During principal photography on Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, franchise legend Harrison Ford broke his leg on the set, which postponed filming for a period of time. Today, the actor unfortunately suffered a much more serious accident, as a vintage World War II plane he was flying crash landed on a California golf course. Ford sustained cuts to his head and was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment, where it was said he was in fair to moderate condition.
An aviation enthusiast, Ford has been involved in a plane crash before. In 1999, a Bell chopper he was flying with another aviation professional went down while the duo was practicing power recovery autorotations. However, that incident was merely a “hard landing” in Ford’s words and neither pilot was injured.
TMZ obtained audio of Ford talking to Santa Monica air control shortly after he had taken off. The actor reported engine failure on his plane and requested for an emergency return to the airport. At this time, it is unknown exactly what was wrong with the engine to cause it to malfunction. Ford was the only person in the plane and no one else was said to be injured.
When the story originally broke, the Los Angeles fire department said that Ford was in critical condition, and later the Santa Monica fire department stated that the actor was “breathing and conscious” and his condition was “fair to moderate.” Luckily, it seems to be the latter, as Ford’s son Ben tweeted the following update after visiting his father in the hospital:
At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.— Chef Ben Ford (@ChefBenFord) March 6, 2015
At a press conference held in the afternoon, Pacific time, authorities confirmed that Ford’s injuries are not life-threatening. As one would expect, Ford will need some time to fully heal, but it is relieving to hear that he is going to be OK when it’s all said and done. It seems that the extent of the damage was the gashes to the head, as there were no visible broken bones and Ford was seen moving his extremities.
Ford’s longtime co-star Peter Mayhew, who portrays Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, expressed his thoughts on his friend’s recovery after the accident, injecting some levity into a frightening situation by comparing Captain Solo to another geek community icon:
Currently, it’s unknown how this incident will impact Ford’s acting career (or if it will at all). Recently, it was announced that he was set to reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the upcoming Blade Runner 2, and his Han Solo character may be included in Star Wars: Episode VIII (though that has yet to be confirmed). Fortunately, it does not seem that injuries sustained will prevent him from pursuing future film projects. He may have some nasty scars to deal with, but other than that it looks like he will be fine once he gets back on his feet.
But whether or not we see Ford back on the big screen in the post-Force Awakens future is trivial at this point. What matters most is that Ford takes whatever time he needs to get his personal health back in order before we start worrying about the state of some movies. We all here at Screen Rant wish Ford a speedy and full recovery.
Ford can next be seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.