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SLASHFILM – The hype and buzz around Star Wars: The Force Awakens is starting to die down along with the film’s box office haul (it lost to The Revenant and Ride Along 2 last weekend), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t cool stuff to hear about the sci-fi blockbuster. In fact, just one day after the film hit theaters back in December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had a conversation with some of the key filmmakers on the film, including director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, writer Lawrence Kasdan, star Harrison Ford and more. That conversation is finally available to watch online.

 

Here’s the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel from The Academy Conversations:

 

In addition to the aforementioned names, the panel also includes production designer Rick Carter, visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett and costume designer Michel Kaplan. Even though it’s only a 15-minute talk, they provide some decent insight into their mindset when taking on such a Herculean task as making a new Star Wars movie.

 

Lawrence Kasdan talks about intentionally evoking the feeling people had when they saw the first Star Wars while Harrison Ford talks about how he genuinely had a great time every day that he was on set. That probably doesn’t apply to the day a hydraulic door broke his leg, but you get what he’s trying to say.

 

You can check out even more cool chats with the filmmakers and cast members from some of 2015’s biggest movies, such as The Hateful Eight and Creed, at the Oscars YouTube page right here. And if you’re looking for some more recent insight into the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, check out our interview with Neal Scanlan — creature & droid effects creative supervisor, creature shop concept designer, creature shop head — and SFX supervisor Chris Corbould.



E! ONLINE – While millennials were barely a glimmer in their parent’s eyes in 1992, Harrison Ford was already a bonafide movie star.

 

At 40 years old, the acclaimed Hollywood hunk had already won audiences’ hearts in a handful of blockbuster roles, including Jack Trainer in Working Girl, the adventurous Indiana Jones, and—of course—as Han Solo in the beloved Star Wars franchise.

 

When he sat down with E! News 23 years ago, despite decades of overwhelming fame, he couldn’t shake the memory of his early years as a struggling onscreen hopeful.

 

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USA TODAY — Carrie Fisher calls it a real disturbance in the Force: That time the Millennium Falcon tried to eat Han Solo.

 

Harrison Ford’s second day of filming on the British set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in theaters Friday) ended abruptly when a mishap involving a hydraulic door broke his left leg and injured his ankle.

 

But that was only one incident in the actor’s year of living dangerously — not even nine months later, Ford crashed his vintage single-engine plane on a golf course soon after taking off from Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The injury tally for that scary, headline-making accident: one dislocated right ankle, one shattered pelvis and one broken back.

 

The 73-year-old actor is fairly nonchalant. But Fisher (still the Leia to Ford’s Han Solo), who was elsewhere on the lot that day, recalls that “literally, the air was wrong. … And then you saw someone’s face. It was bad.”

 

Ford remembers what happened: “The door hit me at my waistline with enough speed and force so that, because I was turned to the right, my left leg extended to its fullest extent and the weight of my boot dislocated my ankle forward. And then when my leg slapped down because I was driven to the ground by the door, that’s when I broke both bones in my leg.”

 

The pain was pretty bad — “(Expletive), yeah, it hurt!” Ford exclaims — but the initial shock at least lessened it. He had the presence of mind to ask for his phone and call an aviator acquaintance who had worked for a medical helicopter service.
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“I like people to go away from meeting me … feeling the same way,” Ford told BuzzFeed News. “And that is to say, not abused. Taken seriously as another human being.”

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BUZZFEED – Star Wars has been an unmistakable force in Harrison Ford’s life for nearly 40 years, but until he appeared at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2015 — his first public appearance after a plane crash in March — the 73-year-old star had not once experienced the full magnitude of Star Wars fandom in person.

 

“It was gratifying,” Ford said calmly of seeing 6,500 Star Wars fanatics roaring in unison at the mere sight of him. “It was encouraging. It was nice.”

 

Ford has never been one for hyperbole — and many observed that the fan reception at Comic-Con moved him to tears.

 

“Listen, I mean, I cry when they announce my bus stop,” he told BuzzFeed News with a hint of a smile. “I’m not made of stone. I recognize the warmth of the greeting, and I was pleased. I was surprised. And I was delighted.”

 

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cover MEN’S JOURNALWith a terrifying plane crash behind him, a wildly anticipated return as Star wars’ Han Solo, and Steven Spielberg calling about Indiana Jones, can Harrison Ford finally admit the force is with him?


“That’s where I crashed.”

 

Harrison Ford is at the controls of his green-and-white Bell 407 helicopter, hovering above the Penmar golf course, where eight months earlier the 73-year-old actor crash-landed his vintage World War II plane shortly after takeoff. Ford suffered a broken pelvis and ankle and a scalp Laceration requiring five weeks in the hospital followed by six weeks of rehab at home confined to his bed, a wheelchair, and crutches.

 

Ford had been planning on a 20-minute flight. He’d gone mountain biking that morning and felt good. As always, he’d performed a meticulous preflight check, and everything seemed fine as he took the open-cockpit, single-­­engine Ryan ST3KR to 1,100 feet. Then the engine died, and all he could hear was the wind. He radioed the control tower at Santa Monica Airport.

 

“Ryan 178 engine failure, request immediate return.”

 

“Ryan 178, runway 21 clear to land.”

 

Ford knew he’d never make it to 21.

 

“I’ll have to go to three.”

 

“Ryan 178, runway three clear to land.”

 

Ford woke up at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center five days later. “My first question was, ‘Did I kill anybody on the ground?’? ” he says. He doesn’t remember the crash. “I knew I wasn’t going to make the runway,” Ford says, “so I was going to the golf course. What I regret more than anything is that I don’t actually remember the maneuvering, what decisions I made, after I decided I was going to the golf course.”

 

That Ford didn’t kill or injure anybody on the ground was a remarkable feat of flying. The small, nine-hole course is bordered by residential streets interspersed with parks, a day care center, and a playground. Had he missed the golf course, there might have been a different ending to the story.

 

“When the engine quit, my training had prepared me to deal with it in a way,” says Ford. “I really didn’t get scared. I just got busy. I knew what I was going to do, and I knew how to do it. The mantra aviators carry around in our heads is: Fly the airplane, first thing. Fly the airplane — even if it doesn’t have an engine, fly. Don’t give up that ship, matey. And even though I don’t remember the details of it, I guess I was able to do that, because the way I landed, the wings were level. I didn’t stall it. I’m here.”

 

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause was a problem with the carburetor that would have been virtually impossible to detect during maintenance. The pilot was blameless.

 

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BMAG – This will be a day long remembered.

 

The Ford was with us at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday, as 3,000 rabid Star Wars fans gathered for a glimpse of the great man.

 

The 73-year-old Hollywood legend walked the red carpet and mingled with fans at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Fan Event, which transformed the Opera House Forecourt into a galactic menagerie worthy of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

 

The fans, many wearing homemade costumes and brandishing collectibles that they hoped to have signed by their hero, spent the day enjoying Star Wars-themed beats mixed by a DJ in a Stormtrooper helmet, fan challenges hosted by the affable Jay Laga’aia, and ‘activations’ and presentations from the likes of Optus, Google and robot toy manufacturer Sphero, who brought a life-size, working model of break-out Star Wars: The Force Awakens droid BB-8 out on stage.

 

Everybody in attendance, however, knew that this was mere window dressing until Han Solo himself arrived on the scene.

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Ford spent almost half an hour greeting starstruck fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs, before engaging in a lively Q&A with Laga’aia on stage.

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