Daniel Fleetwood, a terminally ill Star Wars superfan who was given the chance to see an unfinished cut of J.J. Abrams’ reboot The Force Awakens, has died, according to his wife, Ashley, The Wrap reports. He was 32.
Fleetwood, a lifelong Star Wars fan, passed after a battle with the rare connective tissue cancer spindle cell sarcoma. In July, doctors gave him two months to live, all but crushing his chances of seeing The Force Awakens, which opens on December 18th. Ashley Fleetwood, however, sparked a social media campaign on her husband’s behalf after seeking information about early press screenings on Facebook.
The hashtag #ForceForDaniel quickly gained traction and received Twitter support from original Star Wars star Mark Hamill, as well as Force Awakens newcomers, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. On Instagram, Ridley wrote, “This one’s for you, Daniel Fleetwood! We will all do what we can to make your wish come true.”
Disney, Lucasfilm and Abrams soon agreed to organize a special screening for Fleetwood at his home, with the director himself calling to deliver the good news.
“Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilm made [Daniel’s] final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!” Ashley wrote on Facebook last Thursday, November 5th, after the screening. “I want to thank all the amazing people who helped make this happen, thank you beyond words! May the force be with you all.”
Upon hearing of Fleetwood’s passing, Boyega tweeted, “#ForceForDaniel glad you got to see the movie; more importantly, that you slept in peace. God bless you man x x you inspire me xx.”