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Despite a rather accident-prone year, the 73 year-old Harrison Ford is chugging along nicely, stoking plenty of fan excitement with his surreal reprisal of Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Unfortunately for director J.J. Abrams, who tried to help Ford after his on-set leg injury last year, he got a firsthand lesson about the ironic dangers of grace-deprived good intentions when he suffered an injury of his own.
Appearing last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Abrams was detracted from his intended capacity as a producer on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to promote said movie, when the Star Wars fanboy in Stewart shifted topic. While remaining mum on any substantive details, the conversation lead Abrams into a rather interesting anecdote about Ford’s real-life innate baddassery. According to Abrams:
The guy is like a real-life superhero. He should have the Marvel logo above his name.
Abrams further explained that he was actually on hand on The Force Awakens set last year at the time Ford suffered a gruesome injury in which a hydraulic-powered door trapped, broke and twisted his ankle 90 degrees. Ford was apparently lying on the floor calm, even cracking jokes, despite the horrendous circumstances. Yet Abrams, not afraid to roll up his sleeves and pitch in to the manual labor-intensive effort of lifting the downed door, ended up providing substantive proof to the saying, "no good deed goes unpunished" when he felt an ominous pop in his back.
A doctor visit a few days later revealed that the "pop" in question was actually attributed to the sound of the director’s strained L4 breaking. Possibly not wanting to further stoke the circus of media speculation regarding the status of The Force Awakens that erupted after Ford’s injury was made public, Abrams kept his own injury on the down-low, secretly wearing a back-brace underneath his clothes for months. However, in an insanely ironic moment a few months after the incident(s), Harrison Ford arrived back on the set, spry as ever, sprinting across the stage to a still-injured Abrams in a way he describes as "faster than I will ever run." As Abrams describes this moment before going into his best Woody Allen impression:
I felt like the most nebbishy Jewish director ever. He’s a Miracle Man, and I’m like, ‘Excuse me, Mr. Darth Vader, could you be more evil?'"
As much as it sounds like some type of Chuck Norris-esque, meme-centric hyperbole, the almost comical constitution of Harrison Ford has been proven to be genuine after having not only come back quickly from a ghastly ankle injury, but later experiencing a crash landing of the single-engine plane he was piloting in March. Apparently even that horrendous incident was not enough to keep Ford down for the count long, as he recovered quickly and even showed up at Comic-Con a few short months later no worse for wear.
For J.J. Abrams, however, it seems that even basking in that badassery resulted in a residual rampage of misfortune that broke his back. Thankfully, he can at least hold his head high that it didn’t stop him from completing The Force Awakens, as it readies it highly-anticipated release on December 18.