Terminally Ill ‘Star Wars’ Fan Dies Just Days After Seeing New Film
The life-long Star Wars fan who, after a viral social media campaign, was permitted a special screening of the franchise’s new film has died, the family confirmed Tuesday.
Daniel Fleetwood “passed away in his sleep and in peace,” Ashley Fleetwood, Daniel’s wife, confirmed in a Facebook post.
“Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force,” she wrote.
“He will always be my idol and my hero… Rest in peace my love.”
Fleetwood made headlines last week when the social media campaign #ForceForDaniel went viral in a bid to allow him to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens before its official release date next month. In September, Fleetwood’s cancer diagnosis took an aggressive turn and he was told he had only one to two months to live.
As word spread, the social media campaign grew rapidly and even attracted notice from some of the biggest stars in the film series, with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), among others, sharing and tweeting posts of the hashtag campaign.
By Thursday, the Fleetwoods had confirmed that Daniel received a special advanced screening of the unfinished film, and that the movie’s director, J.J. Abrams himself, had contacted the couple.
News of his death Tuesday morning caused an outpouring of support on Facebook and Twitter with the viral hashtag.