(PCM) Disney is well-known for keeping a tight grip on their property, protecting their copyrighted material with an unparalleled fierceness, but one fan was able to catch an early screening of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens thanks to a viral campaign.
Daniel Fleetwood, a 32 year-old Star Wars fan terminally ill with cancer, was able to watch the highly anticipated Star Wars film in a private home-screening after a viral social media campaign.
Fleetwood and his wife Ashely began a campaign to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens before it’s December 18th premiere date after he was diagnosed with inoperable spindle cell sarcoma in July and told by his doctors that he only had a few months to live and would most likely not make it to Christmas.
— Ashley Fleetwood (@pandorashley) October 29, 2015
After creating the hashtag #ForceforDaniel and tweeting about his wish, Fleetwood caught the attention of Star Wars stars Mark Hamil, aka Luke Skywalker, John Boyega, who plays ex-Stormtrooper Finn in the new film, and Peter Mayhew, aka Chewbacca, who all retweeted the hashtag in support of Fleetwood.
— Nerd Fu (@TheNerdFu) October 30, 2015
After going viral and touching the hearts of Star Wars fans everywhere, Daniel Fleetwood had his wish granted in the form of a private screening of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens at his home.
Ashley set up a GoFundMe page for Daniel’s medical expenses, explaining that as of September 20th, Daniel was given 1-2 months left to live and would be receiving hospice care at his home. After the screening, Ashley told TMZ that Disney brought their own equipment to play the film on Daniel’s TV to ensure there be as little chance of pirating the film as possible.
Ashley also told TMZ that while the couple can’t disclose any details about Star Wars: The Force Awakens due to a confidentiality agreement, Daniel loved the film.
J.J. Abrams, who also held a special screening of Star Trek Into Darkness for a terminally ill fan back in 2013, gave Daniel a call before his private screening, no doubt putting a smile on the Star Wars fan’s face.
Major props to Disney and all those involved in making Daniel’s dying wish a reality!