Star Wars means a lot of things to a lot of people from all over the world. The franchise has brought joy to millions over the last 40+ years and recently helped out one terminally ill fan. Earlier this week, Rowans Hospice in Hampshire, England reached out on social media to see if there was any way one of their terminally ill patients could get a chance to see The Rise of Skywalker ahead of the December 20th release date. They tweeted at Mark Hamill and J.J. Abrams and eventually got a response from Disney, who made it happen, thanks to Bob Iger.
The unnamed patient doesn't have long to live and is a life-long Star Wars fan. While the crew and Rowans Hospice knew it was a longshot, they still kept on trying, which resulted in Bob Iger making a few calls. Iger said, "On this Thanksgiving, we at Disney are grateful to be able to share The Rise Of Skywalker with a patient and his family at Rowans Hospice. May the Force be with you and with us all!" Rowans Hospice was overjoyed with the news and were asked to share a statement from their patient. You can read it in full below.
"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. 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!"
Mark Hamill responded to the original tweets by Rowan Hospice and urged them to reach out to Disney, which apparently did the trick. The unnamed patient just wanted a chance to watch The Rise of Skywalker with his young son before he dies. This just goes to show how powerful some of these movies, and really any form of art, can have on someone's life. The patient's wife also released a statement. She had this to say.
"We are truly humbled by everyone's support. What has happened over the past few days has been truly mind-blowing. From a simple conversation, to witnessing the out pouring of generosity has been amazing. The massive Star Wars community has been incredible. The amazing people who have visited, along with the messages and gifts we have received have provided us with an opportunity to talk to our son more about the reality of his Dad's condition."
Star Wars 9 is closing out 40+ years of storytelling and is one of the most anticipated movies of the decade. Lucasfilm and Disney have gone to great lengths to keep everything under wraps, so it's awesome that they would take the time to grant a terminally Ill man's last wish. Director J.J. Abrams revealed that he finished the final cut of the movie just last weekend, which means the timing couldn't be more perfect.
The patient's wife and young son will never forget the gift that Disney and Lucasfilm have given them, which was delivered by a Lucasfilm employee on a secure laptop. As for how The Rise of Skywalker was, the patient and his family were not allowed to say, due to the social media embargo, but it's safe to say that it was at the very least, very special for everybody at Rowans Hospice. You can check out the original tweet from Rowan Hospice's Twitter account below.
They said this challenge would be impossible. We say:— Rowans Hospice (@RowansHospice) November 26, 2019
"Never tell me the odds"
Please keep retweeting the original tweet below and mentioning anybody you think can help.#StarWars#RiseofSkywalker@jjabrams@HamillHimself@ChelseaHamill@WarwickADavishttps://t.co/IBA8OcXFz0
Contact @Disney. They are the only ones who can make this happen. Good luck!— Mark HoHoHoHamill (@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/6KWl8jQHj1pic.twitter.com/gfgxRXPeoe
On Wednesday we threw a Star Wars themed party for the patient and his family. We were joined by Stormtroopers, wookies and droids and a brilliant time was had by all pic.twitter.com/SDAoUDIsXq— Rowans Hospice (@RowansHospice) November 29, 2019