'Solo: A Star Wars Story': Chewbacca Saved Han Solo IRL
As it turns out, that huge flea-bitten furball from Star Wars named Chewbacca actually saved his best friend Han Solo in real life.
Hardcore Star Wars fans might remember the incident in 2014 during The Force Awakens production when a door on the Millennium Falcon set closed and fractured Harrison Ford’s leg. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly published Tuesday, Solo star Joonas Suotamo (who’s played Chewbacca since A Force Awakens) confirmed that he was one of the people who immediately lept into action to save his co-star, and he did so while wearing his Chewbacca costume. Back in 2014, Ford described the incident in more vague terms: “Another guy, a friend of mine who was there — big man, strong man … he was there also, trying to pull the door off.” That “big” and “strong” man was indeed Suotamo, who stands at 6 feet, 11 inches, but he’s probably a little bit taller with his Wookiee costume on.
“We were terrified when that thing happened,” Suotamo said of the whole experience in the new interview. “I thought that my hero from childhood was no more! I was sure of it. And then apparently when they finally lifted that hydraulic thing, he just walked off and called his own helicopter.” The door in question had hydraulic power, so when it malfunctioned there wasn’t actually a way to lift it with physical strength, even if you are a super-strong Wookiee.
Ford suffered some fairly serious injuries from the incident. It struck him on the left hip as he was turning and pinned him to the floor, dislocating his left ankle and fracturing both bones. Ouch. And he wasn’t the only one. Director J.J. Abrams also attempted to lift the door up alongside Suotamo, and broke a disc in his spine in the process.
Thankfully, everybody survived the incident. Well, everyone except for Han Solo, who totally got murdered by his own son by the end of The Force Awakens.