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A few years ago director Kyle Newman made a comedy called Fanboys. In the film a group of die hard Star Wars fans decide to make a cross-country trip so that their dying friend can see Episode I: The Phantom Menace before his time comes. Now that story has actually come true, only instead of Star Wars it's Star Trek and instead of a cross country trip this is a story about the power of the internet.
On Christmas Day a user on Reddit named ideeeyut posted a message on the Star Trek subreddit asking the community for help. He was reaching out on behalf of his friend, Dan, who has been diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer in the last three years and only had a few weeks to live. And with his time so short he only had one request: to be able to see the upcoming sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. And the internet made it happen.
Over the past week the Reddit post circulated around and eventually found its way to J.J. Abrams who said yes to the request and set up a special screening of an incomplete version of the film. The original Reddit user returned a few days ago to post a message from Dan's wife:
Hi everyone, it's Daniel's wife, we are of course sworn to secrecy, BUT we are officially allowed to say we saw it and we enjoyed it IMMENSELY as a film and as a gesture.... However; Daniel 'hates' being an 'inspiring cancer story' we his friends and loved ones would prefer for the update to have more of a heartfelt message of giving, especially during this season: This is a story of us giving something to him, the 'internet' community giving something to him and ultimately being a heartwarming gift to our friends, family and so many others. This story of us (and of course JJAbrams & Bad Robot) being able to give this surprise gift of a screening to a huge movie buff like Daniel, especially a film made by a film maker who obviously makes movies with such care, with a fan like Daniel in mind (and a person like me who knows slightly less about these things).
What can be said about a truly amazing story like this? All too often we hear about horrible people doing horrible things to each other, but every so often we have stories like this that give us some real insight into the meaning of humanity.