entire three months of filming.
"I Feel This Pop in My Lower Back"
Keen to help out his friend, Abrams ran to his aid, without taking a second to (Jar, Jar) blink, an action that was ultimately unsuccessful:
"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, 'f*ck, what is that? Is that a muscle?'"
All the effort turned out to be for nothing, when someone on set managed to move the door with the press of a button!
Such was his concern, Abrams spent the rest of the day checking in on Ford's recovery, before noticing that he'd injured himself during the incident.
During the interview, Abrams also tackled some other interesting points of discussion head on. Below are some of the best bits:
1. Why Was Luke Skywalker Left Out of the Trailer?
It appears the answer is Abrams wants to save some of the best bits for the full feature, rather than giving too much away. Personally, he prefers being left "asking questions than feeling they've been answered for me." He said:
"I really want to make sure we don't ruin the movie. I hate when I go and see a trailer and I feel I've just seen the whole movie - it drives me nuts! You don't have to show the whole story."
2. The Black Stormtrooper Controversy
Despairingly, this was an issue recently, with social media producing the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag due to John Boyega's skin color. The director struggled to comprehend why people would even see this as an issue – and rightly so. The 49-year-old has an epic response:
"The people complaining about that probably have bigger problems than 'there's a black Stormtrooper.'"
3. He's Not a Fan of 3D
Abrams admitted he's not a fan of the 3D format, and he "prefers to watch without glasses on." However, he did say that the extra dimension can add to a movie, and adding the capability to Star Wars wasn't a personal annoyance.
4. He Originally Turned Down the Opportunity to Direct!
Initially Abrams wanted to turn down the chance to direct, because he'd recently produced sequels to Mission Impossible and Star Trek. However, when he finally started preliminary negotiations, he realized it was the right project for him:
"We just started talking about what this thing could be, and it just, as we were talking about it I found myself suddenly on fire."
5. He Consulted LucasFilm Throughout Filming
In order to make sure the film was factually correct and fitting with the previous movies (and the extended universe), Abrams had constant dialogue with a contact at LucasFilm.
Apparently, there's some guy called Pablo who knows pretty much all there is to know about the franchise:
"Sometimes, three times a day, other times once a week or whatever, I would send him an email asking him questions about just this kind of thing.
"There's a whole extended universe that he also needed to reference, and things that frankly would be impossible to read all of and watch all of."