Every Star Wars fan on the planet is waiting anxiously for December 18th, and the release of The Force Awakens, the continuation of the saga that many of us thought we’d never see. For one fan, though, the wait is about more than nerdy impatience.
Daniel Fleetwood is a 32-year-old Star Wars fan from the Houston area who suffers from a rare form of cancer called spindle cell sarcoma. According to a GoFundMe page set up by his wife, Ashley, to help cover medical bills, he was told on September 1 that he had “1-2 months left to live,” making it very unlikely that he’ll be able to see The Force Awakens on its December 18 release date. So, Fleetwood’s family and friends started #ForceForDaniel, a social media campaign petitioning Disney to let him see the film early. What started as a simple Facebook post quickly went viral, generating local, national, and now international news coverage. Now, #ForceForDaniel has reached the Force Awakens cast.
Over the weekend, both John Boyega (who plays Finn) and Mark Hamill (who plays, of course, Luke Skywalker) shared the tweet below, which includes a link to a local news story about Fleetwood and his wish.
So, it’s safe to assume that any Star Wars fan with an internet connection knows about Fleetwood and his struggle. The question now is: Will it happen? So much about The Force Awakens remains shrouded in secrecy, despite three trailers and numerous merchandise launches, and it’s very clear Disney and company are working hard to avoid as many spoilers as possible. There is a precedent for this, though, at least as far as director J.J. Abrams is concerned. In 2013, the famously secretive Abrams granted a terminally ill Star Trek fan’s wish to see Star Trek Into Darkness months before its theatrical release. We don’t know if that will carry over into Star Wars (this is Disney we’re talking about this time around), but I for one hope Daniel Fleetwood gets to go to a galaxy far, far away one last time.