Less than two weeks ago, a user of the social-news website Reddit made the kind of last-ditch request the site has become known for supporting: his friend, he wrote, had weeks to live, and among his last wishes was the hope that he might be able to see the upcoming movie Star Trek into Darkness, which is not due in theaters until May 17. That was probably impossible, he acknowledged, but even the chance to see the extended trailer would be welcome.
Reddit and other social-media sites picked up the story. Within days, there was an update. The same user posted news from the wife of the dying man — who has been identified by the Hollywood Reporter as Daniel Craft, director of the New York Asian Film Festival: Craft would get his wish. CNET reports that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams saw the story via Twitter and called Craft’s wife, Paige, arranging for a producer to bring a rough cut of the film to the Crafts’ home in New York.
But the success of the effort to get the movie to Craft in time was, unfortunately, only a bright moment in a sad story: in a follow-up Reddit post, one of Craft’s friends wrote that, shortly after seeing the movie — an effort in preparation for which he had spent a whole day resting — Craft went back to bed for the last time. Over the weekend, the New York Asian Film Festival’s Facebook page shared the sad news that Craft died on the night of Jan. 4. His last words were, reportedly, “I’m going … into the future.”
According to Deadline.com, at a Jan. 6 panel about his show Revolution, J.J. Abrams said that Star Trek’s inclusion in Craft’s last wishes was “unbelievably touching.” And the feeling was mutual: back on Reddit, Craft’s wife shared the message that they “enjoyed [the movie] IMMENSELY as a film and as a gesture.” Rather than seeing the incident as a cancer story, she said, she hopes the exchange will be seen as an example of the broader power of giving:
This is a story of us giving something to him, the ‘internet’ community giving something to him and ultimately being a heartwarming gift to our friends, family and so many others… it was a wonderful thing to see with Daniel and a wonderful thing to see Daniel enjoy – Making someone as ill as he is smile for any length of time really makes a difference.