Right now, Rogue One – A Star Wars Story is setting itself up to be, at the very least, something unlike anything that Star Wars fans have seen before. For Neil Hanvey though, a terminally-ill Star Wars fan, the possibility of getting to see Rogue One in theatres when its released in December may be too long of a wait. With the help of his wife and hospice assistants though, Hanvey has made headlines over the past few weeks after starting a social media campaign to try and see the film early, with his doctors saying he only had 6-8 months to live back when he was diagnosed with cancer in April of this year.
Gratefully, Hanvey has received a lot of support from fellow fans ever since he started his campaign as well, but it looks like he may have just received his biggest supporter yet – none other than Luke Skywalker himself.
Mark Hamill recently retweeted the following message from Hanvey’s campaign, and while he hasn’t said anything publicly yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if he and the other big names at Lucasfilm are already working on something for Neil.
— TerraVized (@Terravized) August 18, 2016
It seems unlikely that Neil will be able to see the film in any way other than through early access to it, so if you’d like to show support for Neil and his cause you can do so by using the hashtag #RogueOneWish on Twitter, to try and get Disney and Lucasfilm’s attention.
The St. Michael’s hospice staff has been rallying around Neil and his wish for quite some time now as well, even going so far as to recently upload a video of them singing original lyrics to the Star Wars theme song online, which has gone on to receive 1,500 shares. Hanvey’s hospital assistant, Amy Duncan, says that they have already heard from Industrial Light & Magic, the company behind all of Star Wars‘ special effects, but have yet to receive any official confirmation of an early screening.
Should Neil’s wish be granted, this wouldn’t be the first time that a terminally-ill Star Wars fan was able to see one of the franchise’s films early, after Disney and Lucasfilm surprised fan Daniel Fleetwood last year with an early screening of The Force Awakens, just a short time before Fleetwood’s passing.
In an age where fandom is being called into question and seems to be more and more hate-filled with every passing day though, I think this is one of those instances where the positive aspects of a fan community can really shine through, as we all watch and support Neil in the coming months, to try and help him have his wish granted.
Rogue One is set to hit theatres on December 16th.
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