Tragically, Neil passed away on Monday at 36 years old, after losing his battle with cancer.
But, before his death, hospice staff had organized a social media campaign to get Mr. Hanvey that advanced viewing. Last week, Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the famed franchise, saw the campaign, and took to Twitter to support the effort, retweeting this post (below):
And, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards also heard about the man's wish, and sent over a special preview version of the film, months before its scheduled December release.
After the Saturday screening, the hospice issued a statement about the heartwarming gesture, and revealed the filmmaker did "all he could" to grant Neil's request:
"On behalf of Neil Hanvey, his wife Andrea and all his family, we want to thank everyone who supported the #RogueOneWish campaign. 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."
"On behalf of all our family we would like to thank everyone who has passed on their condolences following Neil's death last night. 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 who #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. An online donation page will be set-up shortly."
We're sad Neil lost his cancer battle, but we're glad his dying wish was able to be fulfilled.