‘Star Wars’ Producers Charged Over Harrison Ford Accident

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Courtesy of Disney

The British government has issued criminal charges against producers of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for alleged violations over an on-set accident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg.

The Health and Safety Executive said Thursday it had charged Disney subsidiary Foodles Production (U.K.) Ltd. with four violations of workplace health and safety laws.

“By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers — this is as true on a film set as a factory floor,” it said. “We have investigated thoroughly and believe that we have sufficient evidence to bring the case to court.”

Ford broke his leg in June 2014, after he was hit by a hydraulic door while filming a scene with the Millennium Falcon at Pinewood Studios near London. Production on the film was suspended for two weeks after the injury to Ford, who portrays the iconic Han Solo in the film.

The Millenium Falcon is the spaceship piloted by Solo. Ford was 71 at the time of accident.

A spokesperson for Foodles Production said in response: “Cast and crew safety is always a top priority. We provided full cooperation during HSE’s investigation into the on-set accident that occurred in June 2014 and are disappointed in HSE’s decision.”

The first court hearing  is scheduled for May at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens”  has grossed more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office since its release two months ago.

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  1. Harrison when I said break a leg I didn’t think you’d consider me important… … may the power be with you particularly when you’re flying a little plane…

  2. Me says:

    Criminal?! As in, intent to cause harm? I seriously doubt that. Negligent may be, but criminal?!

  3. That's What She says:

    What about the accidental cauterized chest wound and subsequent chasm fall that Harrison underwent? Or the carbon scoring hibernation and temporary blindness? The sudden bouts of singing during Life Day? Where was the Health and Safety inspector then?????

  4. Looks like Health and Safety wants their piece of the Star Wars pie!!!

  5. TM says:

    Who are the producers named in the indictment? I’m surprised Variety has not provided us with that information.
    Most projects have multiple producers, all of whom attempt to elbow each other out of the way at award time with the PGA asserting itself as the final judge as to who is truly worthy of the title.
    It will be interesting to see if there is the same eagerness to lay claim to the credit of “producer” when it is a pending indictment rather than an Oscar that is being awarded. Perhaps this is an occasion where the PGA designation can have some real meaning.

  6. Sanman$ says:

    Harrison when I said break a leg I didn’t think you’d take me seriously……may the force be with you especially when your flying a small plane…

  7. Nanny Mo says:

    I’d be interested in knowing if Ford is upset by the accident. If he isn’t and felt like it was just an accident that happened, why should the Brits get involved? Government is getting too powerful. If the actor injured feels it was non-neglegant, then it shouldn’t be the governments business. Of, course if Ford lodged the complaint, that is a different matter.

    • sbrentnall says:

      It’s not a question of whether they “should” be involved – it was a workplace accident that took place on UK soil, which means that legally, they are automatically involved. The Health and Safety Dept. is involved in ALL workplace accidents.

  8. fredw says:

    Kudos to the Brits.
    Would sure like to see inspection of art schools – lung safety standards far below industry.

  9. Jim says:

    Sounds like someone over there is trying to make a name for themselves. Fines and civil penalties? Sure….. but “criminal” charges sounds like a stretch. Negligence is generally not considered to be a criminal act. There usually has to be intent to commit a crime or a serious and reckless disregard for probable harm.

  10. Considering this will all be plead down to a fine, it sounds like the British Government is looking for a payday.

  11. Sherry says:

    It doesn’t matter if safety is their top priority they failed this time. They should take this time to learn from it, not criticise Heath & Safety’s decision. Accidents happen, of course, but if all steps weren’t taken To avoid them then HSE’ll get you and rightly so.

    When Top Gear and host Richard had his tramatic and life altering accident while filming HSE did a thorough investigation and found the producers of Top Gear took every precaution. The accident was that, an unavoidable accident. Obviously, with Harrison Ford’s case they found that there were other preventions that weren’t in place or even considered. Disney doesn’t have to be happy about the decision but they should do their best to learn from it.

    • Mjkbk says:

      Since we don’t known specifically what evidence HSE’s decision was based on, we can’t claim it is above criticism. Yet.

      And if we must always “learn” from government decisions rather than criticize them……well, government-employed humans can be just as fallible and prone to corruption as their corporate counterparts.

  12. Squad One says:

    they should file charges against me for reading both of your comments!

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