Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams was interviewed by Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend, where the filmmaker answered questions — and addressed criticisms — about the hit film.
One of the more surprising bits of information came when Abrams talked about Harrison Ford's infamous on-set injury, when a door on the Millennium Falcon malfunctioned and the actor broke his leg. While certainly unfortunate, it turns out that having to work around Ford's injury allowed Abrams to tweak a critical portion of the film that wasn't quite working: The relationship of Finn and Rey, the film's leads. Abrams told Rock:
"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."
Some of the most memorable moments in film history happened by accident — "I'm walkin' here!" in Midnight Cowboy, or the comedic undertones of the police lineup scene in The Usual Suspects, for example — and it's sounding like this might be an example to add to the list.
Considering that Rey and Finn's banter is one of the strongest parts of the film — that scene where Rey is trying to fix the Falcon and Finn is basically useless comes to mind — it sounds like Ford's injury was truly a blessing in disguise.
The Force works in mysterious ways.