The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t hit theaters until next month, but a pair of special Star Wars fans got to see it early this week. Rowans Hospice in Hampshire, England put out a call on Twitter for a special screening of the film for a patient who is not expected to survive until the film’s Dec. 20 release date and wanted to see it with his young son. After the tweet got boosted on social media by the likes of Mark Hamill, Disney granted their request and privately screened the upcoming J.J. Abrams film at Rowans Hospice.
“On this Thanksgiving, we at @Disney are grateful to be able to share #TheRiseOfSkywalker with a patient and his family @RowansHospice,” Disney CEO Robert Iger tweeted on Thursday. “May the force be with you and with us all!”
On Friday morning, Rowans Hospice tweeted a photo of “a very nice man named Jonathan from Disney” and “a laptop that had a very important movie on it.” They also put out a statement on behalf of the patient, whose identity is being kept anonymous.
“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 patient said in his statement. “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! I still can’t believe it. The only way I can describe this to you is to say that this must be what it feels like to be told you have won a million pounds!”
Everyone else can see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it hits theaters on Dec. 20.
Can you help? We have a patient who's a HUGE #StarWars fan. Sadly, time is not on his side for the 20th Dec. His wish is to see the final Star Wars film #RiseOfSkywalker with his young son. If you know ANYBODY who might be able to make it happen, please share with them. Thank you— Rowans Hospice (@RowansHospice) November 26, 2019
Contact @Disney. They are the only ones who can make this happen. Good luck!— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 26, 2019
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
Full statement here:https://t.co/6KWl8jQHj1 pic.twitter.com/gfgxRXPeoe
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