Star Wars franchise icon Mark Hamill took to social media today to thank Disney for making one Star Wars superfan's dream a reality. An unnamed patient at the Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care in North Carolina asked for a chance to see the film, which wraps the 40-plus-year tale of the Skywalker family, before he passed away. Yesterday, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced that he had found out about the request and granted it. Star Wars and Marvel movies have become such a part of everyday life that it seems like whenever there is a big new release, Disney finds themselves in a position to make some fan's wish come true.
Iger timed the announcement that they would help the fan to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. "On this Thanksgiving, we at Disney are grateful to be able to share The Rise of Skywalker with a patient and his family," Iger said on social media. "May the force be with you and with us all!"
"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," the patient said in a statement to ABC News.
According to Hamill, the fan actually saw the film before he (Hamill) did.
Many thanks to @RobertIger & everyone at @Disney for making this happen! Hope the Rowan Hospice patient not only enjoyed the film, but gets an extra-special satisfaction in knowing he saw it before I did. https://t.co/qpECeomcCX— Mark HoHoHoHamill (@HamillHimself) November 29, 2019
The secrecy surrounding huge blockbusters is sometimes a stumbling block to making such screenings happen, even for the most dedicated or desperate of fans. Disney, though, tends to go the extra mile given their family-friendly image. They also likely understand, having been the home of animated classics for decades before taking on the responsibility of Star Wars and Marvel, what it means to have fans whose lives have been shaped by their content.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.
Star Wars is also headed to the Disney+ streaming service. The Mandalorian is now streaming on DIsney+. A show following Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the works, with Ewan MacGregor returning to the role. A series about Rogue One’s Cassian Andor is also in development.