J.J. Abrams Broke His Back While Filming 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

J.J. Abrams - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

J.J. Abrams - H 2015

The director was trying to lift the Millennium Falcon door after it broke Harrison Ford's ankle.

Harrison Ford famously broke his ankle last year while filming the upcoming Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens. But what didn't leak out from the highly secretive set is that director J.J. Abrams also broke his back at the same time, while he was trying to help Ford.

Ford, who's reprising his role as Han Solo, broke his ankle when the hydraulic door of the Millennium Falcons accidentally pushed down, bending the actor's ankle 90 degrees. Abrams explained on Thursday night's Daily Show, though, that he too got injured at the same time, breaking his back as he was trying to help lift the door after Ford injury. 

Abrams, in keeping with his top-secret approach to movies and TV shows he works on, didn't tell anyone about his own injury, he told Stewart, revealing he wore a back brace under his clothes. And, Abrams explained, Ford seemed to recover much faster than he did.

"The guy is like a real life superhero," Abrams said of Ford. He explained that a few months later, he was still wearing the back brace when, "Harrison Ford, from across the stage, sprints at me faster than I will ever run. And he's like, 'Hey J.J.!' And I'm like, 'Hi, Harrison Ford.' Ooh it hurts to talk that way. I felt like the most nebbishy Jewish director ever."

Stewart wondered why no one noticed what would seem to be a bulge under Abrams' clothes, but the director said it actually held everything in, like Spanx.

"I felt a little bit like I was on Baywatch," Abrams said of wearing the brace.

Abrams was ostensibly on the show to promote Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which he produced, but all Stewart wanted to talk about was Star Wars. Abrams, however, did want to pay tribute to the outgoing Daily Show host, a week before Stewart's final episode.

"The narrative you give us to help navigate the madness that is this world cannot be overstated," he said. "The hole that will be left behind by your absence will be seismic."

A humble Stewart chimed in, "You know what will fill it? Other television."

By paying tribute to Stewart, Abrams also managed to deflect the Daily Show host's request for him to tell him "everything that happens" in Abrams' upcoming Star Wars film.