The story of Daniel Fleetwood made headlines even before J.J. Abrams fulfilled the terminally ill Star Wars fan’s dying wish to see The Force Awakens. After his death, his widow received a heartfelt Christmas gift from Chewbacca himself.
Actor Peter Mayhew and his wife, Angie, invited Ashley Fleetwood and her family to spend a day at their farm house in Texas.
“When Daniel was sick, they actually Skyped him. It was so sweet and amazing,” Ashley told Entertainment Tonight. “They invited us to visit, but he was unable to travel. After he passed, they extended the invitation again. So I asked if, for my dad’s 60th birthday, if we could maybe visit. They said ‘yes’ and were so welcoming.”
Ashley and the Mayhews shared photos of the visit, which was coordinated by fan club The Star Garrison of the 501st Legion.
“I want to thank the amazing Peter-Angie Mayhew for inviting my family to their wonderful home,” Ashley wrote on Facebook. “They were so welcoming and kind. I also want thank the 501st for being there as well. Thank you!! You made my dad’s birthday.” See photos below, including looks inside the Mayhew’s “Chewie Museum.”
Daniel Fleetwood, who died last month at the age of 32, had been diagnosed with a connective tissue cancer known as spindle cell sarcoma. As a longtime Star Wars fan, he wanted to see The Force Awakens, but wasn’t expected to live until the film’s Dec. 18 release date. Thanks to a social media campaign, #ForceForDaniel, his story received national attention and Abrams fulfilled his wish.
“Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end,” Ashley wrote following his death. “He is now one with God and with the force. He passed in his sleep and in peace.”