Terminally Ill Star Wars Fan Was Granted An Early Screening Of Rise Of Skywalker

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
(Image credit: (Lucasfilm))

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker only three weeks away, tons of fans will get to finally witness how J.J. Abrams’ movie will close out the saga that began back in 1977. But for one massive Star Wars fan, counting the days to the blockbuster epic wasn't a luxury he could realistically wait for. On behalf of a terminally ill patient, a hospital in England reached out to Disney about the fan's final wish: to see Rise of Skywalker with his young son.

Just three days after the request was made on Twitter, the Rowans Hospice patient and his family became the first fans to see the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. Chairman and CEO of Disney Bob Iger helped organize the exclusive screening in Hampshire, England. Take a look at what happened at the hospital below:

On Friday morning, the dying Star Wars fan was given the honor to see the highly-anticipated fantasy film with his son – his only hope left. In the original Twitter message, the hospice staff made their plea by explaining "time is not on his side."

As shown in the pictures, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker travelled with a man named Jonathan on a laptop over to Hampshire so that the patient could see the film. Characters dressed as Jedis, Chewbacca, and stormtroopers visited the father and son, offering them helmets and blasters of their own, probably to protect their anonymity. They do hold deep galaxy secrets now!

Following the screening, the hospital released a statement including these warm words from the Star Wars fan. In his words:

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!

His wife also took the time to thank Disney as well, calling the response to their wishes "truly mind-blowing." She thanked the massive Star Wars community and talked of fans visiting them, sending messages and sending out gifts to support the family.

The day prior, Disney boss Bob Iger took to Twitter to announce the studio would be granting the Rowans Hospice patient with a screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Check out his words below:

Additionally, Star Wars icon Mark Hamill reached out via Twitter to thank Bob Iger and Disney for making the screening happen. Hamill said he hoped the patient enjoyed the movie and got an “extra-special satisfaction” in knowing he saw it even before Hamill did. How incredibly special that he beat the Luke Skywalker actor!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters this holiday season on December 20.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.