Update, 11/10: Terminally ill “Star Wars” fan Daniel Fleetwood has died, four days after Disney and Lucasfilm granted his wish and allowed him to see an early cut of “The Force Awakens” before its release in theaters.
Fleetwood, who suffered from an aggressive form of cancer known as spindle cell sarcoma, feared he wouldn’t live to see the film’s official debut on Dec. 18, after being given two months to live in September. The 32-year-old Texas resident said he’d been a big “Star Wars” fan since he was young.
Fleetwood’s wife Ashley confirmed his passing in a Facebook post on Monday evening, writing, “Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force. He passed in his sleep and in peace. He will always be my idol and my hero.” The post was accompanied by “the last selfie we ever took together,” with the hashtag #ForceForDaniel, which helped bring the couple’s campaign to the attention of the stars and producers of the sci-fi franchise on social media.
“Force Awakens” star John Boyega shared a message of support for Fleetwood on Twitter after learning of his death.
Fleetwood was shown an unedited version of “Force Awakens” at home on Nov. 5, Ashley Fleetwood announced on Facebook.
“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!” she wrote. “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!”
Stars including Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew had previously joined with fans on social media to express their support for Fleetwood in the hope his wish would be granted.
This is not the first time Abrams has granted a dying fan’s wish to see one of his films ahead of its release date. In 2013, he screened a rough cut of “Star Trek: Into Darkness” for a fan who died days afterward.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” bows in theaters Dec. 18.