A few weeks ago, a plea from friends and family of a terminally ill Star Trek fan popped up on Reddit and was spread across the Internet like wildfire. The Reddit post indicated that the fan was dying of cancer and had only a few weeks to live. He wanted to watch Star Trek Into Darkness before its release in May. The post got the attention of J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, who granted him his wish and set up an early screening of the film. Sadly, that Star Trek fan, whose name we now know as Daniel Craft, died last Friday at the age of 41.
As reported by Blastr.com, after a few failed attempts to take Daniel to see the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness playing before IMAX 3D screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, his friends and family reached out to the Star Trek community to get the word out about his terminal condition. Craft’s wish was granted and he got the opportunity to see a rough cut of Star Trek Into Darkness. Grady Hendrix, a close friend of Daniel, wrote a follow-up post on Reddit:
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.
It appears that Daniel Craft was not only a Star Trek fan and movie buff, he was one of the directors and founders of the New York Asian Film Festival. He was responsible for bringing awareness to Asian movie stars such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the United States. He was also an extra in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 because of his work in the Asian film market.
Hendrix also noted that his friend wouldn’t feel comfortable with all this attention on his cancer story. He thought it would be silly to be remembered in this way. “Dan would be rolling his eyes at being ‘the inspirational cancer story,’ but he’s done a lot for movies over the years,” said Hendrix. “It’s nice that the movies finally did something for him.”
It’s still tragic to hear of anyone dying at such a young age, but we’re just thankful that the internet worked a little magic, and Abrams and Lindelof came through, to give the story a happy ending, even if only a minor one.