Five days after Disney and Lucasfilm fulfilled his dying wish to see The Force Awakens, lifelong Star Wars fan Daniel Fleetwood has succumbed to cancer. Earlier today, his wife Ashley posted on Facebook:
Fleetwood, who grew up watching the franchise movies with his father in Texas, was 32. He was diagnosed in 2012 with spindle cell sarcoma, which quickly spread to his lungs. When it became near-certain that he would not live to see the December opening of The Force Awakens, Ashley launched #ForceForDaniel on Twitter, hoping to get an early screening. The tweet went viral, was widely covered in news and social media and drew the attention of team Star Wars, including director J.J. Abrams and actors Mark Hamill and John Boyega. Two years ago, Abrams had screened an early version of Star Trek Into Darkness for a man who died not long after.
On November 5, Ashley’s efforts paid off. On her Facebook page, she wrote:
“To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family and awesome strangers: Daniel’s final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilms made his final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!
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!”