A bittersweet, yet profoundly powerful testament to what a small act of kindness can mean to so many.
Only a few short days after terminally ill Star Trek fan Dan Craft's story went viral and prompted director J.J. Abrams to treat he and his wife to a special rough-cut screening of the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness months before its official premiere, the New York Asian Film Festival organizer has passed away.
According to a message on the Festival's Facebook page:
Last night around 10:15pm, Dan Craft, who has been a member of Subway Cinema since 2004, passed away. His wife and brother were with him when he went, and he wasn’t in any pain. He’d been a bit loopy for a few days as his liver failed and toxins built up in his blood, and on Thursday his wife asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom. “I’m going…” he proclaimed, “Into the future.”
See you there, Dan.
Dan Craft: 1971 – 2013
We miss you.
We can't even begin to tell you how choked up - and inspired - this man's bravery and strength in the face of his own death makes us.
We just hope that his wife, friends, and all his loved one can find comfort and peace knowing that he left this world right after having been given such an incredible act of generosity and compassion that clearly meant so much to him in last days.
May your future be filled with the wonder that J.J.'s film - and the entire franchise - inspired in you, Dan.
And check out a full account of his Star Trek Into Darkness viewing experience, as recounted by his friend on Reddit…AFTER THE JUMP!!!
A day or so after the thread began, Paige, Dan’s wife, got a voicemail from JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof that was very nice and very straightforward: a producer for the movie would get in touch with them. The next day, one of the film’s producers showed up at the door of their apartment with a DVD containing a very rough cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness in his hands. Paige had made popcorn, Dan had spent the previous day resting so he could sit through the movie, and after signing about 200 non-disclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast.
Afterwards, Dan got back into bed, exhausted, and didn’t get out again. Yesterday he was pretty non-responsive and Paige took him to the hospital for hospice care. Last night, at 10:15pm, with Paige and his brother in his room, Dan died. The last thing he got to do that gave him pleasure was watch the new Star Trek movie. And it’s because of you.
At a time when he didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to, r/StarTrek, JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bad Robot performed a simple act of kindness for a total stranger and gave Dan something to be excited about for a couple of days. The movie did exactly what movies are supposed to do, it helped him forget about his problems for a couple of hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but in this case it was.”
This is a difficult story to write about without getting sappy, sacharine or insensitive, but to those of us who didn’t know him, Dan now stands as a symbol of the power of film. Here’s a man who spent his days helping to cultivate one of the best film festivals in the country and when the end was near, he took solace in cinema. “Dying Man Gets to See New ‘Star Trek’ Movie” is flashy headline, but this story is a powerful reminder of why we love cinema. Movies are capable of transporting us to new worlds, of helping us forget our pain for two hours — it’s comforting to know that a real movie fan was able to embrace what he loved until the very end.
Rest in peace, Mr. Craft.
Tags: damon lindelof, dan craft, dvd, j.j. abrams, leukemia, new york asian film festival, organizer, paige craft, producer, r.i.p., screening, star trek, star trek into darkness, subway cinema, terminally ill, wife