Dying Star Wars fan seeks early screening of The Force Awakens

Daniel Fleetwood, 32, is terminally ill from rare form of cancer but hopes to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens before he dies.
Daniel Fleetwood, 32, is terminally ill from rare form of cancer but hopes to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens before he dies.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

CHICAGO (AFP) - A terminally ill Star Wars fan is hoping producers will grant his dying wish of an early screening of the latest instalment of the sci-fi blockbuster.

An online campaign to support his quest drew the attention of Mark Hamill - the actor who plays the legendary Luke Skywalker - who retweeted two Twitter posts hoping to bring the "Force for Daniel". John Boyega, who plays the lead character Finn in the upcoming The Force Awakens, also retweeted a Tweet about the campaign.

Mr Daniel Fleetwood, 32, has been a fan since he was eight or nine years old. He is dying of a rare form of connective tissue cancer.

His doctors told him in July that he only had a couple of months left to live, but he says his desire to see The Force Awakens - set for wide release on Dec 18 - is helping him to hold on.

"I just love Star Wars," he told KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas. "With everything I got, I love Star Wars."

He is spending his last days at his Texas home in hospice care with his wife, Ashley, who is grateful for his love of the movie.

"It's a commitment and he still has that commitment, that drive, and that love and I think that it's a beautiful thing," she said. "Even if it's just a movie. That's magic for a lot of people."

Unfortunately, they don't think he will be able to last another six weeks.

"Judging by how progressive the disease has gotten in the past two months, I really don't think that I'll be able to make it," he said as he rocked back and forth, wearing a shirt declaring Vader Don't Care.

"Please do what you can. Help me."

There is a precedent for his request: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams granted a similar wish to a Star Trek fan, Daniel Craft, who died shortly after watching a rough cut of Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.