A terminally ill Star Wars fan has been granted a private screening of the franchise’s upcoming new movie The Rise of Skywalker before it arrives in cinemas next month.
Disney CEO Robert Iger learned of the unidentified English fan’s illness and request to see the movie so granted his wish on Thanksgiving by organising a screening at his hospice, ahead of its December 19 UK release date.
“On this Thanksgiving, we at @Disney are grateful to be able to share #TheRiseOfSkywalker with a patient and his family @RowansHospice. May the force be with you and with us all!” Iger shared in a tweet.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) November 28, 2019
In a statement shared with ABC News after the screening, the man said “this must be what it feels like to be told you have won a million pounds!”
“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. I am a huge Star Wars fan and what I am going through is completely dire. Then to top it all, I thought I wasn’t going to see the film I have been waiting to see since 1977!” the statement reads.
The fan’s wife added: “What has happened over the past few days has been truly mind-blowing. From a simple conversation, to witnessing the out pouring of generosity has been amazing. The massive Star Wars community has been incredible.”
A dying Star Wars fan in England got to see #TheRiseOfSkywalker today at @RowansHospice with his family, thanks to @Disney and @RobertIger. Here’s a photo of the patient and his son, who wanted to remain safely anonymous. @ABC pic.twitter.com/gLOnANqYrT
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) November 29, 2019
Rowans Hospice shared a tweet that included a picture of “a very nice man named Jonathan from Disney” who delivered the movie to the patient.
This morning, a very nice man named Jonathan from Disney turned up at our Hospice with a laptop that had a very important movie on it. Our amazing patient has now seen #StarWars #RiseofSkywalker with his son ?
— Rowans Hospice (@RowansHospice) November 29, 2019
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill was also happy to see the news.
“Many thanks to @RobertIger & everyone at @Disney for making this happen! Hope the Rowan Hospice patient not only enjoyed the film, but gets an extra-special satisfaction in knowing he saw it before I did,” the actor said via Twitter.
Many thanks to @RobertIger & everyone at @Disney for making this happen! Hope the Rowan Hospice patient not only enjoyed the film, but gets an extra-special satisfaction in knowing he saw it before I did. https://t.co/qpECeomcCX
— Mark HoHoHoHamill (@HamillHimself) November 29, 2019
The new film will be released in the UK on December 19, and a new featurette was posted by the official Star Wars Twitter account in the early hours of Friday morning (November 29) to continue the build-up to the release of the movie.