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Disney fulfills dying man's wish to see 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'


November 11, 2015

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The force was strong with 32-year-old Daniel Fleetwood. Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and given mere months to live back in July, the lifelong Star Wars fan was afraid he wouldn’t make it to December to see the new installment of the franchise, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

His wife, Ashley Fleetwood, took to social media in an attempt to get her husband his wish to see the movie. Using the hashtag #ForceForDaniel, she spread his story around social media, asking if Disney would allow Daniel to see an early screening.

The story quickly spread, and it wasn’t long before cast members themselves took up Daniel's case. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and John Boyega (Finn) both retweeted Ashley’s original post. And Daisy Ridley, playing new female protagonist Rey, sent an Instagram message of support.

And it appears Disney listened. Thursday night, Ashley Fleetwood posted the following to their Facebook page:

“To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family and awesome strangers: Daniel's final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilms 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 ‪#‎forcefordaniel!!!!”

This doesn’t mark the first time that director J.J. Abrams has gone out of his way for a fan. The director did a similar thing for Star Trek fan Daniel Craft in 2013. Abrams allowed a private screening for Craft — who was terminally ill with cancer — to see “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”

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