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Dying Star Wars Fan Gets Early Screening Of 'The Force Awakens'

Daniel Fleetwood, a 32-year-old Texan suffering from terminal cancer, is a dedicated Star Wars fan. Earlier this week, he told People magazine that he had viewed the films over and over since he was first introduced to them as an eight year old, "analyz[ing] every little detail."

Fleetwood, who is suffering from spindle cell carcinoma, recently discovered that cancer tumors have filled 90 percent of his lungs. Surviving until the December 18th release date for the latest Star War film — "The Force Awakens — was far from a sure thing. "If I got to see the movie," told People, "I might actually die from happiness."

A social media campaign, #ForceForDaniel, drummed up support for Fleetwood's effort and Director J.J. Abrams granted his wish. On Thursday, Fleetwood's wife Ashley posted on Facebook:

"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!"

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the film, said on Twitter that he was elated by the news.

This is not the first time Abrams has allowed a fan who is terminally ill an early viewing of one of his films. In 2013, he granted a similar wish to a Star Trek fan, Daniel Craft, who died shortly after watching a rough cut of Star Trek Into Darkness.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alexandra Starr
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