You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Terminally Ill ‘Star Wars’ Fan Dies Days After Seeing ‘The Force Awakens’

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.

More Film

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content