Disney screens 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' for dying British superfan

Tom Beasley
A 'Star Wars' fan at Rowans Hospice in Hampshire has been able to watch 'The Rise of Skywalker' several weeks early. (Credit: Rowans Hospice/PA Wire)

A dying Star Wars fan has had his wish granted, after Disney arranged for him to see final Skywalker Saga movie The Rise of Skywalker — three weeks before its world premiere.

Staff at Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville, near Portsmouth, reached out to Disney CEO Bob Iger on behalf of the patient, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The company was able to arrange a special screening for the patient, whose wife described the experience as “truly mind-blowing” after a copy of the movie was sent to the hospice via courier.

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Hospice staff had issued a plea to Disney on social media, saying that the patient was desperate to see the film with his young son, but that “time was not in his side”.

After the tweet was noticed both by Iger and Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, Disney made arrangements for the patient to see the movie.

“I just want to say the biggest thank you to everyone that has helped to make this happen,” the patient said in a statement.

Lisa Davies (left), Health Care Support Worker, Disney Rep Jonathan Bush and Jill Saunders as he arrives with the latest Star Wars film to be shown to a dying patient and his son. (Credit: Rowans Hospice/PA Wire)

He added: “During what is a such a horrible situation to be in, you have helped 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 — and to top it all I thought I was not 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 it is that I feel like I have won a million pounds.”

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His wife added that she was “truly humbled” by the response both of Disney and of Star Wars fans who took up the cause on social media.

Iger tweeted to confirm that Disney was “grateful” to be able to share the film and the hospice responded with their thanks.

Health care support worker Lisa Davies, who works with the patient, said: “The response from everyone, including the Star Wars community, has been absolutely phenomenal over the last few days.

“So a massive thank you to every single person that has shared our post and given their time to help make this possible.”

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The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, is set to bring an end to the Skywalker Saga, which has run since the original film, A New Hope, in 1977.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac lead the cast, with Adam Driver back as Kylo Ren and Ian McDiarmid making an unexpected return as Emperor Palpatine.

The film will arrive in UK cinemas on 19 December.