Terminally ill Star Trek fan sees "Into Darkness" before launch

By on January 9, 2013, 7:30 AM

Hardcore Star Trek fan Daniel Craft, 41, was given the opportunity to view -- in its current entirety -- the upcoming Trek flick Into Darkness. What makes this story special though, is that Craft was diagnosed as terminally ill with only weeks to live, resulting from a rare form of cancer responsible for producing a vascular tumor in his liver. Although not exactly technology news per say, this rather touching story might just be nerdy enough to interest some of our tech-savvy readership.

Image from: flixist.com

As co-founder of the New York Asian Film Festival, Craft was also an undeniable lover of film. He had already been struggling with leukemia and constant hospitalization when he got the bad news of his new, incurable cancer. He knew he wanted to see as many movies as possible before he passed away.

Being the huge Star Trek fan that Craft had always been though, good friend Gary Hendrix reached out to Reddit in hopes that someone could fulfill a seemingly simple enough wish: view the second installment of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot before it became an impossibility. Into Darkness, of course, isn't scheduled to be out for at least another five months. It would seem likely the plea would go unanswered; however, the Internet (and its communities) are powerful tools. 

He was hospitalized and had to exchange our HOBBITT [sic] tickets (where the 10 min Star Trek preview was supposed to be shown) we were able to put him in a car and get over to the HOBBITT but NO PREVIEW???? we, his friends and family, the love of my life - WOULD LOVE him to be able to see the Star Trek movie but even the 10 minutes of the trailer would be AMAZING

Source: Reddit, "Please come to the rescue of a Star Trek fan"

Just a couple days later, film director J.J. Abrams and writer Damon Lindelof took notice and set up a private screening for Craft and his wife. One of the film's producers hand-delivered a DVD containing a "rough cut" of the film and Dan "had a blast" fulfilling one of his final wishes in the comfort of his own apartment.

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.

Source: Reddit, "Thank you, r/StarTrek"

If you're a Star Trek fan, you may understand the significance of this unusual gift -- Star Trek's positive vision of humanity's future has long remained a source of inspiration for science fiction writers and those who aren't, sometimes in personal ways.

Unfortunately, just a couple days after enjoying Into Darkness with a bowl full of popcorn and his wife, Daniel Craft passed away.

User Comments: 20

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3 people like this | mevans336 mevans336 said:

In other news, the MPAA sues the deceased for $150,000 and is filing a joint lawsuit against his widow for the same.

Guest said:

Nice story. I'm glad to see a story about how the internet helped someone out.

Jesse Jesse said:

In other news, the MPAA sues the deceased for $150,000 and is filing a joint lawsuit against his widow for the same.

Way to ride that "positive vision of humanity's future" wave.

Guest said:

It's good to see that there is still a little love out there.

TJGeezer said:

That was a fine gift to a dying fan by the movie's producers. But I can't help it - that comment about the MPAA made me laugh out loud.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That has a sad ending, but it was a great story.

Tygerstrike said:

I am proud to see some of Hollywood high and mighty not only come down from thier lofty perch, but to show that level of empathy and compassion. It does my heart good to see that there might actually be something like a decent human being or two left in Hollywood. This act alone helps to restore a bit of faith in the human creature. They let him watch a rough cut so he could die a happy fan. KUDOS to JJ Abrahms and his crew for a very very nice act that most ppl would not have done.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

In other news, the MPAA sues the deceased for $150,000 and is filing a joint lawsuit against his widow for the same.

Not a Trekkie? Shame.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

This was a very touching news post to read, thanks for sharing it.

It restores some faith in this trekkie fan too that actually there still are some really sympathetic and good hearted people left in this world!

RIP Daniel Craft.

Guest said:

RIP Mr. Craft.

As for people who made this possible: + karma points for you, it was a really nice gesture.

Renrew Renrew said:

It's a great gesture kudos to the persons responsible.

On a slightly cynical note : the resulting publicity doesn't hurt either.

2 people like this | LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

On a slightly cynical note : the resulting publicity doesn't hurt either.

True, but it should also reiterate the idea that if you do good things you will receive it as well.

Guest said:

Rip Mr Craft..

Good to hear there are some good people left in Hollywood..That Daniel Craft got to do his last thing on his bucket list. Having a smile of seeing the Star Trek Movie.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

Not a Trekkie? Shame.

I'm a huge Trekkie and even posted this story to my Facebook page to share with friends and family. I'm sorry the satire was lost on you.

ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

A tear just fell on my desk.

Guest said:

Great story. Very touching. JJ is a good man and did a good thing for another good man. I'm sure Mr. Craft got a miracle in watching a yet to be released movie and once in a lifetime chance but I bet you any money that no matter the movie he watched, he enjoyed it because he was with his wife. There is nothing like being with someone you love or care about, especially in Mr. Crafts situation. The movie was a bonus but him and especially his wife will cherish the moment that will last a lifetime, that she had a great day with her husband.


- live in the moments, you may never get another chance -

killeriii said:

Good to see there are some truly caring people in the movie industry.

cmbjive said:

Can JJ Abrams claim this act of charity as a tax deduction?

A great act by a great producer.

jcarr11 said:

Props to JJ. Great story

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