Trending

Terminally ill Star Wars fan sees Force Awakens a month early

A terminally ill Star Wars fan watched the new movie The Force Awakens weeks before its widespread release after a successful social media campaign got the attention of the filmmakers.

'With everything I got, I love Star Wars,' said Daniel Fleetwood

A terminally ill Star Wars fan watched the new movie The Force Awakens on Thursday evening weeks before its widespread release after a successful social media campaign got the attention of the filmmakers. 

The hashtag #ForceForDaniel was coined by Ashley Fleetwood on Twitter on behalf of her partner Daniel, in an attempt  to convince Disney, Lucasfilm and production company Bad Robot to make the special screening happen. 

"Today, the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilm made his final dream come true," Fleetwood wrote on Facebook on Thursday

Daniel Fleetwood, 32, of Spring, Texas, was diagnosed two years ago with spindle cell sarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue, Ashley wrote on a GoFundMe page she created to help cover his medical bills. 

Despite surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer spread to his lungs. On Sept. 1, doctors told him he had one to two months to live. 

In October, Fleetwood told KPRC-TV in Houston that he doesn't expect to live to see the movie in its theatrical release on Dec. 18. 

"I just love Star Wars," he said. "With everything I got, I love Star Wars."

Daniel's story and the hashtag quickly went viral and was retweeted by Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew and John Boyega

The social news website Reddit also helped promote the campaign

"We would like to thank the awesomely talented J.J. Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted!" wrote Ashley Fleetwood.

Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, took to Twitter to thank the makers of the upcoming sequel.

Abrams has a history of granting this sort of request. In 2013, Abrams allowed Daniel Craft, a New York-based film buff, to see an early cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness nearly five months ahead of its release after Craft was diagnosed with cancer. 

Craft died just days later

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now