A dying Star Wars fan has had his wish granted, after Disney arranged for him to see final Skywalker Saga movie The Rise of Skywalker — three weeks before its world premiere.
Staff at Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville, near Portsmouth, reached out to Disney CEO Bob Iger on behalf of the patient, who wishes to remain anonymous.
The company was able to arrange a special screening for the patient, whose wife described the experience as “truly mind-blowing” after a copy of the movie was sent to the hospice via courier.
Hospice staff had issued a plea to Disney on social media, saying that the patient was desperate to see the film with his young son, but that “time was not in his side”.
After the tweet was noticed both by Iger and Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, Disney made arrangements for the patient to see the movie.
“I just want to say the biggest thank you to everyone that has helped to make this happen,” the patient said in a statement.
He added: “During what is a such a horrible situation to be in, you have helped make some wonderful memories and bring some joy to my family.
"I am a huge Star Wars fan and what I am going through is completely dire — and to top it all I thought I was not going to see the film I have been waiting to see since 1977.
"I still can't believe it. The only way I can describe it is that I feel like I have won a million pounds.”
His wife added that she was “truly humbled” by the response both of Disney and of Star Wars fans who took up the cause on social media.
Iger tweeted to confirm that Disney was “grateful” to be able to share the film and the hospice responded with their thanks.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) November 28, 2019
Mr Iger, I wish we had the words to sum up what it means to the patient, the family & us. Everyone we spoke to at @Disney were as eager to make this happen as we were. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family & your colleagues. May the force be with you #WeAreTheSpark💚
— Rowans Hospice (@RowansHospice) November 28, 2019
Health care support worker Lisa Davies, who works with the patient, said: “The response from everyone, including the Star Wars community, has been absolutely phenomenal over the last few days.
“So a massive thank you to every single person that has shared our post and given their time to help make this possible.”
The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, is set to bring an end to the Skywalker Saga, which has run since the original film, A New Hope, in 1977.
Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac lead the cast, with Adam Driver back as Kylo Ren and Ian McDiarmid making an unexpected return as Emperor Palpatine.
The film will arrive in UK cinemas on 19 December.