Saturday, January 5, 2013

Star Trek Fan Dies Days After Granted Final Wish

Just days after JJ Abrams and Paramount granted the dying wish of Daniel Craft, he died of cancer on Friday. Craft was the director of the New York Asian Film Festival and shown a rough cut of the film on DVD on Sunday ever a Reddit campaign started by his friend and his wife was brought to the attention of JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof. His friend Grady Hendrix wrote about the day and his passing last night.
Dan was super-bummed that he hadn't gotten a chance to see the 9 minute Star Trek: Into Darkness teaser before The Hobbit. He's a big movie fan, and one of the directors of the New York Asian Film Festival, and movies mean a lot to him. He has known he's dying for a few weeks and he wanted to see as many movies as possible before he went. When ideeyut started that thread for him to get a chance to somehow see Into Darkness it seemed like a long-shot, and it had a hard time getting traction. Other Reddit boards didn't upvote it much, and I figured it was a nice try, doomed to failure. But you guys wouldn't let it disappear, and as you upvoted ideeyut's post some of you also took to Twitter and Facebook. Word got out. The press picked it up. A lot of different people started making noise about this online and word traveled fast and got to the right people through a variety of channels. But it started here, and it started with ideeyut and you guys.

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.

Dan was pretty clear that he didn't want to be the inspirational cancer story of the week, but I wanted you all to know what you had done, and how much it meant. At the risk of sounding all grand like the prologue to LOTR or something, Reddit can be a force for great evil, or a force for great good. Every day, all of us come together here and choose which. This time, you all chose kindness, and it made a huge difference to Dan, his wife, and his friends. So thank you ideeyut, and thank you r/StarTrek. You should all be proud of yourselves. Thank you.
Condolences to his friends and family on their loss.

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