With time running out, a hospice facility in England managed to secure a special advance screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for one of its patients, a dying Star Wars fan they said wouldn’t live to see the film’s December 20 release date.
The patient, who’s choosing to remain anonymous, was able to watch the film Friday morning, thanks to some behind-the-scenes mountain-moving by Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“I just want to say the biggest thank you to everyone that has helped to make this happen. During what is just a horrible situation to be in, you have helped to make some wonderful memories and bring some joy to my family,” the man said in a statement.
The hospice released a photo of the man and his son wearing Stormtrooper helmets and holding blasters, flanked by Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion, the Star Wars-themed costumed charity group.
Hospice employee Lisa Davies brought the patient’s wish to the attention of the staff. Over several days, the hospice used Twitter to get the attention of many people connected to Star Wars, including Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill. The request eventually made its way to Iger, who granted the wish.
“On this Thanksgiving, we at Disney are grateful to share The Rise of Skywalker with a patient and his family,” Iger tweeted Thursday.
“I am utterly speechless about what has happened. We cannot thank Disney enough for helping us to fulfill our patient’s wish,” Davies said.
The patient’s wife called the response to her husband’s wish “mind-blowing,” and she thanked the “incredible” members of “The massive Star Wars community” for their gifts and messages of support.
May the Force be with him.
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