UK ‘Star Wars’ producers charged for set mishap that hurt Harrison Ford – USA TODAY

12 months ago Comments Off on UK ‘Star Wars’ producers charged for set mishap that hurt Harrison Ford – USA TODAY

The Star Wars honchos may be raking in galactic dough in ticket sales but now they’ve been charged with crimes in the United Kingdom due to an on-set accident that severely injured their leading man, Harrison Ford.

The British Health and Safety Executive, the UK’s health authority, announced Thursday it will prosecute Foodles Production (UK), a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. and the team that made Star Wars:The Force Awakens, on four charges of violating workplace health-and-safety laws.

In June 2014, while the movie was being filmed at Britain’s famed Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire near London, Ford was struck by a hydraulic door on the set of the Millennium Falcon — his character Han Solo’s spaceship.

Ford, who was 71 at the time, suffered a broken leg and was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford where he underwent surgery.

Production on the film had to be suspended for two weeks after the mishap, even though Disney had initially said it would not be necessary. Ford was seen later in London in a wheelchair and hobbling around in a cast and with a crutch.

Foodles Production said it was “disappointed” by the HSE’s decision, the BBC reported.

“Cast and crew safety is always a top priority,” its statement said. “We provided full co-operation during HSE’s investigation into the on-set accident that occurred in June 2014 and are disappointed in HSE’s decision.”

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

The first court hearing is scheduled for May 12 at a magistrate’s court near the studio.

Force Awakens is the seventh installment in the space saga and has taken more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office since its release two months ago.

Filming is underway on episode eight, directed by Rian Johnson and due for release late next year.

Contributing: The Associated Press

UK ‘Star Wars’ producers charged for set mishap that hurt Harrison Ford – USA TODAY

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