Skip to main content

J.J. Abrams helped a dying Star Wars fan see The Force Awakens early

J.J. Abrams helped a dying Star Wars fan see The Force Awakens early


The movie's cast members supported #ForceforDaniel in recent weeks

Share this story

A terminally ill Star Wars fan had his wish realized this week when he was shown an unedited version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens over a month before its official release. Daniel Fleetwood is the man at the heart of #ForceforDaniel, a Twitter campaign that was created to convince Disney, Lucasfilm, and Bad Robot (director J.J. Abrams' production company) to show Fleetwood the newest film in the series before its December 18th premiere. (Fleetwood was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in July; he was given two months to live.)

The campaign picked up traction thanks to supportive tweets and retweets from Star Wars actors like Mark Hamill and John Boyega, and all of the extra attention paid off. According to a Facebook post by Fleetwood's partner Ashley, The Force Awakens was screened for him at his home a day after receiving a call from Abrams. "I just read this and am elated for Daniel & his family," wrote Hamill in a tweet this afternoon. "Thanks to the powers-that-be for making his dream come true." This isn't the first time Abrams has brought a sick fan joy with an advance screening: he did the same for Daniel Craft with an early showing of Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013 just days before Craft's ultimate death.

I hope Fleetwood enjoyed The Force Awakens, and I hope his friends take it easy on him with requests for plot details and spoilers.

Verge Video: Now you can bring the BB-8 home