J.J. Abrams related how Harrison Ford’s on-set injury saved Rey and Finn’s relationship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Last year, while shooting Star Wars: The Force Awakens scenes on the Millennium Falcon, a door on the Falcon dropped on Harrison Ford’s ankle and broke it. Everyone was horrified by this accident, and director J.J. Abrams got a broken back trying to help lift the door off his star; but as Abrams said at Tribeca Film Festival, despite all the injuries sustained, the delay in production caused by Ford’s broken ankle was a blessing in disguise (via i09).
"“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.”"
Sometimes you need to step back and re-calibrate. And sometimes, something dramatic has to happen to force you (no pun intended) into that step back. It’s just unfortunate it came at the cost of two painful injuries.
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We couldn’t be happier for this change, though. Finn and Rey were a delight to watch interact, especially after they successfully pilot and shoot their way out of Jakku, when they geek out with each other over what they accomplished. There’s something sweet about their relationship, and much of that sweetness would have been lost if they had been forever arguing. You can already sense a little bit of tension between them, though it’s of a more annoyed than angry nature, when Rey is trying to get Finn to hand her the right tool to fix the Falcon. But their team-up has just begun, so a little mistrust and irritation is to be expected. Ultimately, though, that seed of friendship seen in the corridor of the Falcon is what drives their relationship going forward.
Reminiscing about Ford’s injury makes me wonder what kinds of mishaps will occur during the filming of Episode VIII. Let’s just hope none of the accidents involve broken bones, despite the good luck they seems to bring to Star Wars films.