by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer
It’s sad when life imitates art like this, but in an uplifting story much like the Star Wars love letter-film Fanboys, one terminally ill fan got to see an early cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Daniel Fleetwood has been a fan of Star Wars since he was a young boy and like every other SW fan he was eagerly anticipating the release of the next chapter of the saga. But life seemed to have other plans.
Fleetwood was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare connective tissue cancer, and back in July he was only given two months to live. But he surpassed the doctor’s prognosis and thought he might make it to mid-December to see Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie again.
However he recently got word that his condition had taken a turn for the worse and he didn’t have much longer.
Not wanting to give up without a fight, Daniel’s friends and family started a social media campaign to try and get the powers-that-be at Disney and Lucasfilm to give him an early screening of the film, using the hashtag #ForceForDaniel.
Soon Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley took up his cause and really got the word out there.
And the family is happy to report that Disney and director J.J. Abrams have some mighty big hearts, as they gave this brave young man a screening of the unedited cut of The Force Awakens this past Thursday.
As a thank-you, Fleetwood’s wife Ashley posted the following message via Facebook:
To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family and awesome strangers: Daniels final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilm made his final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!
Daniel just finished watching an unedited version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! We would like to thank the awesomely talented JJ Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted! We also would like to thank Lynne, Ben and Anahuac for coming to our home and screening the movie for Daniel. Lastly I want to thank ALL the amazing people who helped make this happen, thank you beyond words!!! May the force be with you all