DISNEY will make a dying man’s wish come true after allowing him to see the latest episode of the franchise with his family before its release date.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, responded to an appeal on Tuesday from the Waterlooville based Rowans Hospice asking for help to fulfil the man’s wish to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the final instalment in the sequel trilogy.
The film is due to be released in cinemas on December 20 but with time running short for the ‘huge’ fan the hospice said it was unlikely the patient would make that date.
The appeal was shared hundreds of times and even attracted the attention of Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, who wished them ‘good luck’.
Rowans contacted Mr Iger before anxiously waiting for a response – with him responding this evening to leave Rowans staff ‘speechless’.
Mr Iger posted on Twitter: ‘On this Thanksgiving, we at @Disney are grateful to be able to share #TheRiseOfSkywalker with a patient and his family @RowansHospice. May the force be with you and with us all!
Responding to the incredible news, Lisa Davies, health care support worker, who brought the patient’s wish to the attention of staff, said: ‘I am utterly speechless. We cannot thank Disney enough for confirming that they will be able share the film to fulfil our patients wish.
‘We totally appreciate that they have had to move mountains to make this happen.’
She added: ‘The response from everyone, including the Star Wars community, has been absolutely phenomenal over the last few days. So a massive thank you to every single person that has shared our post and given their time to help make this possible. We also want to thank the media for covering the story and totally respecting the privacy of the family.’
READ MORE: Rowans Hospice’s appeal for dying man
Richard Stride, who acted in the early Star Wars films, met the patient while his Groundlings Theatre performed its Christmas pantomime for patients at the hospice on Wednesday.
‘I would be gobsmacked if Disney were to let the man see the film before its release,’ he said. ‘It’s a multi-million pound movie so they wouldn’t want to take any risks before it comes out. But it would be amazing.’