A terminally ill fan who was granted his dying wish to see the not-yet-released Star Trek sequel, died yesterday, according to the New York Asian Film Festival, who posted the news to their Facebook.
41-year-old Dan Craft, an avid fan of film and of Star Trek, was given an advanced screening of an unfinished version of Star Trek Into Darkness after a friend’s post about his situation on Reddit got the attention of the film’s director J.J. Abrams [read J.J. Abrams Shows Unfinished Cut Of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ To Man Weeks From Death]. The film is schedule for release in the U.S. on May 17, 2013.
Just before he died yesterday, Craft told his wife, “I’m going…into the future.”
According to a message from Craft’s wife posted on Reddit, over the last few years Craft had undergone three rounds of chemotherapy for Leukemia (CML) before receiving a bone marrow transplant, followed by more chemo, radiation, and numerous hospital stays as well as endured much pain and suffering from complications. But Leukemia was not the cause of his death; after all he went through, Craft was then stricken with a totally unrelated, aggressive cancer, an extremely rare vascular tumor that was crowding out his healthy liver tissue and the treatment given for this only caused it to grow. At that point, there was nothing that could be done for him, only to make him comfortable until his imminent passing.
Craft had wanted to see the 9-minute preview of Star Trek Into Darkness that is playing in front of IMAX screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but he was hospitalized. Craft was eventually taken to a theater to see it, but the showing he attended did not have the preview. Knowing what it would mean to the man to see just a mere few minutes of film before he passed, Craft’s wife and friend took to Reddit to ask if someone could help make this happen. After quickly spreading through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it was brought to the attention of J.J. Abrams, who then arranged a special screening of the film, which is still in production, for Craft just days before he died.
After the screening, Craft’s wife posted a message stating, “…we are of course sworn to secrecy, BUT we are officially allowed to say we saw it and we enjoyed it IMMENSELY as a film and as a gesture…”
It sounds like Craft fought the good fight and was surrounded by people who really cared about him who would go the distance to grant him a dying wish, to see a film he greatly anticipated from a franchise he loved. I think we can all relate to that kind of feeling. If you knew there was nothing left you could do but wait to die, I’m sure there would be things you’d wish you could have done, or seen, or experienced before you left the world and, as Craft so boldly and poetically put it, go “into the future.” Being a fanatic of Star Trek myself, I can see how getting to see Abrams’ sequel to the 2009 reboot would be an uplifting experience, even in the face of death.
While Craft’s lengthy painful ordeal and subsequent passing are sad and tragic, at least his family and friends can take solace in knowing that they were able to make him happy near the end and send him off to his next destination with a smile. Thanks to Abrams, Bad Robot, and Paramount, as well as the tons of social media users around the world who helped spread the message, Craft was able to experience something truly special before he died.
All of us here at Geeks Of Doom extend our condolences to Dan Craft’s family.
[Source: NYAFF via NME]