10:21am PT by Aaron Couch
Terminally Ill 'Star Wars' Fan Who Saw 'Rogue One' Early Dies
A Star Wars fan was granted his final wish after battling cancer for three and a half years.
Thanks to a worldwide campaign started by his family, Neil Hanvey was able to see Rogue One: A Star Wars story on Saturday ahead of its December release. Hanvey, 36, died Monday in hospice care in England, his family announced.
"On behalf of Neil Hanvey, his wife Andrea and all his family, we want to thank everyone who supported the #RogueOneWish campaign," St. Michael's Hospice, where Hanvey spent the final weeks of his life, wrote Monday on its Facebook page. "The director of Rogue One, Gareth Edwards, did all he could to make Saturday a very special day for Neil. Neil, his family and everyone at St. Michael's Hospice would like to say thank you to Disney, Lucasfilm and especially Gareth Edwards."
The #RogueOneWish campaign generated a lot of support online, including retweets from Star Wars star Mark Hamill.
On Tuesday, Hanvey's wife Andrea shared a statement thanking those who had supported her husband's wish and for their messages of sympathy following his death. She has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for St. Michael's.
"On behalf of all our family we would like to thank everyone who has passed on their condolences following Neil’s death last night," Hanvey's wife said in a statement to St. Michael's. "We would also like to thank the tens of thousands of people who supported the #RogueOneWish campaign. All the messages of love during the past week have given us a great deal of comfort during a very difficult time. We would also like to thank everyone at St. Michael’s Hospice, especially Amy Duncan, without whom #RogueOneWish would not have happened. All donations at Neil’s funeral will go to the Hospice’s Family Support team and will be used to fund work with children and young people."
Last year, a terminally ill Star Wars fan named Daniel Fleetwood, 32, was granted his wish to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens early. In 2013, Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams screened his Star Trek Into Darkness for a terminally ill fan.